Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) — After Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are this seems to be the year for quirky indie film directors tackling adaptations of beloved children’s classics.  Fantastic Mr. Fox doesn’t hit as well as Jonze’s film though.  In adapting a book by Roald Dahl, Wes Anderson joins the ranks of Tim Burton [Charlie and the Chocolate Factory], Nicholas Roeg [The Witches], and sometime-Anderson-and Burton-collaborator Henry Sellick [James and the Giant Peach].  Like Sellick’s film, Anderson’s is stop motion, yet maintains the look and feel of all his earlier live action not-for-children movies.  I have no idea if kids would like this movie because I am not a kid and I don’t really know any.  It seems like a movie for film geeks like me, who liked all of Anderson’s previous films [particularly The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited].  The worked for me I guess but I’m not overly enthusiastic about it.  It didn’t take me back to reading the book as a child like Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory did [even more so than Mel Stuart’s earlier Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which I actually saw as a kid].  It reminded me of Anderson’s films a lot more than Dahl’s stories, even though it didn’t stray too much from what I remember.  The look of the film is exquisite, but that’s really to be expected.  So I liked it anyway, though I probably could have waited for Blu Ray.

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