Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009)

24Dec10

[Voices] George Clooney (Mr. Fox), Meryl Streep (Mrs. Fox), Jason Schwartzman (Ash), Bill Murray (Badger). Screenplay by Noah Baumbach and Wes Anderson. Directed by Wes Anderson. Rating: PG. Running time: 87 minutes.

A strangely shot but largely delightful film, Fantastic Mr. Fox brings Roald Dahl’s cherished novella to the screen in the most prefect way possible. You’re going to need to give your audience a warm, familiar voice if you want it to sympathise with an animated thieving fox, and thus who better than George Clooney to lend a helping hand, with Meryl Streep thrown in as his overly concerned worrying wife for good measure? Mr. Fox here is like one of Tarantino’s Basterds: low-key but cunning, and havoc-wreaking for larger, evil men. When he steals one chicken too many the local farmers declare all out war, forcing the fox family into hiding along with his animal-friend community, as we watch birds-eye style as they dig dig dig and set up camp down below. More tricks and tactics ensue as the battle pans out, and, of course, it’s the foxes that end up outsmarting the Scrooge-like humans and winning the war. Great fun, and it’s nice to be able to say that about a non-Pixar animated film. A neat little taste of what modern cinema is capable of.

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