Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox ★★★★★

While The Royal Tenenbaums is my favorite Wes Anderson film by a mile, I could watch Fantastic Mr. Fox every morning, afternoon, and night and love it the same each time. It's delightfully intricate and whimsical, adorned with all the adolescent quirks that make his films great. The stop-motion animation world fits Anderson's personality perfectly, allowing him to fully embrace his deadpan humor and complex visual style, while allowing him to explore the complexity and beauty of familial relationships at the same time. It's a film about coming to grips with your own limitations and abilities, and to not hold yourself to the standards of others. Additionally, the film is somewhat a mid-life crisis for Mr. Fox, who was never quite able to fulfill his desire to be a true wild animal due to his wife and children. As the narrative progresses and tensions elevate, a truly beautiful scene in which Fox acknowledges a wolf highlights this idea in such a way you rarely see in film. This is without a doubt one of my favorite films of all time. Much like Mad Max Fury Road and It's Such A Beautiful Day, it's a film defined by a vision from a masterful director, uninfluenced by studio regulations and earnings projections. It's so entirely unique I will never stop loving it.

I watched this with my family tonight. To my disappointment, none of them enjoyed it beyond "That was cute". I thought about it for a while, and I think I know why. Anderson finds beauty and truth in unconventional ways, residing in the odd, mismatched, and idiosyncratic to find those things. His films are touching, but his characters easily can be found annoying, and their resolutions sometimes not entirely satisfying. I think part of the beauty of Fantastic Mr. Fox is it's divisiveness. Some will embrace the film and all it's quirks with a strange intensity, some will reject it. This makes the film feel like it was made just for me, and sometimes thats better than the contrary.

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