Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox ★★★★★

A film that always feels nostalgic, it doesn't matter how old you were when you first saw it, whenever you watch it again you're reminded of a vague feeling of your youth, and a feeling that, for as much as the world has changed, as much as you've changed, deep down, you're grateful for the people you have, and the life you've lived, for as much as you might want to be some amazing figure everyone envies, the metaphorical king of the world, to die rich, to feel like you're successful, like you're young again, but, you can never be that. You will never be completely successful, you will never be as rich as you wanted to be, and you will never be young again. But that doesn't mean that your life and the people in it aren't any less important, and even as you get older, you will always have them: so appreciate them, because that's what makes you rich.

At least I think that's what makes this film beautiful, at least on an emotional and thematic level. I dunno, maybe I'm spitballing absolute horsecuss here, I tend to interpret it differently every time, but in the end, what I'm trying to say is that this film's profound and beautiful and I love it.

Now, it's visual beauty, that comes entirely from the absolutely amazing drop-dead-gorgeous stop motion, which, with all the motion in the backgrounds to emulate the moving sky (most notably in the beginning of the film), I'm reminded that it was someone's job to do that! Frame-by-frame, someone had to move the sky, they had to move the lighting rigs frame by frame in that waterfall scene to craft the illusion of constantly moving light that live-action productions wouldn't have to think about, hell, even CG animated movies don't have to worry that much anymore, as there's incredibly detailed algorithms that can replicate any sort of lighting the filmmakers want! (Isn't that amazing!) Someone drew those wonderful watercolour paintings! Someone had to make the Mrs Fox puppet able to paint those X's on it, someone, frame, by frame, had to move these puppets around in a tank of yellow liquid, probably using hundreds of different ones in the process, to replicate the act of them floating around! Those beautiful zooms? with a couple exceptions (like the close-up of the hole), they would have had to be done one photo at a time with the motions of the characters still being done! If you put a single second of thought into how natural and effortless this movie feels, as if it was fully formed, it seems impossible that this was a movie that was made, and not just jumped straight from Wes' head to the screen.

The voice acting's phenomenal! The script's quick, witty and meaningful, as sincere as it's dry and snarky, it's a perfect balance only Anderson at his very best can do, that place inbetween darkness and wonderous whimsy that makes him either beloved or insufferable, depends on who you ask. Me? Eh, it depends. Wes Anderson's like chocolate, I like a bit now and then, but I couldn't consume a whole buffet of it in one sitting (that's why I space out my watching of his films, it makes them more special to go back to.) But with how quick this runs, you never get annoyed by the quirkiness (not that I ever do!), instead you're in constant awe of the beauty, the work put into it, and the just...wonder of it.

What a cussing film!

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