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DVD Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox

March 30, 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox – A Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Release

http://www.fantasticmrfoxmovie.com/

DVD Release Date: March 23rd, 2010

Rated PG for frightening scenes.

Running time: 87 minutes

 

Wes Anderson (dir.)

 

Roald Dahl (novel)

Wes Anderson (screenplay)

Noah Baumbach (screenplay)

 

Alexandre Desplat (music)

 

George Clooney as Mr. Fox (voice)

Meryl Streep as Mrs. Fox (voice)

Jason Schwartzman as Ash (voice)

Bill Murray as Badger (voice)

Wally Wolodarsky as Kylie (voice)

Eric Anderson as Kristofferson Silverfox (voice)

Michael Gambon as Franklin Bean (voice)

Willem Dafoe as Rat (voice)

Owen Wilson as Coach Skip (voice)

Wes Anderson as Weasel (voice)

 

Our reviews below:

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Fantastic Mr. Fox DVD Review By John C.

**** (out of 4)

Although it is an animated film, Fantastic Mr. Fox is so much a Wes Anderson film that it may as well as been called The Life Fantastic With Mr. Fox, or The Royal Foxes.  All those little “Andersonian” touches of such cult-classics are all intact here.  Based on the book by Roald Dahl, the movie adds a lot, but still keeps intact the spirit of Dahl’s writing.  The story of the stealthy Mr. Fox (voice of George Clooney) outwitting a band of evil farmers, is perfectly realized on screen.

 

The animal characters are so soft looking that you can practically feel them, and their antics are vastly appealing.  I couldn’t pick a favourite, because they’re all so endearing, but I particularly love Kylie (Wally Wolodarsky) – a slightly slow opossum.  He may not have a Latin name, but he’s got a titanium card and a heart of gold.  Still, this isn’t a little kids animation, as the script is too sophisticated to be fully appreciated by a younger audience.  It also doesn’t shy away from showing some darkness, like one scene that ends with a fully realized line of pitch-black humour.

 

I get why some people may not be attracted to the old-school charms of the stop-motion animation and dry humour of the script.  But what I don’t even begin to get is how some people could think this is a lesser animated movie than, say, the recent A Town Called Panic – which I admittedly didn’t get, or really like for that matter.

 

There was some controversy over Wes Anderson supposedly directing the film via webcam.  If that is the case, than he certainly made his vision clear as a bell – its got his paw prints all over it.  The animation is so immensely detailed, that you can’t argue that anything but great love and care was poured into the project.  Mr. Fox is more than just a great movie and one of the best of last year, it’s cussin’ fantastic.

 

The DVD includes featurettes on all aspects of making the film, a featurette on Roald Dahl, and one on the imaginary sport of whack-bat.  It is available to buy as a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo-pack.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox DVD Review By Erin V.

***3/4 (out of 4)

In Fantastic Mr. Fox (based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same name), Mr. Fox moves his family into a tree near three of the meanest farmers in the world – Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.  For a fox, this is especially dangerous, and when Mr. Fox can’t help but go over and steal some of their fowl, the chase is on as they become determined to stop at nothing but to kill him.

 

Well, I’ll admit I didn’t think I was going to like this film as much as I did, and parts of it, in particular some of the ‘faster movements’ still really bugged me.  The animation is certainly very beautiful in its detail, but when they try to make things look like they are moving really fast, the lack of motion blurring just sort of lost me.  It’s as though there were less frames in fast movement, rather than more in a shorter period of time, which took me out of the movie.  On the other hand, I really started liking this film once it slowed down a bit in some of the underground talking scenes – particularly the ‘waterfall’ scene.  I also found that it got better near the end, and liked the ‘wolf’ scene a lot as well.  Throughout, Alexandre Desplat’s score – (which was nominated for Best Score) – helps to carry the film as well.

 

I would certainly recommend Fantastic Mr. Fox for older kids, teenagers, and adults.  (I don’t think the under 10 crowd is the target for this film.)  It is an entertaining movie, with a strong voice cast, and you can see how much work was put into it.  It is ‘different’, but maybe there’s something a little fantastic about that…

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Fantastic Mr. Fox DVD Review By Nicole

**** (out of 4)

Fantastic Mr. Fox is truly a fantastic film.  Based on the book by Roald Dahl, the movie follows a clever fox as he outwits three farmers as he steals their livestock and goods.  The farmers, of course, are not pleased, and do everything in their power to try to destroy not only the fox family, but all the other animals and their habitat as well.  it is now up to Mr. Fox, his son Ash, his nephew Kristofferson, and an opossum named Kylie to save the local wildlife from the greedy farmers.

 

Fantastic Mr. Fox is fantastic in many ways.  The film keeps the quirky British charm and wit of the original book, while adding some of the off the wall dry humour of director Wes Anderson.  The animation is meticulously detailed, down to each animal’s accurate facial expression and direction of hair growth.  The animation has an older, very British feel, reminiscent of Cosgrove Hall productions such as The Wind in the Willows and Brambly Hedge.

 

The voice acting is superb, with an all-star cast.  George Clooney is perfectly cast as Mr. Fox.  The score by Alexandre Desplat is funny and charming, adding just the right feel to the film.  The film is not for young children, as it has some dark and frightening moments of peril.  However, for those 10 to adult, Fantastic Mr. Fox is worth owning on Blu-ray or DVD.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox DVD Review By Maureen

**** (out of 4)

This may be clichéd but Fantastic Mr. Fox is – well, fantastic.  Director Wes Andersen has managed to take a beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl and turn it into an incredibly witty and sophisticated stop-motion animated film.

 

The attention to detail in everything from the texture of the fur on the puppets to the intricate world that Mr. Fox inhabits is absolutely wonderful to watch.  The story itself is quick-paced and fun and the voice-acting top-notch.  George Clooney is fantastic as Mr. Fox.  Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson are also perfectly cast.  The score by Alexandre Desplat matches the fun and sophisticated mood.

 

Even though this movie is based on a children’s book it is older children and adults who will best appreciate the wonderful animation and witty dialogue.  Fans of good animation will want to own rather than rent a copy of Fantastic Mr. Fox so that they can check out the many details and all the extras at their own leisure.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox DVD Review By Tony

**** (out of 4)

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a stop-motion animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel directed by Wes Anderson.  Much has been made of the loving care taken by all concerned in the project.  Wes Anderson stayed in Dahl’s cottage while writing the screenplay and miniature replicas of every piece of furniture etc. and the characters were hand-made down to the finest detail, using real fur, for example.

 

The smart script is brilliantly delivered by an excellent voice cast led by George Clooney and Meryl Streep. The musical score by Alexandre Desplat featuring a jug band and boys’ choir is especially delightful. With some brief disturbing scenes the sardonic script is probably not suitable for young children.  ___________________________________________________________________________

Consensus: Funny, charming and lovingly crafted, Fantastic Mr. Fox is an incredibly detailed stop-motion film from director Wes Anderson.  In short, it’s cussin’ fantastic. **** (Out of 4)

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