REVIEW – Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Thursday, 10 December 2009  Review by Vives Anunciacion

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Directed by Wes Anderson
Based on the children’s novel by Roald Dahl
I’M a little biased to favor this movie. I’m big on stop-motion animation. Plus I’m a fan of Wes Anderson’s quirky humor. Win-win situation, click click.

Any kid who ever imagined their action figures (or dolls) coming alive at night and getting a life of their own can identify with this type of animation. Older guys like me know stop-motion from the likes of Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jason and the Argonauts and MTV’s Celebrity Wrestling. For kids these days I think it’s Bob the Builder or Shaun the Sheep. In order to feed his growing family, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) steals food around the neighborhood, primarily from the three biggest farmers, who happen to be the grumpiest men in the area: Boggis (Robin Hurlstone), Bunce (Hugo Guiness) and Bean (Michael Gambon, aka Prof. Dumbledore). For several nights, Fox and Weasel (voiced by director Wes Anderson) steal Boggis’s chikens, Bunce’s meats and Bean’s famous apple cider, until the three decide that they need to end the sly Mr. Fox’s sneaky rampage.

First, they manage to blow off Fox’s tail. Next, they drive the entire family underground by bulldozing the entire hill. While fleeing from the humans, Fox meets Badger (Bill Murray) and his family who are also running away from the destruction. Feeling responsible for all the animals’ survival, Mr. Fox hatches a plan to rescue Kristofferson (Eric Chase Anderson) and defeat the humans, with the aid of the other families.

Essentially it’s a story about close family ties, but Fantastic Mr. Fox also lightly touches on letting the natural state of ecology stay as is. Like I said, it’s a win-win family movie. It’s mostly funny, but it’s a lot funnier if quirky is your kind. After all, Anderson was also responsible for Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Sometimes it feels like it paces too fast, or maybe I just want to linger on the adorable miniatures and wonder how much fun the makers had shooting the film. The music is just as fun as the quirky adventure. Makes me want to get my kiddie meal toys and shoot a video with them.
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Announcement: Additional actors wanted for an independent co-production. Chinese actors, male, 20s preferably Cantonese-speaking. Spanish-speaking actor, 30s. Email resume, details to vives@arkeofilms.com.

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