Fantastic Mr. Fox
Our Rating
3½ Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(6 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (for action, smoking, and slang humor)
Directed By
Wes Anderson
Run Time
1 hour 27 minutes
Cast
George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray
Theatre Release
November 25, 2009

It's hard to begin a review of a Wes Anderson film without using the word "auteur." From his debut film Bottle Rocket (1996) onward, Anderson has established a style that is clearly his own: tracking and slow-motion shots, montages, classic rock songs (often played over the montages or slow-motion shots), wry humor, immaculate production design, the Futura Bold font—and so on. He also returns to many of the same themes, like family dysfunction and identity crises. If an auteur is defined as a director "whose complete control over all aspects of a production gives the end result a recognizable feel," Anderson fits the label as well as anyone.

Anderson's newest film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, is an adaptation of a children's book by the oft-adapted Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda). Fantastic Mr. Fox represents Anderson's first attempt at an animated film—more specifically, stop-action animation, with real-life models painstakingly photographed one frame at a time. My biggest question going into this film was how Anderson's distinctive style would translate from live action to this new medium.

When asked by the Chicago Sun-Times about using stop-motion, Anderson said, "With stop-motion over other forms of animation, I think you can sense that somebody's moving these physical objects and making them seem alive. You can somehow sense the hands being put on these things, and there's a charm to that, I think." This awareness of "the hands" is especially true in Fantastic Mr. Fox, because the character models wear real fur. As the animators re-position the models between frames, the bristles in the models' fur get pushed around, creating in the final product an effect known as ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueHow to End Sibling Rivalry Like a Christian
How to End Sibling Rivalry Like a Christian Subscriber Access Only
No teasing, no favorites, and hours and hours of time with one other.
Current IssueBearing Burdens After Obamacare
Bearing Burdens After Obamacare Subscriber Access Only
The future of Christian health care sharing.
RecommendedIn ‘The Case for Christ,’ Experience, not Evidence, Is the Real Clincher
In ‘The Case for Christ,’ Experience, not Evidence, Is the Real Clincher
Pure Flix's adaptation of the apologetics classic succeeds most where it preaches least.
TrendingForgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
Editor's PickTogether for the Gospels
Together for the Gospels: Unprecedented Unity Among Bible Translators Transforms Giving
Lessons learned from illumiNations initiative could help other causes.
Christianity Today
Fantastic Mr. Fox
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.