Fantastic Mr. Fox is a feature length stop motion animation based on the well loved children’s book by Roald Dahl which has been released on DVD and Blu-ray today.
Whilst Dahl adaptations are nothing new on the big screen its certainly acclaimed director Wes Anderson’s first foray into the animated world. Director of gems such as The Royal Tenenbaums and the Life Aquatic, the jury is still out on whether this unusual follow up convinces in it’s entirety, however, it certainly can’t be faulted for taking risks and is the first stop motion movie to be distributed by 20th Century Fox.
The original story centres on a family of foxes who, after stealing chickens from three unscrupulous farmers, become embroiled in a battle, which results in the destruction of their home. The fox family then team up with various other animals in a bid to foil their enemies.
Anderson’s vision is a singular one and he certainly adds his own recognisable flourishes such as chapter headings and a groovy 60’s soundtrack. He also utilises the talents of his previous collaborators Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson in addition to George Clooney as the eponymous hero.
Critics on this side of the pond have sneered at the Americanisation of the story, especially as it’s such a tea n crumpets English classic (and Dahl fans can be very precious) but it doesn’t fare too badly as a result and should be enjoyed for its charmingly antiquated look and unpredictability alone.