After covering the Grand Budapest Hotel recently, we hit a few more of Wes Anderson’s films since he has Isle of Dogs out in cinemas. Fantastic Mr. Fox hit the shelves in 2009, which is almost a decade ago (by ‘eck!). It’s an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book from 1970 and this one has quite the all-star cast.
From a technical standpoint, the film is just spectacular to behold. The stop motion animation is stunning and you’re in for a real treat with that alone. Away from its looks, the plot is a typical Anderson affair with lots of clever one-liners, sharp dialogue, clever asides, and lots of subtle humour. It’s quite the joy to behold and will cheer you up a heaping lot.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Plot time! The story concerns Mr. Fox (George Clooney) who changes his job to become a newspaper columnist to support his family. He’s got bigger dreams, however, and after moving home near to several farms, he takes back to his previous history of thieving, enlists some help, and begins winding up three local, wealthy farmers.
It’s a standard equilibrium shattered, equilibrium restored story, but it does it with such a sense of charm you can’t help but love the thing. Plus, the talents of genius actress Meryl Streep are at work here as Mr. Fox’s wife Felicity. Other big name actors include Bill Murray as a badger, Willem Dafeo as a rat, Wes Anderson himself as a weasel, Pulp’s singer Jarvis Cocker, and Michael Gambon as one of the farmers.
The liberal sprinkling of humour throughout can’t be ignored, but it’s the charm offensive that’ll win you over. Small little touches which come out of nowhere and get you absorbed into the world. Anderson is famous for his extremely particular approach to film-making, and even in animation it’s more than evident; crammed full of nifty little touches.
There are poignant moments too, of course, which can suddenly arrive after you’ve reached the peak of an uplifting plateau of romp-along-fun. Take this scene with a wolf, who Mr. Fox holds with great regard – what this says to the world is you should respect your wolves, yeah? They’re important animals.
Ultimately, we don’t want to bang on too much about this as Fantastic Mr. Fox is simply a film to delve on into and enjoy. We could rant on in a 10,000 word deconstruction, but it doesn’t need it. It’s a charming, uplifting, and highly enjoyable stop animation film which is technically stunning, but also has that classical Dahl plot to back it up. Gerrit watched.
Isle of Dogs
Out now in cinemas is also Anderson’s first film since the Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Almost a decade on from Fantastic Mr. Fox, he’s done another animation thing and it’s been getting some excellent reviews! Isle of Dogs is about a society where dogs have been banished to an island, but one plucky SOB just won’t let that stand. If that’s not tempting enough, check out that trailer and head to your nearest cinema to support excellent films.