"Once a Fox, Always a Fox"
What You Need To Know:
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.
(BB, C, H, L, V, S, A, D, M) Strong moral worldview with animal characters sticking by each other in help and support, with redemptive element of main character who is even willing to risk his life to save them and some light humanist elements in that characters rely on themselves to be saved from danger rather than looking to God; no obvious obscenities or profanities but characters use the word “cuss” in place of where there could be foul language; two animals fight each other in hand to hand combat with one animal getting killed, animals get electrocuted on wire fence, animals are shot at by farmers with guns, animal’s tail gets shot off, some minor explosions, animal wields a knife, animals use some karate moves, and wife slaps her husband for breaking his promise to her; one animal flirts with another animal’s wife; mo nudity; one farmer doesn’t eat or drink anything but alcoholic cider, one animal loves to drink the alcoholic cider, and animals try to steal it for themselves; smoking depicted with one bad character smoking a cigarette and a farmer smokes a cigar; and, animals steal from the farmers and this is only rebuked by Mrs. Fox because it is dangerous (not because it is wrong), Mr. Fox is a poor parental role model and has a strained relationship with his son but this is eventually resolved in the end, and Mr. Fox is a bit of a free-spirited narcissist who treats his family irresponsibly and breaks a 12 year promise to his wife, but this is for the most part resolved in the end.
THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX, based on the novel by Roald Dahl (author of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY), is a refreshingly hilarious and creative stop-motion animated movie about a fantastically free-spirited fox who slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief, consequently endangering his family and the whole animal community.
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.