Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Roald Dahl has left a long legacy in children’s literature. Many of his works have been turned into movies, including: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory/Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, The Witches, plus James And The Giant Peach. Revered director Wes Anderson went an extra step further for making this film the first fully-animated adaptation of one of Dahl’s books.

Set in the British countryside(even though most of the cast has American accents!), Mr. Fox has to give up his life of stealing from farmers to start up a family with Mrs. Fox. A few fox years into it, their son Ash is going through his akward teenage phase while resenting having his cousin Kristofferson moving in on his territory at school. Mr. Fox decides though to move his family into a new place, while at the same time planning heists on the three local major farms with his new landlord possum, Kylie. After somewhat successfully strealing from them, the ex-Nazi owner of the cider ranch that Fox stole from plans to go WWII on his ass by attacking his new home. After he and the other two farmers run them out, the Fox family heads for the sewers along with the rest of most of the forest critters. The animals then dig under the farms and totally wipe out their stock. The farmers retaliate by flooding them out into the sewers, and eventually capture Kristofferson thinking that he’s Ash. Fox then leads a rescue mission to get Kristofferson back with Ash and Kylie. The Fox family then make a new home underneath a supermarket which happens to be owned by all the farmers.

This movie mixed stop-motion animation with computer effects pretty well, especially since it was done by Henry Selick, whose wizardry includes his own movie Coraline, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Selick also worked on the animation for Anderson’s The Life Aquatic. I was very suprised with the detail given to the animals’ fur and expressions. There are times when the characters seem slightly out of place, like the 4ft. rat that worked for the farmers. Plus, they never explain why the regular forest animals wear clothes and can talk, while the other animals like bloodhounds and wolves are just regular animals. I was suprised though at how much good criticism this film got, especially from critics who aren’t normally fans of animation. I thought it was in all a good movie overall, although not as funny as it could have been at times. Despite its charm, its not totally a movie for the entire family, but is truly one for the ages, and I have to say I’m impressed with its look at old fashion style for a modern day production.

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