When Wes Anderson announced his plans to turn Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel into an animated feature, few anticipated how perfectly the results would fit into his unique oeuvre. Fantastic Mr. Fox is Rushmore with furry animals.
Anderson’s faithful yet freewheeling adaptation utilises traditional stop-motion techniques for that handcrafted feel; the script, by Anderson and Noah Baumbach (who co-wrote The Life Aquatic), retains the caper aspect of Dahl’s original whilst infusing it with the filmmaker’s trademark concerns.
Our foxy hero (winningly voiced by George Clooney) is torn between his past as a chicken poaching ne’er-do-well and current life as an urbane family man, complete with loving wife (Meryl Streep) and sullen son (Jason Schwartzman, naturally). The lure of illicit adventure proves too much, however, until Fox places his entire community in the firing line.
In the end, it’s all about growing up. Isn’t it always? Here, Anderson’s whimsical side is given full reign, with delightful results.
Showing as part of the OOH LA LA: WATCHING WES ANDERSON season throughout June.
Film Cert: PG