Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Fantastic Mr Fox

Bearing an odd resemblance to Wladyslaw Starewicz's The Tale of the Fox (1930s), Anderson uses stop animation to tell an adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's story of the same name. I must confess, I never read the book. Not even to my kiddos. So the story was new to me. The stop animation is very similar to Starewicz- especially when compared to more modern animation. But it works. The story is clever and the dialogue is funny. I liked the touch of having a driver hop into a car on the right hand side, since Dahl would have done that. Some of the things are obvious references to Anderson's previous works. It is never over done, and it would be easily identified as a Wes Anderson film in style. I think this film would suit almost anyone over the age of 7- but it has quirks and could be scary for little kids. (The usual Dahl problem). I had one complaint- and it is a common one for me. I cannot stand having famous voices in animated film. It is highly distracting. This one SCREAMED George Clooney. And Meryl Streep. Clooney was great, but his highly recognizable voice keeps you from getting into the character. You are completely aware that Clooney has a mike in front of him and is reciting this dialogue. Anderson needs to stop using his friends in any future animations- it just distracts. Otherwise, it was fun and easy.