This Fox Rocks…

mr fox

Don’t call it a cartoon, this story has been here for years.

Wes Anderson’s latest film ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ is laugh filled animated romp which secretly serves as an allegory for the regular man’s triumph over corporate industrialization. Anderson is a quirky filmmaker who typically pursues a fancier and more esoteric storyline. ‘Rushmore’, ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ and ‘The Life Aquatic’ were all good films that I thoroughly enjoyed, but ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ is Anderson’s first film that I wanted to watch again immediately.

The best movies in 2009 have all been animated, except for the excellent Star Trek, and the subtle supremacy of Transformers 2. My top flick picks this year were Coraline and Up. Anderson creates a world for Mr.Fox which was totally reminiscent of the Rankin/Bass universe that gave us Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. The stop-motion animation was an excellent throwback element considering how much computer generated imagery dominates the film game now.

The puppets are wonderfully costumed and the sets are meticulously decorated for this faux fox world where animals and people speak to one another and interact as adversaries more oft than not. The hero/Anti-hero, Mr.Fox, is determined to live his life with some modicum of dignity so he relocates his family from a foxhole into a tree. While in the tree Mr.Fox longs for the wild days he lived before he had a family and he would steal chickens from the local farmers as a sport.

Things have changed in the old woodland scene though. Big agricultural industrial complex corporations have replaced the smaller family farms and with them have come the security systems that defend the profits of these businesses. Mr.Fox sees these obstructions as a challenge to his skillset and he decides to plan one more big heist to see if he can foil the security at these farms. Believe it or not this is a family movie that doesn’t so much extol the benefits of thievery as much as it celebrates the family that sticks together through adversity.

The film is funny and truly fantastic from a visual and storyline standpoint. The stop-motion animation is just as fluid as detailed as you may remember. Sadly, there was no Burl Ives narration. Though the actors who do voice the characters are vivid and colorful. George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman all play their characters with aplomb. Willem Dafoe, a Wes Anderson favorite, has the killer(literally) cameo in the film which is even better than his role in ‘The Life Aquatic’. ‘The Fantastic Mr.Fox’ is a triumph on so many levels that I may have to go back and see this movie again this weekend.


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11 Responses to “This Fox Rocks…”

  1. Dzheimijs says:

    Wes Anderson FTW,saddly i have to wait 3 months till this flick premieres in my country..

    Ps.thanks for putting me up on Bored to death,the best new comedy this fall tv season.chea!

  2. chea says:

    salam d-pizzle

    i was the one who sent the pic of the 40 belows, doofus (heh)

    btw your post on islam was spot on – hence i been saying that you’re the best blogger in the history of the internets (no shots at my brothers esko and nate-dawg – they’re tied for first but listed sequentially after dallas – just like the college rankings where four schools are number one but yale is the first one listed)

  3. the_dallas says:

    ^ much appreciated for that pic of the 40s. thx for the honors but the NR family is on another planet.

  4. chea says:

    nah but NR is on some other shit. they post new songs. you post the realest content evar. the story about selling the comic collection, the story about getting arrested, all these shits is like shots of yac skr8 to the brain…and i’m muslim and don’t even drink. shit’s just that real. matter of fact…treal. matter fact…is-rael (no netan-yahoo)

    p.s. exact quotes of my chat with nation from two minutes ago

    chea: “that kid [dallas] is good peoples”

    nate: “he really is”

    REAL RECOGNIZE REAL from now till whenever

    chea

  5. Tony Grands says:

    DP!

    After ‘Speed Racer’, I’ll take your word on the movies. That piece had me & my son glued. I’ll be taking him to see this as well.

  6. the_dallas says:

    Grand$,
    My top 5 movies for 2009 were damn near all children’s movies filled with allegory

    1. Up
    2. Fantastic Mr.Fox
    3. Star Trek (2009)
    4. Coraline
    5. Where The Wild Things Are

  7. Mark Dub says:

    On the strength of your suggestions, DP, I’m going to peep the Fox joint, as well as Coraline and Where the Wild Things Are. You’re winning w/the other 2 joints. I loved Up and Star Trek (just purchased it on dvd), so I know that you have good taste [ll].

  8. Tony Grands says:

    DP, I tried to take my boy to see ‘Where The Wild Things Are’, even showed him a copy of my old ass, stolen library book. He saw the trailer & said, “No dice.”

    “Why?”

    “That looks like it’ll give me nightmares. I wanna see ‘Transformers’.”

    Kids…

  9. mercilesz says:

    Best allegorically filled kids movie? Narnia hands down…Mr Fox reminded me of some wind in the willows shit. I was raised on those dahl books. very dope

  10. the_dallas says:

    Narnia is not even in the top 10 of all time. Maybe you meant to say the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. You also need to get up on Watership Down. You ever fuxed with Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas? That shit is my fave holiday joint right above A Charlie Brown X-Mas. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory with Gene Hackman is superb holiday fare as well. My lady, C.S., is a big fan of the Narnia storyline and she felt like the live action joint went too close viscerally to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and lost its way from the OG books.

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