The Fantastic Mr. Fox

An epic tale that'll capture the imagination

Wes Anderson brings Roald Dahl's classic book, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox", to the big screen. Before seeing this film, I already had high hopes for it since it was directed by Wes Anderson, whom has directed such movies as "Life Aquatic", "Royal Tenenbaums", and "Rushmore." However, this film not only met my expectations, but it exceeded it.  Wes Anderson's movie was intriguing from beginning to end with it's colorful use of metaphors and delightful characters, it was also one of the funniest animated films of the year.

Featuring the voices of Bill Murray (Badger), Owen Wilson (Coach Skip), Meryl Streep (Mrs. Fox), George Clooney (Mr. Fox), Jason Schwartzman (Ash), Willem Dafoe (Rat), Eric Anderson (Kristofferson), Wes Anderson (Weasel), and many others. Each actor portrays their character with a strong sense of conviction.  George Clooney was simply hilarious in this film, as I found myself unable to stop laughing at his quick wit.  Or the scene when Mr. Fox took on the Rat, was a pretty incredible scene to behold, as it not only managed to be funny, but it also allowed for deep sense of tension to build up in that scene.  Plus, the farmers, in this movie, was too funny to watch as it was almost reminiscent of the old "Looney Tunes Show", that I used to watch as a kid.  Using a series of comedic and sometimes slapstick comedy to out wit the antagonist.  However, unlike the old "Looney Tunes Show", where the jokes would tend to repeat themselves.  "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" manages to keep it fresh and original in each scene, to where the audience is constantly kept on the edge of their seats. 

The story follows Mr. Fox, as he decides to give up his career in stealing chickens from would be farmers; when he learns that his wife, Mrs. Fox, is pregnant. Forced to live a simple life; writing for a local animal newspaper, Mr. Fox yearns to relive his glory days. Feeling isolated in his new married life, Mr. Fox decides to move his family out into an old oak tree; a few miles away from three of the wealthiest and meanest farmers, in the land. Tempted to steal again, Mr. Fox starts to launch a series of schemes to rob them of their food. However, once the farmers learn of Mr. Fox's whereabouts, they decide to hunt him and his family down until the death. This of course causes severe tension within Mr. Fox's family, as Mrs. Fox feels betrayed as she finds out he broke his promise they made so many years ago. Agreeing to never to go back to stealing chickens or food again from farmers.  Of course, this even causes tension among some of the other animals, as the farmers tear apart their homes, to find Mr. Fox.  To make matters even more worse, Mr. Fox ends up alienating himself from his own son, Ash, whom like all other kids has trouble fitting in and trying to live up to his father's legacy.  Plus, the fact that Kristofferson, Ash's cousin, whom happens to be a natural athlete; doesn't help matters either, when he moves in with them. 

Needless, to say like Pixar's "Incredibles", "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" uses a series of colorful metaphors for each of the characters.  Mr. Fox, is a representation of the typical protagonist, whom yearns to often relive his glory days, and you have Mrs. Fox, whom is the motherly type that merely wants her family to be together.  Then you have Ash, whom represents the typical teenager, that's out of touch with his parents, and struggling the fit in school.  This allows for the viewer to feel a sense of empathy for the characters, as it helps make them feel more relatable.   

The animation for this film was rather unique, and  it offered a lot of great and colorful visuals that would enthrall any viewer.  The character designs and facial expression of each of the characters was very well detailed, as to be expected.

Then lastly, we get to Wes Anderson, whom does a great job adding just the right amount of tone to the movie.  Having the film come off sad, funny, and sometimes even slapstick as it constantly keeps the viewer entertained in the movie.

Indeed, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" is the best animated, I've seen all year.  Adding just the right mix of comedy, drama, and suspense, that will make anyone come to love this film.  Featuring an all star cast and solid performances, this film fails to disappoint.  Overall, I would definitely recommend this film to anyone that loves animated movies.

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