Fantastic Mr. Fox

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
This quaint little style appeals to me, sometimes. What can I say, I’m a sucker for yellow, foxes, and sock masks. Would I have it as a poster? Hmmm, let me look at it again…..(takes sip of hot tea) … Yes. The menu is just ordinary and does its duty with the whole navigation thing.

Features: 8/10

  • Making Mr. Fox Fantastic – I think we can all put together in our little minds how a stop frame animation movie is made, but there is something deliciously creative about grown ups playing with very expensive, very lovely dolls.
  • A Beginners Guide To Whack Bat – It’s nonsensical but oh-so clever that crazy game of Whack Bat. This is a guide to everything you’ll need to know before you build it and hope they come, but they won’t. It’s the game the kids play in the movie, but I don’t imagine they will be bringing this one into real life any time soon.
  • The World Of Roald Dahl – An interview with Dahl’s widow clues us into the process that Wes Anderson delved into to write the screenplay. He want so far as to move into the home where Dahl lived when he wrote his most famous books.
  • DVD Version Of The Movie – It’s a DVD, glorious.
  • Digital Copy – It’s a digital copy, fabulous.

The Movie: 8/10
Guess what…I love it. The Fantastic Mr. Fox is a pleasure. It’s enchanted, just a little bit. Yes, enchanted, I said it. I feel the urge be sweet and loopy about this one, so get used to it.

You can look up the original book and author to get some background on the story. I’ve never read it, so I can’t talk about it from that angle. I will proceed from the point of view of a wide eyed middle aged kid.

With Wes Anderson’s magic wand full of quaintness it’s hard for me to understand why I love his style so much. I would normally poo poo quaint, or sweet, or charming, but that just goes to show ya that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, or something like that. Don’t be deceived by the stop frame animation if it’s not your scene. I was so transfixed from the very first minute I got lost in that little world, never mind that it’s all tiny little sets and pose-able dolls.

I’m not a fan of George Clooney. He does a fine job of voicing the Fantastic Mr. Fox, with that kind of smarmy self important tone. That could just be my interpretation, but I bet if you listen closely you’ll hear it too.  Meryl Streep’s voice wouldn’t seem very distinctive, but it’s cool to hear someone behind an animated character who doesn’t throw their vocal chords around willy-nilly.

Everyone else is good too, there’s just a lot of them and after a while I lost track of who was who. It’s the characters and the nice message that make the movie so much fun, and so satisfying. There are heists and family drama and marriage jokes and a sock mask. I mean, with all that, you can’t go wrong.

A family man, Mr. Fox wants to have a better life for his wife and son. He’s kind of a, well, fox so he’s too clever and daring for his own good most of the time. He likes to steal chickens, and goodies from the neighboring farms. His risks get him and his brood into a scuffle. The underlying theme is love, awe, ain’t that cozy. Mrs. Fox loves Mr. Fox and she thinks  he’s fantastic and that’s really what matters.

I am thinking about it, I want to watch it again, and that doesn’t happen very often for me. The colors, the sets, the way the animation moves with a certain flair, it all does that thing to my brain where I am taken away into a world that’s not my own. THAT is what I love about movies. Thanks Wes.

Audio & Video: 9/10
I didn’t know what to expect with the image and audio quality of Fantastic Mr. Fox, but I was really surprised how detailed it looked. If you have the means (as Ferris would say) you really should see this movie in HD as the level of detail director Wes Anderson uses in each and every shot is mind blowing. From the fur on Mr. Fox’s head to the tiny “Bandit Mask’s” they wear, everything feels like it was taken from an old antique store and put lovingly onto the screen for you to enjoy.

Audio was fairly impressive but it’s not a “Showy” surround track like last weeks Sherlock Holmes. Audio levels are spot on throughout though with the dialog the characters deliver sounding crisp and clear. There are occasions where surround kicks in but it’s mostly a front loaded track which seems to fit with the style. Overall I had a ton of fun with this movie. I am a big Wes Anderson fan anyway and this is just an extension of his movie cannon, I actually feel this could be his best film yet but I will let you know that for sure after a couple more viewings 🙂

Value: 7/10
Charming and sweet are worth a few buckaroos now and then. So, what the hey. I recommend having this one on your shelf for an afternoon delight every once in awhile. You’ll be throwing about 20 shells at this beauty of a flick, so save up kiddies.

Overall Score 8/10