A family man fox returns to his chicken-stealing ways, starting
a war between his animal friends and the farmers he robbed.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Directed by Wes Anderson
Written by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach
Starring George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman,
Bill Murray, Wallace Wolodarsky, Eric Chase Anderson,
Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson
Based on the novel by Roald Dahl
Oscar Nominations - Best Animated Film,
Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat)
It's time for me to finally marathon the work of Oscar-nominated auteur Wes Anderson, the king of symmetry. There's so many places to start, but something unexplainable pointed me towards Fantastic Mr. Fox. I've always been a fan of Roald Dahl's work, and I remember reading the book in middle school. Anderson's take on the fairly lesser-known story propels it into modern pop culture with a fantastical zeal. The voice cast is impeccable, and the animation is unique and visually stunning, complete with Anderson's signature stylized production design.
Mr. Fox (Clooney) is a renowned chicken thief who steals from farms of all sorts. After almost getting caught, his wife (Streep) makes him promise to get out of the game. Years later, with a son and nephew to take care of, Mr. Fox has a mid-life crisis and decides to have one last score. The sadistic farmers Boggins, Bunce, and Bean run the biggest farm and cider orchard in the valley, and Mr. Fox wants to take them for a ride. But his score only pisses them off and starts a war. It's an entertaining ride and a great adventure for the whole family.
Fantastic Mr. Fox shows that Wes Anderson can effortlessly bring his unique visual style of filmmaking into an animated medium. The film lost Best Animated Film to Up back in 2009 because of course it did. Nobody's beating that masterpiece. But still, if anything had a shot at beating Pixar, it would've been this delightful heist movie that reinvents Dahl's novel with gusto.