December 4, 2009

'Fantastic Mr. Fox' Is Really Cussing Good

Fantastic Mr. Fox has been out in theaters for a few weeks now, and because I've heard such great things about it decided to check it out. Let me tell you--I'm really glad I did.

The film is an adaptation of the 1970 Roald Dahl book of the same title and isn't the first of Dahl's children's tales to make it to the big screen. Titles like Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches and of course Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have all seen great success on the silver screen and Fox is no exception. But don't let the notion that the story is adapted from a children's book fool you--Mr. Fox is as much for adults as it is for kids.

The "acting" by stars George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Jason Schwartzman is so dry and sarcastic that you can't help but laugh out loud at the stop-motion creatures. The characters are smart, cunning and just human--er, animal enough to be relateable (as much as one can relate to an animated fox or oppossum.) I particularly enjoyed the fact that even though the characters talked and behaved like any civilized person, we still got reminders that they were wild beasts. For example, Mr. Fox was sitting reading at the breakfast table reading a column he had written in the local newspaper when Mrs. Fox served him some French toast. Upon wrapping up a conversation about said column Mr. Fox began devouring his breakfast like a rabid dog ripping apart its prey. Trust me, it's a really funny moment.

Think of Fantastic Mr. Fox as a hipster parent's dream: A film that has the charm of a quirky kid's fairy tale with the wit and style that doesn't make an adult feel guilty for seeing a PG movie. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments for both young and old fans alike, and the use of stop-motion versus typical computer animation was both refreshing and nostalgic at the same time. Plus the soundtrack was so enjoyable. Basically if you haven't seen Fantastic Mr. Fox yet put it on your calendars now. It was, well, fantastic!

[image courtesy 20th Century Fox]