THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX
Once a Fox, Always a Fox
Release Date: November 13, 2009
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 88 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox/News Corp.
Director: Wes Anderson
Executive Producer: Steven Rales and Arnon Milchan
Writer: Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach
Address Comments To:Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO, News Corp.
Chase Carey, President/COO, News Corp.
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen/CEO
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp. (Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox Atomic)
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
Mr. and Mrs. Fox (voiced by George Clooney and Meryl Streep) live an ideal home life with their son, Ash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) and visiting young nephew Kristofferson, but not all is as perfect as it first seems. The restless Mr. Fox not only ignores his own son, but he shows favor to Kristofferson, making Ash feel like an outsider and a loser. Also, after 12 years of living in quiet domesticity, Mr. Fox’s restless animal instincts prove to be too much, and he breaks the promise he made to his wife by reverting back to his old habit of stealing from nearby farmers. This time, however, farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean are out for revenge.
With ferocity, the farmers lay siege to Mr. Fox and end up trapping him and the entire animal community underground. It’s up to Mr. Fox to figure out a way to save them all and to repair the broken relationship with his wife and son.
THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX succeeds in its creative attempt to use stop-motion animation, although it is different than the norm. Well-directed and cleverly written, along with actors’ voices that fit with the characters in the story, the movie doesn’t fail to entertain. There are even some commendable elements in the story, such as Mr. Fox reconciling with his wife and son, and his willingness to take responsibility for his actions even to the point of sacrificing himself to save his family.
However, there are a few problematic elements with the character’s actions in the story. First, Mr. Fox says it is in his nature to sneak around and steal from the farmers, and his only rebuke comes from his wife who sees the danger that could come from his actions (she doesn’t necessarily say that it is wrong for him to do this). The movie doesn’t necessarily rebuke the stealing, especially since it paints the farmers as the bad guys; but, at the same time, it shows the consequences of such actions. Other problematic elements requiring caution include light humanist elements, animated action violence, and alcohol use by the bad characters in the story.
THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX succeeds in its creative attempt to use stop-motion animation, although it is different than the norm. Well-directed and cleverly written, with voices that fit with the characters in the story, the movie doesn’t fail to entertain. There are even some commendable elements in the story. For example, Mr. Fox reconciles with his wife and son, and is willing to take responsibility for his poor decisions, even to the point of sacrificing himself to save his family. However, caution is warranted for some light humanist elements, animated action violence, and alcohol use.