Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I saw the Fantastic Mr. Fox, and you probably didn't

Last night, I ventured out into the darkness for the midnight preview of Wes Anderson's newest movie, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. The internet buzz on this movie began many months ago and considering that this movie is just being released now in the US, the teaser time was a bit extended.

Everyone seems a little excited to see the movie, animators and fans of Anderson. This is 20th Century Fox's first feature in stop-motion animation. You may ask, how was it?? Here's the catch, the fire alarm went off about 15 minutes before the film ended. My title then isn't 100% true. We were ushered outside and I didn't catch the end. How can I possibly make a claim about a movie if I haven't seen in full? I can't, but I will make a few observations here which you can take or shove.

Even though this film is based on a Roald Dahl book, it's been modified/personalized enough to resemble something Andersen himself would have written. There's the Mr. Fox character, the mischievous father figure, whose love of adventure eclipses all else, even his family's well-being (see Steve Zissou, Royal Tenenbaum, Herman Blume). Kylie, the opossum character, is the sidekick, similar to Pagoda in the Royal Tenenbaums, with his stout frame and his willingness to conspire. The mother, Felicity Fox, is mostly serene, detached, not without her redeeming qualities nor her flaws. There's the brotherly type rivalry with between the quirky Ash and his naturally adept at everything cousin Kristofferson.

Visually the movie is interesting with its tiny details and funny close up shots on the animals' faces. The muted colors create a sort of timelessness. The foxes are just so darn cute. Maybe it's the fact that they're fuzzy little bastards use the word, "cuss" instead of actually cursing, but Anderson's characters are infinitely more likable when they're only voices and not entire human beings. All in all, I think you're basically a black hole of misery if you don't enjoy this film at all.

p.s. other things I didn't mention. The theater was empty. We were the only 2 in there and then a few others showed up at midnight, making a total audience of 8 people. Only in Miami.
The other thing - I appreciated that one of the evil farmers in the movie lived off of only yummy cider. I love cider. Cider, mmmmmm...

1 comment:

alesh said...

How horrible! Why didn't they let you back in after the all-clear?

I'm running out and seeing this movie this weekend. I'm a card-carrying Wes Anderson fanboy, and all the praise from even critics that normally don't like him is pretty tempting.