Monday, January 25, 2010

You Are Fantastic Mr. Fox

Animation has come along way from the drab mostly hand drawn days of Walt Disney. In no way am I saying that the classic Disney cartoons were drab, but there is something about the animation process today that I myself can't help but think that what we have today is such a change from my youth. Kids today will not grow up and appreciate just how good animation has become. Pixar has had free reign on most of today's animated projects, until recently when Disney released "The Princess And The Frog" but many of today's stop motion animation isn't very well done, most seem jerky at best, that is until the "Fantastic Mr. Fox" a captivating story with a message of right and wrong, the moral is that no matter what you may want, its the "how" you try to achieve it that matters.

Wes Anderson has a flair for telling a story with a captivating style. His amazingly designed backgrounds and scenery have an incredible attention to detail, the film is full of this care and attention. Each character feels full of personality unlike many of the 3D characters we are forced to sit and watch. The fluid way that the scenery moves along with the animals makes this movie well worth watching.

Mr Fox (George Clooney) and his wife Felicity Fox (Meryl Streep) are caught in a trap as the movie opens we learn that Felicity is pregnant and then we jump several years later, many many years later in fox years. Living underground with their son Ash (Jason Schwartzman) who is at best the oddest character in movies all year. Mr Fox has gone from stealing chickens to writing a piece for the area newspaper. He has left behind the danger of his youth but the desire is still in his heart. So when he decides to move his family out of the ground into a nearby tree his attorney Mr. Badger (Bill Murray) tries to advise him against it, stating the tree is to close to the property of the three meanest farmers in the valley. Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.

Going on night time raids with his friend Kylie (Wallace Wolodarsky), Mr. Fox soon angers the farmers. Even though he has his tail shot off Mr. Fox decides he has still beat the farmers, his family is put in danger, along with the other families in the area when the farmers decide to dig out the Fox family and his friends. Once the story picks up though, this movie could very well be the best animated story of the year, the story has a quick pace and the motion of the scenery behind the animals seems flawless and right on the mark.

The movie is a revolutionary step toward a better animation technique that may bring about a much needed change in film making today. The little things that happen on screen are as amazing to watch as the film is itself, the scene where the animals are washed down the sewer system and we see their arms flailing is a step some other film makers wouldn't have bothered with. This little scene just adds to the wonderful experience that is watching Fantastic Mr. Fox.
I give Fantastic Mr. Fox a 3 and on my avoidance scale a 0. The movie is garnered ore to the young adult and adult, it contains nothing that younger children wouldn't understand or enjoy, so take the whole family and move into the valley of Mr. Fox.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox is rated PG for Action, Smoking and Slang Humor
Running time is 1 hr. 28 mins.
Distributed by Fox Searchlight

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