Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox ★★★★½

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a very fun movie. One that had me with a big smile on my face throughout the film’s entire duration, as I took in the wonderful dry humor and the stunning stop motion animation. It is technically a “kids movie”, but its wit and top-notch direction gives it the capability to not only appeal to all ages, but allows for adults to get more out of it than younger audiences.

Auteur director Wes Anderson’s quirky, colorful, and lively film adaptation of Road Dahl’s 1970 novel, Fantastic Mr. Fox, is an interesting spin on the classic heist story. Mr. Fox, a former bird thief who quit to start a family, goes on one last round of heists years later on his human neighbors, Boggis, Bunce, and Bean, “the three meanest, nastiest, and ugliest farmers”, as they are referred to as in the film. When the farmers fight back, chaos ensues and to call it entertaining is an understatement. It is a blast to watch.

The cast Anderson assembled is wonderful, and the voice acting is perfect. No one could have played the witty and sly Mr. Fox better than George Clooney, or Meryl Streep as Mr Fox’s responsible and concerned wife Felicity. You can’t forget Mr. Fox’s moody, identity-crisis-riddled pre-teen son Ash, played to perfection by Jason Schwartzman, who makes every moment that Ash is on the screen priceless.

However the great acting doesn’t stop at the central characters. The side characters play a big part in what makes Fantastic Mr. Fox so great. Whether it’s Mr Fox‘s lawyer Clive Badger, played by Wes Anderson regular Bill Murray, Rat, played by Willem Dafoe, or Coach Skip, played by Owen Wilson. 

Despite being a family comedy, Fantastic Mr. Fox doesn’t shy away from having serious, heavy, and powerful moments. It seamlessly flows from funny and light to meaningful and profound, made possible by great voice acting, and great writing from Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. 

Another crucial component in what makes Fantastic Mr. Fox as memorable as it is, is the bright, feel-good, picture-book-esque soundtrack, composed by Alexandre Desplat. It fits the film like a glove and matches the beautiful and intricate animation.

Fantastic Mr. Fox oozes with character. It’s one of those movies where everyone involved cares dearly about the final product. From the actors, to the director, to the animators, to the composer, everyone else is giving it their all and the result is a truly special movie that’s for the ages. Bravo

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