What’s all the more surprising about “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” is that it successfully revives the lost art of using complete stop motion animation rather then a blend of both as seen in “9”. Also unique, this film was made by a director who had never done an animation movie before. Wes Anderson (“Royal Tenenbaums”, “Rushmore”) is known for making those weird independent movies revolving around a dysfunctional family and this is no exception, other than the fact that it is an animated film and it centers around a family of foxes.
George Clooney voices Mr. Fox, a world class thief who steals chickens, alcoholic cider, ducks and geese from a trio of neighboring farms. After narrowly escaping a trap, Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep) informs him that she is pregnant and he promises to give up stealing for good. Now two years later (or 12 fox years later), he is a newspaper columnist who’s column isn’t read by any of their friends. He is poor, living in a hole with his wife and son Ash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman “Rushmore”, “Funny People”) who is always angry and moody because he feels he fails to live up to his family name. Mr. Fox begins to go through a mid-life crisis and against the strong urging of his badger attorney (Bill Murray) buys a home facing the three farms he steals from. With the help of his dimwitted friend Kylie, Mr. Fox steals from the farms one last time. The only problem; the farmers have had enough and they decide to go after Fox.
Don’t worry, I didn’t spoil the whole plot for you. The greatness of the movie isn’t necessarily the plot but rather the universe that the animals live in and the way they interact with each other.
George Clooney has made a wonderful career basically playing off his charm and succeeds yet again. Mr. Fox is basically Danny Ocean with a family and no Brad Pitt to bounce off of. The visuals are stunning and while some of the larger points of the movie are lost on kids, they will still be entertained because the movie is absolutely hilarious and combines slap stick humor with some clever dialogue.
Like with “Where the Wild Things Are” (also based on a children’s book) this story could’ve easily pandered only to children, but adults will relate to this movie in the same way most did to “The Incredibles”.
I highly recommend seeing this. If this does not sound like your type of film, check out 2012 which I didn’t need to review because the commercials say it all. Cities are destroyed, monuments disappear, and John Cusak and Woody Harrelson pretend like they weren’t given a dump truck full of money to be in it.
Thank You for reading and stay tuned as I avoid reviewing “Twilight New Moon” by instead reviewing Oscar contender “Precious”.
Remember you can enjoy these and other wonderful films at your local Edwards cinema.
– Chauncey Telese