Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox ★★★★★

Mr. Fox: That was pure wild animal craziness.

Ignore my idiocy three years ago when I called this a solid three star film, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox is a five star film on every level. Five star story. Five star direction. Five star performances, especially from a five star George Clooney. Five star stop-motion animation. Five star cinematography. Five star colour palette. Five star production design. Five star writing. Five star symmetrical shots. Five star slides back and forth with a five star slickness. Five star cussing. Five star moralising. Five star silliness. Five star heisting. Five star heroics. Five star villainy. A five star, five star film to be sure.

Fantastic Mr Fox is a gorgeously animated, warmly, autumn ally dressed, handsomely mounted and daringly conceived and executed work of brilliance from Mr Anderson. Bursting at the seams with dialogic and camera-led divergences that subvert expectations in a way evocative of but not derivative of Roald Dahl’s own cantankerous approach to storytelling, Fantastic Mr Fox takes the quintessential “father as protector” narrative and imbues it with moral grey areas, Ocean’s style hijinks, and a deceptively deep exploration of the primal nature of all animals, be they human, fox, or rat in a sewer. Never too serious to have fun, never too silly not to be taken seriously, Anderson’s first foray into stop-motion is a clear work of passion for the oddball auteur. In the meticulousness necessitated by the form, Anderson has found a perfect medium through which to satiate his own need for precision and perfection aesthetically in all he does. Our great privilege is to guzzle on the fruits of this no doubt arduous labour and revel in the superlative synchronicity of the images, sounds, and character as well as story beats that lay before us.

I’ve watched three Roald Dahl adaptations today, three perfect exemplars of the page-to-screen transition;

Matilda, and Wonka, and Fox, one magic, one mad, one pops. These brilliant pics, all such different flicks, all most assuredly rock!

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