Fantastic Mr. Fox
Anderson, director of such quirky and droll movies as Rushmore and
The Royal Tenenbaums, is very much an acquired taste. Either you get
him or you simply don’t.
Well, I suppose there is a middle ground, because I have to say I kind of
respect him as a filmmaker, but about a half-hour into The Life Aquatic
of Steve Zissou I came to the realization that while his work is
certainly interesting, it is a little too precious and fussy for my taste.
I’m a little in the middle, but I definitely am leaning towards the
However, it seemed like a stroke of genius to let the guy loose on the
quirk-laden work of children’s author Roald Dahl. It was even raising the
bar to let him film the whole thing in old-fashioned stop-motion animation.
somehow, Fantastic Mr. Fox suffers from the same schizophrenic
qualities as Anderson’s live action original films. In parts it is
brilliant. In other parts it is pretentious. The look of the film is often
stunning… and just as often clunky and underwhelming. The jokes tend to be
clever but the story tends to be absurd. The film is at the same time
extremely intriguing and terribly frustrating – with the frustrating
eventually winning the race by a good measure.
whole time I was watching the movie, I was thinking that I couldn’t believe
that people actually saw this on the big screen. If any film was ever made
for the more modest confines of the television screen, this is the one.
second thing I thought was that for an animated film about cute furry
animals, most everything in the film was aimed way over the heads of
children. This will seem an odd complaint, but Fantastic Mr. Fox
is much too literate for a children’s film. Small kids just won't pick up
on the movie’s inspired turns of phrase – and without the abundant surreally
clever dialogue and fine voice acting, the film has very little to offer.
Okay, I understand that not all animated films are made for a young
audience, but in an odd way, I believe this one was. After all, it is based
on a famous children’s tale and has cute furry talking animals. Anderson
has just misjudged his audience, it would seem.
While Fantastic Mr. Fox has a lot of good moments to offer, I
have to say that the only one of this acclaimed director’s films that I
actually can say that I really enjoyed is still Rushmore.
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All rights reserved. Posted: March 21, 2010.