Film Reviews

Film Reviews: Fantastic Mr Fox

If you have been on my blog for a while then you will know about my admiration for Wes Anderson’s style of film making. Fantastic Mr Fox is definitely one of my favourite Wes Anderson films (after The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Darjeeling Limited). It is one of his better films because it managed to balance out substance and style perfectly.

Fantastic Mr Fox is, of course, an original work of Roald Dahl making it a story we already know and love which is why films like this can get a lot of negative reviews and even I have to admit I didn’t actually like Fantastic Mr Fox the first time I ever watched it, but now that I am older I have seen the error of my ways and now consider it to be one of the best modern stop-motion films.

The film is about a family of foxes who find themselves in a spot of bother when the head of the household decides that he wishes to return to his former career, stealing birds. He decides that after a few years of being a father and a columnist for a newspaper he misses the excitement and thrill that living life on the edge gave him so moves his family to a tree on ground across from three well respected farmers so that he can plot one last master plan to steal birds and cider for his family.

Unfortunately the plan doesn’t go exactly the way he wanted and he ends up with his tail blown off (one of the farmers even wears it as a neck tie – RUDE). After this happens he goes back and steals EVERYTHING from the farmers as they are too occupied trying to catch the fox to man their farms resulting in a feast which is quickly drowned out by a lot of cider – not before, though, the two younger foxes go on a trail to get back the main foxes tail.

So one of the young foxes gets kidnapped and used as bait by the farmers while the other manages to return to the group (with out the tail). Time for one last master plan – one that means saving the young fox and getting that tail back! It all goes to plan but they now have to set up home in the sewers with no food…until they find a secret passageway to a supermarket! Brilliant.

Sorry if that summary is confusing – it is so difficult to whittle down the story in to a summary.

First of all let’s address the impeccable animation. I absolutely adore the process of stop-motion and Fantastic Mr Fox really brought my love for the art back, it feels so authentic and old school with a hint of Wes Anderson in it. Fantastic. The animators must have had a really difficult job because Wes Anderson loves his characters to be talking really fast but they did such a good job.

The style I, of course, absolutely adored. He managed to put his own stamp on a Dahl classic which I really liked and actually admire him for. The style really fitted the story and characteristics of a fox especially because they are fast moving wild animals. Wonderful job done here.

The voices were so good that I genuinely thought it was the foxes speaking and not actors (well for half a second anyway) but I honestly struggled identifying a lot of the voices (apart from George Clooney’s) which is a good thing for the actors because it shows that they have a really good grasp of what it is to voice a character – you can’t just say the words you have to become the character.

I could watch this film over and over again with no hint of boredom, and there are very few films I can do that with (Coraline, Donnie Darko, Psycho, Dracula). I definitely recommend this film to anyone looking for something to watch with their kids, or just for fun it is enjoyable for all ages.

What did you think of the film?

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