Wes Anderson fans have no reason to fear. Just because their beloved auteur has ventured out of live-action movies does not mean he’s lost his hipster touch, which is excellently demonstrated by his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Choosing to animate the film using stop motion (à la The Nightmare Before Christmas) in a world that loves CGI was a risky venture but one befitting of Dahl’s tale. The film, gorgeously designed and featuring total attention to detail, is a loving tribute to a classic children’s story, one that will delight both children and adults who grew up loving Dahl.
The voice actors are a group featuring everyone from Oscar winners to Anderson staples. One can almost see George Clooney’s face while listening to Mr. Fox, a former bird thief who comes out of retirement for one last heist. Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Brian Cox, Adrien Brody and Anderson favorite Jason Schwartzman round out the cast; it’s a verifiable roster of A-list talent. Even Jarvis Cocker lends his voice to the character of a troubadour human.
There is nothing particularly jarring about this adaptation, save for the question of why the animals and humans are literally from different continents. Fantastic Mr. Fox is short (a tidy 87 minutes), sweet and nostalgic. To paraphrase Streep’s Mrs. Fox, everything about this film is crazy, yet it’s all the more fantastic because of it.
Rating: 3.5/4 stars
Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman
Directed By: Wes Anderson
MPAA Rating: PG