Fantastic Mr. Fox(2009)

Admittedly, Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors. When I heard he was making an animated film named “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”, I was a little skeptical. His first animated feature, and how would it retain the style he applies to every one of his other movies? Very well, actually. George Clooney voices Mr. Fox, with many of Anderson’s friends from older films, such as Angelica Huston, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman as animals mostly underground.The story of course follows Mr. Fox, who at an early point in his life was a bandit. He lived an exciting life, sneaking through farms and stealing/eating squabs whenever he wanted. This was up until he tried a job with his wife Felicity(Meryl Streep), and the two were captured. She has him promise that day that he would abandon this life for the sake of the child they were about to have. He does, and he starts a new life as writer for the advice column in the local newspaper. This makes him successful enough to buy a new, bigger tree on a nice piece of land. His lawyer, however, warns him not to buy the land as it’s near three of the meanest farmers who ever lived(Boggis, Bunts, and Bean). Fox ignores the advice, and upon moving in, decides to return to his bandit lifestyle with one big job: stealing from the factories and farms of all three farmers.The film is very charming in it’s hand-made look and feel. The animation in the trailer looked choppy and out-of-date, but in the film it’s displayed very smoothly. The entire movie is given this hand-made feel that suits Anderson’s style insanely well. It looks completely different from any animated film I’ve ever seen. It’s all stop-action, utilizing hairs and real fabrics as opposed to the usual clay look seen in most stop-action animations. All the little details make a big difference, from the streams and waterfalls, to the electric zaps, to the smoke. There’s a lot of effort that went into making this film really special. Even the voices are recorded outside a sound stage, and rather in similar environments to the one in the film. If the scene takes place in a barn, it’s recorded in a barn, if it takes place in a cellar, that’s where the voices are taken. Wes Anderson even went as far as acting out every part in the film himself, so that the animators knew exactly what to do with each scene. The camera pans and zooms similar to his other films are present here, and they add to making the film look unique.Each and every actor does a great job with their role. Jason Schwartzman takes what could have easily been a very annoying character, and makes him really funny and enjoyable. George Clooney really hones Mr. Fox and makes him shine: he’s funny, and smart, and entirely full of himself, but incredibly likable. The music is all very fun, or fitting. A lot of it is folk-ish, adding to the entire film’s “nature” feel, but still has tracks like “Street Fighting Man” by the Stones for good measure. A unique soundtrack is another trademark of Anderson, and he certainly doesn’t skimp out here.Fantastic Mr. Fox is an incredible film that people of all ages will love. Everything is made with plenty of care, from the animation, to the cinematography, to the voice acting, to the soundtrack. Anderson and his team of animators as well as his cast of actors do an amazing job. And I’m sure parents will appreciate that anything verbal that’s remotely vulgar, the movie censors itself from speaking in a very funny and unique way.

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