Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Fantastic Mr. Fox (film, 2009)

This is a great one. Kind of to Wes Anderson's filmography what Corpse Bride is to Tim Burton's: the place where he steps outside of his own medium only to find the ultimate expression of his own particular filmmaking concerns. As many reviewers have noted, all of Anderson's Andersonisms feel natural here in a way that (many people feel) they don't in his live-action films. And his themes - the underappreciated son, the paterfamilias who won't grow up, the materfamilias whose role mainly seems to be to try to make him grow up - are all present and accounted for.

As is his care with music. Others will remark on the strangely appropriate Beach Boys placements; I want to point out what's playing faintly in the background of that idyllic scene the Foxes spend in the front yard of their new tree house, when Mrs. Fox is painting, Mr. Fox is reading his newspaper, and the boys are learning how to dive. It's "Love," from the 1973 Disney Robin Hood - in which, of course, Robin and Marian are foxes. Nice touch.


Brian said...

So glad you found this film enjoyable. I haven't seen it yet, but it's on my list of movies to see as soon as time permits. I've always been a fan of Anderson. Great little review! - Your Cuz, Brian

Tanuki said...

Thanks, Brian. I meant to add in the review that kids might even enjoy it. Seems odd to say "might even," given that it's animation, from a Roald Dahl book, but it seemed so very Wes Anderson that it felt like a pretty grown-up movie to me. I don't think there were any kids in the audience when I saw it, and it was a matinee.