26 minutes ago
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Thoughts on Fantastic Mr. Fox
The film is charmingly ragged, both in design and writing, to the point that neither I nor my date could figure out if the consistently uneven picture focus was intentional or a projector error. The deadpan dialogue is subtle, humorous and breezy, with witty lines that don't spell out the jokes behind them. Scenes play out in unexpectedly creative ways due to the confident production, full of manic details and wonderful surrealism.
The movie almost seems symbolic, the specifics of the plot being mostly unimportant, at times like a sustained short film in its retro creativity. The aforementioned surreal elements add much to the film's effect (incendiary pinecones, wunderkind Kristofferson immediately grasping the rules of the incoherent game whackbat and the odd concentric eye circles gag). I've never seen a Wes Anderson before but this film makes a compelling case - it's subtle, full of thought and art, and comes straight out of left-field in intentionally awkward stop-motion glory. I really can't recommend this enough for anybody tired of cookie-cutter CGI romps and formulaic animated buddy films. It isn't Dahl's book in essence, but uses the book as a playground for something else entirely, something wonderful.