Co-Writer/Director: Wes Anderson
Running time: 87 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG
UK Release date: 23rd October 2009
Watched on DVD Sunday 5th June 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Over the years many tales by Roald Dahl have been adapted for the screen, both for TV and for the big screen. This is the latest big-screen adaptation of one of his works. For me, while it was quite an engaging tale I felt it wasn’t made for an audience outside the United States. This is not a criticism, it just seemed to me that it had all become a little too ‘Americanised’ (if that’s a word). The stop-motion animation, the sets and everything technical about it was very well done but I felt the characters had lost the mystique they had when I read this as a youngster. I will always now hear George Clooney as Mr. Fox and to me that’s all wrong (I explain why later). Here’s a very brief summary of the plot, and then some more of my thoughts.
Mr. Fox loves to steal chickens, ducks, anything he can eat or drink really. Unfortunately this is a dangerous business and his wife persuades him to find a safer occupation when she falls pregnant. So he takes up writing for a local newspaper. Several years later he decides it’s time they moved and so they go to live in the trunk of a tree. This affords him a great view of three local farms, owned by Franklin Bean, Walter Boggis and Nathan Bunce. Unable to resist the temptation he enlists the help of Kylie Sven Opossum and raids all three farms. The farmers aren’t going to take this lying down and Mr. Fox and his family, and in fact the whole community, find themselves trapped. Can Mr. Fox find a cunning way to save the day? As usual, my contract with the Spoiler Police prevents me telling you here.
I love the animation of this film, I always think stop-motion gives a very unique look and it works really well here. Although I have a slight dislike for the accents, to me Mr. Fox should be a very devious upper class English accent, but hey, you can’t always get what you want as the Rolling Stones once said. Anyhow, a decent effort from the voice talents of; George Clooney as Mr. Fox, Meryl Streep as Mrs. Fox, Bill Murray as Badger, Michael Gambon as Franklin Bean and even Jarvis Cocker who gave us a song as Petey.
So, in conclusion, visually, it’s a treat, I love the look and feel of the film. Plot wise, well it’s based on a Roald Dhal story so you can’t go too far wrong there. I liked the choice of music in the film, a couple of Beach Boys numbers were very welcome. I think if it wasn’t for the voices I would have enjoyed it more, but it’s worth seeing for the animation.
My Score: 6.9/10
(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0432283/
RT Page: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1197696-fantastic_mr_fox/
Official Site: http://www.fantasticmrfoxmovie.com/