Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox ★★★★★

That was a good toast.

Perfect movie, almost overwhelmingly perfect. Been wanting to rewatch this for a good while, finally pulled the trigger with it because now we're really into Fall, and in anticipation for The French Dispatch. Wes is a wonderful guy who is a dapper fellow with good taste and a lot of talent, and I think this is still his best movie, and probably one of the best films made in the 21st century, animated or otherwise. Seeing this in 2009 in theaters, around the same time that I saw Mary and Max in theaters at the Chicago International Film Festival, this is around the era where I really started looking at movies not just as entertainment but something that could like, you know, mean something? They are not here just to distract or teleport us from the woes of life, there is actual craft and artistry and stuff like that which goes into what we call "cinema." I adore the style of this film, how well Wes managed to translate his distinctions into an animated medium while the film, even now with Wes having another stop motion film under his belt, still feels so unique. I love how ugly some things look sometimes, how jerky certain movements are, how the fur on every character moves no matter what, it's lovable and admirable all the way through. I also had forgotten how short this movie is while still fitting in so much. There is zero downtime, this is a jet propulsion movie where you are just launched from scene to scene and moment to moment, and it all works because the utmost care is being put into these animal people. The humor is all perfect, "cuss" is one of the best gags ever invented for a kid's movie, the eyes are all so expressive and offer their own gags, and I love how there is the sporadic joke that reminds you that these are animals as much as they are trying to emulate human experiences. (The gag early on where Fox has utensils set up for his breakfast and then when it arrives, he just tears it apart rabidly will never not be hilarious.) I implore anyone that has said something along the lines of "Wes Anderson's movies look great but have no emotion." rewatch this movie, or at least watch me when I am watching the wolf scene in this. It made me cry this time around, which really didn't surprise me. It's perfect, again this movie is, I want to label it as "overwhelmingly perfect." I have seen this so many times but it still astounds me how many gears are turning in this movie and how it all goes and comes together so well. Alexandre Desplat's score in that specific moment transports me to somewhere beyond, and in general, his music here is probably the best score of an incredible composer. It moves me so much because I love how this movie goes about looking into having a strong family, embracing your inner animal, and maybe being a little snarky along the way. Every actor is used so well, every set is the coolest thing you've seen, Willem Dafoe is a rat with a southern accent, and Kylie is one of the most lovable little guys I've ever seen. Would one day want to even attempt to try to analyze this movie in the way I think it deserves, but for now, this block of text can be evidence enough to how much this movie has meant to me since I was a kid, and how still overly ecstatic it made me watching it again today. Wild animal.


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