THE JUICY CHOICE REVIEW: “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is voiced by George Clooney (Tomorrowland, The Descendants), Meryl Streep (Into the Woods, It’s Complicated), Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore, The Darjeeling Unlimited), Eric Chase Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums), Wallace Wolodarsky (Seeing Other People, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Sleepy Hollow ), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man , Finding Nemo), and Owen Wilson (Zoolander, Midnight in Paris). It is directed by Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, The Grand Budapest Hotel), who also co-wrote the screenplay with Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg). Based on the book by Roald Dahl, this film is about a fox (Clooney) who left the robbing business to raise a family with his wife, Mrs. Fox (Streep). Many fox years later, Mr. Fox, now a writer for a newspaper, comes to the conclusion that he is going nowhere in life, and wants to get back to stealing. But that lifestyle comes with a cost, as the owners of the places he steals from will stop at nothing to have him killed.
We begin this marathon with one of the most beautiful pieces of cinematography to date: “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Those words alone bring a smile to my face and a warmness to my heart. No, it isn’t a sappy love story nor is it something so cheesy that I find it a guilty pleasure. It is simply a witty, charismatic, charming, fine-wine of a release that should be considered a classic to the film industry. Why? For many reasons. The story, while hastily told, is one of redemption, revenge, conflict, and reliving the good ol’ days. So many inner-workings are told in such a short timespan that it would be hard to consider it dull or kiddish. The banter amongst animals is all but kiddy, as our hero, Mr. Fox talks business, robbing, and his demeaning life, all of which most kids will find hard to grasp. It is such a smartly detailed film, one that I can pick apart and find a relation with, and age makes it better. What I mean by that is, I can relate to what Ash is going through for the most part, as I am around his age and understand his small issues that shouldn’t get him down. But the older I get, the more I will relate to Mr. Fox, and I will find a whole new meaning in watching it. It’s like I’m seeing it in a whole new light. There were two story arcs of this release. The first, and foremost, is of Mr. Fox getting back into the stealing game. He thinks of his life as a joke and wants to do what he liked doing best. It becomes an obsession, and leads him to a downfall. The second deals with Ash (Schwartzman), and how he can’t stand his cousin Kristofferson (Anderson) visiting. He is much better than Ash in every way and this makes him jealous. Although this storyline can be distracting at times, it is all the more meaningful because it develops the side characters and ties into the ending of this story masterfully. Everything is worked out accordingly, and we are just seeing the pieces of the puzzle fit together in front of us. With this story comes terrific characters and villains. All of the animals are nice to look at, and for those who are focused on, bring their one uniqueness to the plot. My favorite is of course Mr. Fox, but all of them are just as interesting. The villains, all three of them, are top-notch. Boggis, Bunce, and Bean are an odd bunch with different personalities, but all want the same thing: Mr. Fox. I loved how they were described and how they were portrayed in this brilliantly crafted story. How they were voiced was icing on the cake to their character, and all of the voice actors were great. George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray are to name a few that did their job well. What was the best part of this flick, however, was the animation. That and the direction made a perfect blend of colors, models, and landscapes. I’m always intrigued by stop-motion, but this has to be the best of the best. I’ve seen the bonus features of this movie, and seeing the crew create these creatures in astonishing. From the shifting hairs on their heads, to the sleek suits they wear, all of the animals, and even the people, are beautiful to watch in motion. Especially when I saw it in high-definition. Wes Anderson, as I may have said before in my review for “Bottle Rocket,” is a great director, and you can tell that this is his work, and probably his best (I haven’t seen many). The feel of this film is what drives it home and makes it one of my favorites. Something about the witty dialogue, folk music, and terrific animation just brightens my day and makes me proud as a moviegoer and critic. It is these films that inspire me, and motivate me to become the filmmaker I so desperately want to become. When discussing the issues I found with this, it is difficult to say. I did find it extremely fast-paced, but the thing is, it completes all of what it was set out to do in that little time. I saw the development of the characters, their struggles, and how they came out on top in a good fashion. I looked hard for something to pick apart, and although there may have been some things to nitpick (like how the animals could build little rooms for themselves in the sewer), I love this movie so much that I can’t knock it down far. Plus, I didn’t even realize these little, itsy-bitsy nitpicks until I watched it the seventh time. I walked into this marathon wanting to give it the perfect rating, but it fell short. Don’t get discouraged guys, this is as perfect as it gets. If you haven’t seen this movie, I implore you to see it before you die! FINAL SCORE: 99%= Juicy Popcorn
This movie has been inducted into The Juicy Hall of Fame.
Here is the trailer: