Finally got around to seeing Fantastic Mr. Fox. This is the stop-action movie adaptation of the popular book by Roald Dahl.
It’s impossible to see the movie and not compare it with the more famous Wallace and Gromit as it shares the same style, look, and feel. I should also mention that, try as I have, I’m just not a fan of the latter. The humor just mainly falls flat with me. Add to this that I’d never heard of Mr. Dahl (much to my younger friends surprise) and I’ve had wildly mixed results with Wes Anderson who directs. Anderson films are notoriously quirky and pretty much dictate a strong response one way or the other.
The story focuses on Mr. Fox and his evolution from daring, risk-taking fox to responsible but endlessly bored family man. The longer it goes on the more his wild instincts call out to him to break free and sate the desires of youth and freedom—even if it means risking every relationship he has.
Like most Anderson movies this one is presented with dark overtones and subdued, intellectual humor delivered with almost dead-pan, matter-of-fact delivery. If dark comedies aren’t your thing then avoid this at all costs.
The voices are provided by top talent including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and more. Of course they do a great job and you forget all about who’s voicing who pretty quickly.
Children and adults alike will find this engrossing and yet for entirely different reasons. Much of the overtones will be lost on the kids but none of that matters. The basic elements are here for them to enjoy while the adults will get a different, and yet equally entertaining experience. It’s in the bigger lessons that mutual understanding between the generations will shine. All will understand the values risked, earned and coveted.
The story itself is also pretty odd-ball and yet it all works. The charm of the film manages to work its magic sneaking stealthily into your realm of interest before you know it. It’s one of those movies you really need to see to understand. There are good moments. There are less good moments. There are some slow moments but in the end you walk away entertained and glad you made the trek.