Fantastic Mr. Fox Screen 10 articles

Fantastic Mr. Fox

2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox Poster
  • There’s usually a hand-of-God meticulousness to Anderson’s work, but something inexplicably soulful almost always manages to intrude. It’s this aspect that elevates the best of his films... There’s no such quality in Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is all hermetically hollow gestures and poses. “That’s what I do,” says Mr. F. when asked about his trademark whistle-and-tooth-clicking salute. All Anderson does is slavishly further the brand.

  • Fox would be best as a radio show, letting the voice talent murmur, babble, caress Dahl-Anderson-Baumbach's words as they do without the needs for dramatic movement, which leaves the film as film superfluous with disposable jealous misfit children—sorely, touchingly voiced—and a misunderstood and underappreciated renegade father... Fox winks drolly and leaves nothing behind but flat, empty cardboard boxes...

  • ...Anderson prizes the funny over the profound to an extent that keeps the proceedings a tad too light and jovial to register as anything more than a lightweight aside to his more acute, earnest work. Such a critique, however, should only be taken in relative terms, since on the whole, Anderson's first foray into animation amuses at a consistent enough clip, and with an impressively deft balance between mature and immature humor, to successfully charm...

  • The supply of high spirits, in the characters’ miniature world and in Anderson’s creative play, cannot be corked, and with its rambunctious mix of Brit and American modes and its deliberately unpolished animation, it evokes the actual afternoon daydream of an old-school third-grader far more distinctly than any American film in recent memory.

  • This brings us to Anderson's latest film, and his very best to date. Need I say it?... Just as Mr. Fox (George Clooney) leaves behind his life as a newspaper man to resume thievery, in order to feel alive again ("I'm a wild animal."), Anderson and crew are stealing studio funds to achieve something outrageous, meticulous, and beautiful. And ironically, this exacting, time-consuming approach, moving each "performer" millimeter by millimeter, has resulted in Anderson's freest work to date.

  • Working in stop-motion, with visuals pre-timed to sound, has forced compression upon Anderson, ironing out his pacing problems: this is vintage screwball-comedy speed with no repose. It may be too much for some people, but it's relentlessly inventive. The verbal wit only stops for physical gags... and there's zero downtime. The movie is never not clever, and its verbal digressions and jokes are more moment-to-moment surface hilarious than any of Anderson's past work.

  • For the reportedly painstaking labor it took to create, the film is a marvel to behold—with wonderful shifts in perspective, an intensely tactile design, and an intentional herky-jerkiness of motion that only enriches the make-believe atmosphere. Clooney (speaking as if everything were a self-conscious aside) and Streep (resplendent as a former wildcat turned Earth mother) do some of the best work of their illustrious careers.

  • Jonze's film [Where the Wild Things Are] is a slog, pitched directly at sadness, every turn a battle against or a flight from pain, while Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox props up like a pop-up with one sight after another designed to delight. Fox is, in every frame, a geometric marvel of right angles and scrolling panels, each composition jam-packed with information and tightened off by the control Anderson exerts over every millimeter of screen space.

  • ...Anderson and Noah Baumbach’s tight-as-a-drum screenplay is perfectly constructed screwball, and its makers’ idiosyncrasies and concerns (fathers and sons, familial resentments, charming man-boys—the Fox family seems like a furry version of the Tenenbaums at times) are carefully built in rather than glommed all over the narrative like molasses.

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox isn't a "children's film" with the quotes to signify that it's a money project for slumming major talents. It's a full-blooded Wes Anderson film like any other, and one of his very best... Fantastic Mr. Fox contains Anderson's customary impeccable framing as well as his heartbreaking acknowledgement of the private dreams that must die for the sake of that mini-democracy known as family...

More Links