Will Steele’s review published on Letterboxd:
“There's a lot of attitudes going on around here... don't let me get one.”
So obsequious are the novels of Roald Dahl that we often forget to interrogate the texts. Initially Fantastic Mr Fox presents a story of addiction, not drug or alcohol addiction, but addiction to a vocation. Fantastic Mr Fox explores what it means to live fully and to pursue the things you love despite the repercussions.
Yet this eloquent analogy is swiftly traded in for a child-friendly caper. I can’t fault a family film for defaulting to lighter grounds but I can’t help but mourn the loss of the film that could’ve been. My favourite Wes Anderson works have something soulful to say. I can’t help but think the morale which Wes maps onto this Roald Dahl story gets muddled and lost along the way. It leaves me feeling just a tad empty.
As excruciating as it may be to admit but I cannot find true love within Wes Anderson’s animations. I’ve never been able to latch onto them or rather sink my teeth into them, as Mr Fox would prefer. It’s not that they fail to visually and audibly stimulate; rather that they fail to emotionally resonate.
Perhaps the casting of Streep and Clooney only further prevents any immersion as they are too iconic to embody their characters. Perhaps it’s that the craft is so unfathomably intricate that I can more fully soak it in with Wes’ live features. Perhaps I just need to listen to my heart, which beats loudest for Wes’s other work.