Friday, June 25, 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox. B+

Wes Anderson's inventive take on Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox is, according to my sister, nothing like its source material. But this can only be expected from such an independent, self-interested director who's previous films are about as far from commercial entertainment as movies can get. And though Mr. Fox received a wide release, it's really no different than Anderson's other work. The only major change is that it's annimated, and content wise, suitable for children. The stop motion techniques that Anderson employs here are really unbelievable and probably the most pleasurable aspect in the entire movie. The set designs are filled with rich color and creativity, and the characters themselves are strange and obviously the product of the director's passion towards his endeavors. The story, about a family of foxes and their battle with a group of villainous farmers, is enjoyable enough. But in terms of humor, the best parts of the film were the little side plots, such as an hilariously complicated baseball-like sport, and the relationship between one of the young foxes and his over-achieving cousin. Finally, the movie is acompanied by a great score by Alexander Desplat and a rocking soundtrack consisiting mostly of hits from the 60s and 70s. What defines Anderson's movies the most is his dead-pan humor and melancholy characters that fit nicely into his weird little narrative experiments. It sounds strange, but his movies are always a lot of fun. Fantastic Mr. Fox is no excpetion.

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