One less helper’s review published on Letterboxd:
“We are poor, but we are happy”
Got to start the new month right with an fall seasonal classic and far in a way my favorite film in Wes Anderson’s filmography (and it’s saying a lot, considering how much I enjoyed pretty every one of his films thus far), Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Having a director going from one different form of film to another is not relatively new concept. Many filmmakers have done this before. But with Wes Anderson taking the leap to stop motion animation after the critical disappointments of The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic (before they rightly got the recognition they deserve) was such a genius move that helped his career tremendously and continues to be like that streak today.
So many of his hallmark traits are alive and well with this picture. The quirky like filmmaking, the sharp writing, the unique symmetrical visual style, the fluent editing, all that jazz. But with Fantastic Mr Fox, it utilized his visual style to the max but with the more added advantage of the stop motion animation to make the film as dynamic and unique as his other works while being enough to make its own thing. From the character designs, the settings, the energy within the animation and movements, the color choices, and how everything has so much life and personality (even the tiny details) gives the film more the unique edge that puts it above his other films (before and after).
But as usual with Wes’s films, he finds way to not have the style overshadow the substance at hand, and Fantastic Mr Fox is no exception. Taking the cues of the book by Roald Dahl, the substance in the film is very rich, compelling, and riveting. Having it’s simple and entertaining plot be filled with complex characters and themes that are giving weigh and depth behind it all and thus making every humorous and emotional moment feel as genuine and earned as they can be without coming off as manipulative or bland. On top having great voice acting from each member of the cast that fits into their respective character’s personality, a fantastic score from Alexandre Desplat, and a great exploration of family dynamics, external angst, the flaw nature within one self, and the desire to be better are a part of what making this film had that special factor to it all.
I could say more, but that’s all I got to say for now. So I will leave with this. Fantastic Mr. Fox is absolutely fantastic (no pun intended) and easily the best work from Wes Anderson. Taking his unique and iconic approach of storytelling and filmmaking and pushed it to the max in ways he hasn’t touched before and uses the medium of animation to the full extent, while also providing so much in terms of story, characters, and themes that makes it a worthwhile experience for all ages to watch and enjoy. It’s creative, unique, funny, and heartfelt, it’s everything you want in a film and more.
If you haven’t seen this film (or not in awhile), then I say give this a must watch especially during this time of the year. It’s truly something special that you don’t want to miss out on.
Also hot take, this film should have won Best Animated Feature over Up (still a good movie btw), and I will take no take backs.