directed by Wes Anderson (2009)
Wes Anderson’s movies have a particular hipster artistry that sometimes yields poignant and aesthetically pleasing magic (Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore), other times it results in slightly annoying, self satisfied quirkiness (Steve Zissou, and, so I’ve heard, Darjeeling Limited). Fantastic Mr. Fox falls squarely on the magical side, not only in terms of the plot and the story (by Roald Dahl, which Anderson and screenwriter Noah Baumbach greatly expanded on for the film), but the stop motion animation is simply amazing.
The set, character, and costume design (I love Mr Fox’s cord suit and his son’s home made super hero get ups) is unerringly charming and whimsical and I hope it inspires more delicately thoughtful stop motion features in this era of crass computer animation (Pixar excluded, of course). Drastically unlike those churned out kid’s flicks, Fantastic Mr. Fox is far more stylized and perhaps even more delightful for stylish parents than their children (wacky sing-a-longs with Jarvis Cocker, anyone?), and the tone is decidedly more subtle, sophisticated, and bittersweet than usual talking animal fare. I went with my office after an exhausting season of late nights and we all walked out like a bunch of kids with big smiles on our faces.