When I first started seeing the trailers for Fantastic Mr. Fox, I had mixed feelings toward it – although what the trailers showed looked good, and I am a fan of Wes Anderson as a director, I know it isn’t easy to get a kids movie done right either. Well, I gave Fantastic Mr. Fox a chance this afternoon at our favorite Long Beach theater, The Art Theatre on 4th Street. I have to say it was a chance that really paid off – it was fantastic!
Wes Anderson definitely has his signature style, something you are probably already familiar with if you’ve seen his other films (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited). I wasn’t sure how much that could translate to this stop-motion animated film, but somehow it did and really gave the whole picture warmth. The voice cast was also comprised of Anderson film veterans (Bill Murray and Owen Wilson among them), and featured 60’s and 70’s classic rock songs as well as a new song from Jarvis Cocker.
The story itself is based on a story written by Roald Dahl, published in 1970, and although it is not one of his better known stories (such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, or Matilda), it is surely a classic and has a timeless feel.
A lot of movies can say it has something for both kids and adults, but Fantastic Mr. Fox really does. The story is simple enough for kids to follow and is visually refreshing – sometimes you get your fill of the computer animation that has become the norm for kids movies today. If you haven’t seen it, see it! You’ll have a cussing good time.