03 December 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

The eponymous Mr. Fox does this little whistle and mouth click thing whenever he does something particularly clever. He calls it his trademark. Used sparingly, it's catchy and super fun. I might be adopting his trademark until I can find my own.

I'm not sure if this has been marketed primarily as a kids movie but it's anything but. The humor is sly, the dialogue is witty, and the stop motion animation is very pleasing. Making the foxes slim and slender was really weird at first but then I understood as that skinniness made them seem more lithe and graceful on-screen. And it's hard not to be amused by badgers, moles, and opossums stuffed in business suits and other human outfits. As always, anthropomorphism is awesome!

The pace of the movie is quick, the voice acting is superb, and Wes Anderson was clearly the perfect director to do this movie. The only thing missing for me was my desire to see more detail about some of Mr. Fox's capers. But that might have just been my expectation creep. I'd read somewhere that this was like a heist movie but it's really not. Overall, the Fantastic Mr. Fox was very enjoyable and well worth watching, especially for Wes Anderson fans. Now to find my trademark...

Throughout the movie, a few of the characters and lines of dialogue reminded me of "The Squid and the Whale" and it all made sense after I saw that Noah Baumbach was a co-writer. I didn't realize Baumbach also co-wrote The Life Aquatic (which I loved) and now I'll know to just look for his writing credit and line up to watch the movie.

For a large portion of making Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson was in Paris while his crew was in London. Which is kind of crazy if you think about it. For a film that needs to have every little detail created and fussed over, to not even be in the same country seems extremely difficult. Anderson did send videos of himself acting out many of the scenes, which you can get a glimpse of here. Also, a short behind the scenes featurette hosted by Jason Schwartzman is neat.