Fantastic Mr. Fox film review
When it comes to films based on Roald Dahl’s classic books, there hasn’t been many. Remember Matilda and James and the Giant Peach in 1996? Well it was 9 years until another Dahl film was made when Tim Burton directed the remake to the loveable, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Well 4 years after that, in 2009, Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Rushmore) delivered an incredible stop motion animation for the family, of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.
This is the tale about a Fox, not an ordinary fox, but a fantastic fox. Mr Fox, played by George Clooney, is a family man, but he wasn’t always one. Once a farm raider, stealing chickens for dinner, now retired after Mrs Fox, Meryl Streep was pregnant with cub Ash, Jason Schwartzman (Bored To Death). He gets bored of his new life as a family man and a column writer for the paper, and decides to move out of his burrow into a top of the range tree, which overlooks three of the meanest, nastiest and greediest farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean Michael Gambon. Its then that he decides that he has to go back to his old ways crossing the line of family responsibility and ruin the farmers businesses during his midnight adventures. It isn’t long before the famers join forces to stop their pest problem and causing problem not just for the Fox family but also for his other animal friends in the community.
Unlike most book films brought to the cinema screens, Fantastic Mr Fox, is just like its book, which is good for those that have read the book. The titles of the chapters of the story are shown at the start of each new scene at the top of the screen, keeping to its story book style. The rhymes and complete randomness within the story are also kept in. For example, when Coach Skip Owen Wilson explains the rules of’ Whackbat’, as fast as he can so that nobody understands the rules of the game, and when Mr Fox makes his long speeches and describes all the animals by their Latin names. The film also sticks to the books themes by focusing on family and good and evil.
Compared to other Dahl films, this is different and in ways a lot more successful than previous films. First of all, is the random and spot on hilarious script, and the amount of top acting talent that was involved with the voices of the film. The all round cast adds to the humour of the film, with their well recognised voices giving the characters more of a comedic value within their quotes. For example, when Clooney delivers repeated one liner’s such as, “Here put this bandit hat on”, in a devious yet calm tone. This delivery of the quote emphasises on the films randomness which makes it funny.
What also makes this film different to any other animated or Dhal film is the way it was produced. It uses stop motion animation, a very hard and time consuming technique, with puppets. Although jagged in motion, it creates a better effect for the viewer making it look good. For example when the characters walk, run or stand up tall, we see the puppets slowly move their legs in a rough movement. Puppets aren’t just used for the animals; they are also used for the humans. Close up shots of both humans and the animal faces looks spectacular when seeing their speech and movement of facial expression, especially as we get to see the fur of the animals move.
Nominated for the 8 Best Animated Feature 82 Academy Awards and for The 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, it is clear to why this film was a nominated for these great awards. Keeping to the book, its script and actors add to the humour and the way the animation is produced differently by using stop motion with puppets, certainly makes it a feverishly, fantastic must watch film and so i give it a high and a very foxy 10/10.