DIG THE LIFE FANTASTIC.
Mr. Fox has started a family and left his old hell-raising days behind, but he finds a reason to do one last dangerous raid against three farmers. It may seem as if director Wes Anderson has chosen a completely new path in his career, but this animated feature has many of the ingredients that we’ve come to expect of him, not least the portrayal of a teenage boy who feels “different” and tries to impress his dad. The stop-motion animation has what you might call a charming “indie” feel to it; quirky, with rough edges. Although it is a bit repetitive at times, the story moves swiftly, has hilarious dialogue and great voice work.
2009-U.S. Animated. 86 min. Color. Produced by Wes Anderson, Allison Abbate, Jeremy Dawson, Scott Rudin. Directed by Wes Anderson. Screenplay: Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach. Novel: Roald Dahl. Song: “Petey’s Song” (Wes Anderson, Jarvis Cocker). Voices of George Clooney (Mr. Fox), Meryl Streep (Mrs. Fox), Jason Schwartzman (Ash), Bill Murray, Wally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson… Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Brian Cox, Adrien Brody, Jarvis Cocker, Wes Anderson.
Trivia: Cate Blanchett was allegedly first cast as Mrs. Fox. Anderson originally began the project with Henry Selick, but the latter eventually left it and was replaced by Mark Gustafson as animation director.
Last word: “It’s supposed to be set in England and we’re kind of thinking of England, but it’s still written by two Americans and I think we sound American and that’s why we cast. Most, all the animals are played by Americans so there’s something basically different from Dahl in that. But, I think he didn’t write down to children. He sort of used his whole imagination and I don’t know what he would have thought, but I know his family feels like he would have approved.” (Anderson, Collider)