ARCHIVE REVIEW: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson (screenplay), Roald Dahl (book)
Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray

The world of awkward young males and disapproving father figures often associated with the world of Wes Anderson is polarizing.  You have those who absolutely despise his style and those who absolutely love it.  Typically I fall into the former.  For all his faults, though, he does have a style.  Had I seen Fantastic Mr. Fox before Mr. Anderson’s other features, I’d have wondered what he was getting at with all of the others.  This is his best, most assured, most mature work , and it’s a stop-motion animation adaptation of a children’s novel.

It becomes perfectly clear in this film that all of the characters in Anderson’s other movies really were just cartoon characters.  Now that they are in the literal sense, their absurdest actions look and feel right.  The stop-motion techniques of the animation greatly help flesh out the emotion and style.  The camera work is amateur in the best sense of the word, making this feel like chaos that came together at the last minute.

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