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Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fantasticosrfox0905.jpg
"His life is fantastic... his wife is fantastic... his neighbors, not so fantastic."
Genre: Animation
Comedy
Directed By: Wes Anderson
Produced By: Allison Abbate
Scott Rudin
Wes Anderson
Jeremy Dawson
Written By: Wes Anderson
Noah Baumbach
Based On: Fantastic Mr. Fox
by Roald Dahl
Starring: George Clooney
Meryl Streep
Jason Schwartzman
Bill Murray
Willem Dafoe
Owen Wilson
Cinematography: Tristan Oliver
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 14, 2009 (London Film Festival)
November 13, 2009 (United States)
Runtime: 88 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $40 million
Box Office: $46.5 million
Prequel: The Darjeeling Limited
Sequel: Moonrise Kingdom


Fantastic Mr. Fox is a 2009 American stop-motion animated comedy film directed, and produced by Wes Anderson. who co-wrote the screenplay with Noah Baumbach. The project is based on the 1970 children's novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, and Owen Wilson star. It is the first animated film directed by Wes Anderson. The film had its world premiere as the opening film of the 53rd edition of the London Film Festival on October 14, 2009. It was released in the United States on November 13, 2009.

Plot

After 12 years of bucolic bliss, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) and raids the farms of their human neighbors, Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. Giving in to his animal instincts endangers not only his marriage but also the lives of his family and their animal friends. When the farmers force Mr. Fox and company deep underground, he has to resort to his natural craftiness to rise above the opposition.

Why It's Fantastic

  1. Very excellent stop-motion animation, especially for 2009 standards and for Wes Anderson's first stop-motion film.
  2. The movie uses header titles that emulate chapters in a storybook in a nice manner.
  3. It manages to be smart and mature, even with just a PG rating.
  4. While it's not completely faithful to the original book, it still has many of the same elements as the book had, as well as a nice nostalgic tone.
  5. The villains (Boggis, Bunce, and Bean) are great antagonists who has useful motives.
  6. It has beautiful character designs, which fit the stop-motion style very well.
  7. It has perfectly glorious vocal performances from the cast, with George Clooney standing out as Mr. Fox.
  8. It has a very beautiful setting, which was even based on the place where Roald Dahl lived.
  9. It has hilariously clever adult humor.
  10. Was Anderson gets a fantastic direction, as well as directorial animation debut, following the next film Isle of Dogs.
  11. The running gag where swear words are replaced with the word "cuss" (such as "what the cuss", "cluster-cuss", "you scared the cuss out of us", etc.) is pretty funny.
  12. Alexandre Desplat's musical score is fantastic.
  13. Many of the characters are rather likable such as Mr. Fox, his wife, Felicity, and many more.
  14. As a tribute to Roald Dahl, the character of (Franklin) Bean resembles Dahl himself.
  15. The film does a great job at developing it's characters such as Ash who has social issues and is frequently ignored by his dad in favor of his more popular cousin Kristofferson, who is more experienced and clever than him, and when he and Kristofferson nearly try and get back Foxy's tail, Kristofferson gets kidnapped and Ash begins to feel sorry for himself, and later sneaks in with his Dad and Kylie on their way to rescue Kristofferson with Ash getting his cousin out of the apple crate and apologising to him for what he did for him and his bad jealously towards him, and when Ash does a smart trick towards Franklin, Walter and Nathan (Bean, Boggis and Bunce) with the rabid Beagle Spitz chasing and nearly killing them, his dad later gives him his honor by giving him a bandit hat with stars on the top showing that Foxy believes his son is indeed a star which shows that Ash is one of the best written characters in the film easily out of all of them.
  16. Heartwarming ending that gives out a nice message of toasting with family and how much you love them & with the feast your about to have with them, and the later part being followed up by a scene of the characters dancing to Let Her Dance by the now defunct The Bobby Fuller Four, then to scale back to the outside of the supermarket to reveal that the supermarket belongs to the mean three, giving out a possibly of a future sequel in the works (though sadly, it might not happened that given no chance due to the poor box office performance (explained below in the box office section) and Wes focusing on other projects).
  17. "Are you cussing with cussing with me", the most funniest and hilarious line in the entire film to date for Wes Anderson movie.

The Only Bad Quality

  1. Overuseof close-up shots on the characters' faces.

Reception

Fantastic Mr. Fox received widespread critical acclaim, with praise for Anderson's direction, humor, and stop-motion animation. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 93% based on 239 reviews and an average rating of 7.91/10. The site's consensus states: "Fantastic Mr. Fox is a delightfully funny feast for the eyes with multi-generational appeal – and it shows Wes Anderson has a knack for animation.". The film also became the second highest-rated animated film in 2009 on the site, behind Up. On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 83% based on reviews from 34 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+ on a scale of A to F.

Box office

Despite receiving critical acclaim, Fantastic Mr. Fox underperformed at the box office, grossing just $46.5 million against a $40 million budget, mainly due to mediocre marketing, and the fact that it was overshadowed by other films, such as The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, both of which were also released during late 2009 and received generally negative reviews.

Videos

Trivia

  • This is Wes Anderson's first stop-motion film, a style he wouldn't do until 2018 with Isle of Dogs.
  • This is the second theatrical animated film adaptation of Roald Dahl books after James and the Giant Peach from 1996.
  • Joe Roth and Revolution Studios bought the film rights to Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2004. In 2006, Mark Mothersbaugh stated that he was working on the soundtrack. Wes Anderson signed on as director with Henry Selick, who worked with Anderson on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, as animation director. The reason why Wes Anderson signed on because Roald Dahl was one of his heroes as he stated. In 2007, Revolution and Selick left for other projects; work on the film was moved to 20th Century Fox where production began in 2007.
  • This was the first animated film to produced by Regency Enterprises.


Wes Anderson
Movies: Bottle Rocket - Rushmore - The Royal Tenenbaums - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - The Darjeeling Limited - Fantastic Mr. Fox - Moonrise Kingdom - The Grand Budapest Hotel - Isle of Dogs - The French Dispatch

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