Sunday, November 29, 2009
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Alex and I caught a showing of The Fantastic Mr. Fox last night. It's a Wes Anderson film, and I honestly has not heard about it or seen any previews of it anywhere. It stars George Clooney as Mr. Fox and Meryl Streep as Felicity Fox, Jason Schwartzmann as their son, Ash and several other big names (Willem Defoe as a bad rat, etc). I must say, the cast list is impressive. Plus, it's stop motion animation, which I have loved ever since the debut of the California Raisins. I might have been a little old to have read this book as a kid - I don't really recall. The story follows Mr. Fox and his family. A former chicken stealer, Mr. Fox settled down with his wife, Felicity, to have a family (his son, Ash) and decided to give up chicken stealing (it's dangerous, you know!). Upon moving the family from a burrow to a tree, Mr. Fox is tempted one again to steal farmed fowl from the nearby farms owned by some nasty farmers. He successfully breaks into the farms, steals various fowl and food and humiliates the farmers, who vow to get him back. The story is a little bizarre (the original was written by Roald Dahl, which might explain it) and I was constantly looking for "other meanings" in the story (and I am not so sure this movie has underlying meanings or themes). I was incredibly pleased by the animation, the characters, and the plotline. Mr. Fox indeed is fantastic, and I cannot think of anyone better to play him than Clooney. The supporting characters are brilliant, and everything turns out OK in the end. Plus, there are little snippets like, "Everyone knows that Beagles love blueberries!" which just kinda make you giggle. I was surprised to see a theatre full of people watching this movie on a Saturday night, but it was super entertaining and a great example of stop motion cinematography (although perhaps not as great as Wallace and Grommet, which I think is the best!).