Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox
Originally uploaded by ablogvoyage
Mr. Fox is an expert bird thief and loves it, until the day Mrs. Fox tells him that they are expecint a child and makes him promise to get an honest job. Mr. Fox does and begins writing a column for his local paper but pines for the job he was good at; in an effort to better his family’s life he buys a local tree and they move in – into the shadow of Boggis, Bunce & Bean, three of the meanest farmers in the land. When Mr. Fox decides to take up his bird thief ways again he unwittingly brings disaster onto all of the animals in his community.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox is a brilliant little movie; somehow, Wes Anderson did manage to turn a children’s story into a family film with his own personal flair. But this film has Wes Anderson stamped all over it, from the way the characters deliver their lines, to the quirky costumes they wear and the way they get stuck in situations of their own making. Don’t let the claymation stop you – this is a Wes Anderson film.

The one thing I have to mention about The Fantastic Mr. Fox is something that’s been festering for awhile. I keep overhearing people talking about how they don’t know why such a big deal is being made over the animation technology in this movie because the same thing was done in movies like Over the Hedge. I love Over the Hedge, have seen it many times and that’s why I know that’s a computer animated film. The Fantastic Mr. Fox is stop motion – totally different technology & completely different visual style to it. These were actual little models of the characters that were moved and photographed one frame at a time, not drawn inside a computer. If you really can’t see that it’s time to get your eyes checked.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that this film will be nominated for Best Animated Film at the Academy Awards this year. I do think it deserves the nomination, but I’m not sure it will win. The stiff competition for this film comes from Up, another brilliant family film that also deals with responsibility & family. It will be interesting to see who wins.

Director: Wes Anderson
Writers: Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach
Mr. Fox: George Clooney
Mrs. Fox: Meryl Streep
Ash: Jason Schwartzman
Badger: Bill Murray
Kristofferson: Eric Chase Anderson
Bean: Michael Gambon
Rat: Willem Dafoe
Coach Skip: Owen Wilson

Mr. Fox: Who am I, Kylie?
Kylie: Who how? What now?
Mr. Fox: Why a fox? Why not a horse, or a beetle, or a bald eagle? I'm saying this more as, like, existentialism, you know? Who am I? And how can a fox ever be happy without, you'll forgive the expression, a chicken in its teeth?
Kylie: I don't know what you're talking about, but it sounds illegal.

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