Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox ★★★★

Mrs. Fox: [To Ash] "We're all different."
[Indicates Mr. Fox]
Mrs. Fox: "Especially him. But there's something kind of fantastic about that, isn't there?"

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a whimsical family comedy about an urban fox learning to put his family before his pride. It's my first encounter with Wes Anderson's peculiar style and one of the few stop motion movies I adore. The dry wit dialogue is the most apparent, but also his visual composition. Sometimes these animals deliver lines in the most hilariously mundane ways, while other times we find them gazing into the camera. It's all part of the charm, and I became acquainted with it quickly.

I found most surprising the subtle weaving of character and themes amongst the conflict and comedy. By doing this, the film never talks down to its audience, which allows them to use words kids might not understand. "Cussing", "trademark" are some of my favourites. It all makes me laugh but still carries darker undertones.

The film is very unconventional for a children's movie. If I were to read into this too much, I could say Mr. Fox is battling addiction. He's the one who puts everyone's lives in danger because he couldn't hold it in any longer. And I could even go as far to say Mr. Fox is also the antagonist in his own story. This choice is odd for a children's film, but it enhances its believability. There's even death, which children's flicks often abandoned because of its sensitivity. But this film doesn't shy away from it and presents it in the most earnest way possible.

Mr. Fox: "Redemption? Sure. But in the end, he's just another dead rat in a garbage pail behind a Chinese restaurant."

Now I'd like to turn your attention to the visuals. The stop motion animation is full of creative uses of soap, cotton wool and many other everyday objects. The colour palette is warm with bright oranges and yellows, and it seeps into the environment. There are also these impressively long tracking shots that follow our furry characters as they rush through detailed and lively locations. And keep in mind they painted, animated and handcrafted everything. I have experience with this tedious work, so let me tell you how impressed I am with the final product.

I watched a fantastic little film called Fantastic Mr. Fox. Its dialogue was deadpan, which is fine because it's hilarious. The visuals show the world as a dollhouse, but it allows it to feel alive and dynamic. It's unconventional with its narrative, but it works because it's hidden underneath the humour. And the visuals are awe-inspiring with its detailed animation and a bright colour scheme. Do I recommend it? Cuss, yeah! It's cussing brilliant! I'm excited to experience more of Anderson's filmography.

Ash: "You're supposed to be *my* lab partner."
Agnes: "I am!"
Ash: "No, you're not. You're disloyal."

SCORE: 8/10

Block or Report

Clobby liked these reviews