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  Publicity Stills of
"Fantastic Mr. Fox"
© 2009 20th Century Fox

Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Wally Wolodarsky, Michael Gambon, Helen McCrory, Wes Anderson, Eric Anderson, Jarvis Cocker, Willem Dafoe, Brian Cox, Adrien Brody
RunTime: 1 hr 27 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG
Official Website: www.foxmovies.com.sg

Opening Day: 19 November 2009


Based on the beloved story by Roald Dahl, the film tells the story of the noble, charming and fantastic Mr. Fox who uses his wits and cunning to outfox three dimwitted farmers who tire of sharing their chickens with the crafty creature.

Movie Review:

For some, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a movie project that comprises an all-star team. Roald Dahl (who created such imaginative story like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Wes Anderson (who directed quirky dysfunctional family movies such as The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited), George Clooney (who charms the socks of almost everyone else in movies like the Ocean 11 series) are just some of the talent on board in this fantastic project. Together to present such a lively charming film and it’s so evident where they all left their marks in this movie.

Back in 1970, Roald Dahl created a short story about Mr Fox and how he attempts to steal food from his three nasty farmer neighbors. In it’s simplicity, it accounts how the Fox family were trapped by the farmers and how Mr Fox came up with a ingenious idea to save his family. The characters were vibrantly memorable and there’s a sort of being rebellious against overwhelming oppressive forces that makes a good morale tale for the children to read up upon.

For this movie, Wes Anderson expanded the short story with his blend of quirky dysfunctional family woes and exemplifies the struggles of each individual Fox family members. In this modification, it gave Mr. Fox more dimensions on the reason why he stole food from the farmers. Instead of just provision for the family, the reason why Mr. Fox stole the food had a new angle. It dealt with struggling to embrace his wide side and do things that he has the passion for (albeit that those things happened to be very dangerous).

Mrs. Fox is given more bite in this incarnation. Instead of being just a helpless mom and wife who’s only duty in this story was to prepares the feast, she gets to fuss over Mr.Fox’s unhealthy passion in life and provides the voice of reason in the most unexpected moment. Mr. and Mrs Fox four children had been merged into one disgruntled character Ash who is a little different from the rest. Here we see the wonderful eccentric hallmarks of a Wes Anderson’s movies in which the child (who is slightly different) that seeking the parent’s approval. For a fan of both Roald Dahl and Wes Anderson’s work, it was quite impressive to see how both’s style could be adapted to each other without losing their respective flavor.

Last but not least, the voice talents and the animators breathe life to these memorable characters. The most notable element (beside the beautifully and painstakingly frame by frame photography and animation) would be George Clooney lending his voice talent to Mr. Fox. He gave the witty fox a debonair roguish flair that is so charming; it’s easy to take part in whatever mischief that he comes up with.

In a nutshell, Fantastic Mr.Fox is one of those rare children movies that appeal to the kids in everyone. It has an endearing old school feel of stop animation and soundtracks to magically transport the adults back to their days of being a child. It’s also invokes a sense of Western cowboy standoff in the midst of their battle and that’s kinda cool. It’s also filled with witty and funny dialogues between characters that made the movie quite enchanting. Simply put it, Fantastic Mr. Fox is nothing short of being absolutely fantastic.

Movie Rating:

(Utterly captivating and endearing, Fantastic Mr. Fox will dig the child out in you)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


. The Tale of Despereaux (2008)

. Corpse Bride (2005)

. The Nightmare Before Christmas DVD (1993)


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