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Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

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An urbane fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation.

Director:

Wes Anderson

Writers:

Roald Dahl (novel), Wes Anderson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
867 ( 558)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 32 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Clooney ... Mr. Fox (voice)
Meryl Streep ... Mrs. Fox (voice)
Jason Schwartzman ... Ash (voice)
Bill Murray ... Badger (voice)
Wallace Wolodarsky ... Kylie (voice) (as Wally Wolodarsky)
Eric Chase Anderson ... Kristofferson (voice) (as Eric Anderson)
Michael Gambon ... Franklin Bean (voice)
Willem Dafoe ... Rat (voice)
Owen Wilson ... Coach Skip (voice)
Jarvis Cocker ... Petey (voice)
Wes Anderson ... Weasel (voice)
Karen Duffy ... Linda Otter (voice)
Robin Hurlstone Robin Hurlstone ... Walter Boggis (voice)
Hugo Guinness ... Nathan Bunce (voice)
Helen McCrory ... Mrs. Bean (voice)
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Storyline

This is the story of Mr. Fox and his wild-ways of hen heckling, turkey taking and cider sipping, nocturnal, instinctive adventures. He has to put his wild days behind him and do what fathers do best: be responsible. He is too rebellious. He is too wild. He is going to try "just one more raid" on the three nastiest, meanest farmers that are Boggis, Bunce and Bean. It is a tale of crossing the line of family responsibilities and midnight adventure and the friendships and awakenings of this country life that is inhabited by Fantastic Mr. Fox and his friends. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wally Wolodarsky is The Lookout See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for action, smoking and slang humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

25 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fantastic Mr. Fox See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$265,900, 15 November 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,002,919, 8 April 2010

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,471,023, 8 April 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second time a George Clooney character lies about being a thief while winning the girl back by taking a chance with "one last job". The first time was Danny Ocean in Ocean's Eleven (2001). See more »

Goofs

Fox live and work alone however in the film foxes are seen living together as a family and working not only with foxes but with other animals as well. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mr. Fox: What'd the doctor say?
Mrs. Fox: Nothing. Supposedly it's just a 24-hour bug. He gave me some pills.
Mr. Fox: I told you, you probably just ate some bad gristle.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film title appears on a library book, homaging the film as a novel adaptation. See more »

Connections

References Two English Girls (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Petey's Song
Written by Jarvis Cocker, Wes Anderson, and Noah Baumbach
Performed by Jarvis Cocker
Courtesy of Rough Trade Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
a marvelous clubhouse of a movie where we're all invited to laugh and feel happy
22 November 2009 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

I made a diorama in third grade of Fantastic Mr. Fox- a book which I loved fondly- and seeing this film brought me back to that, only better and bolder, but with the same handmade quality of someone awed by the world they read. It's also wildly funny and cheerfully light-and-heavy all at once. It brings director Wes Anderson's concerns as a filmmaker to light, as usual (dysfunctional family, idiosyncratic touches with the characters, absurd child-but-adult-like comedy), and in a setting that is a fantasy that anyone can attach to. Children will latch on to it because of its cute/creepy designs, and its raucous energy. Adults will eat it up because, like with Where the Wild Things Are, it brings us back to a time when we just want to have a fun time and do things, even if we might know or thing they're wrong, or maybe just to dance at very odd moments.

Mr. Fox (George Clooney, who else?) is a sly guy with a quick mouth and a caring manner. He is a wild animal though, which is why he breaks the promise he made to his wife to not go out and steal chickens after their first child is born. He can't help it really- those nasty trio of farmers, Boggis Bunce and Bean- have all of those chickens and deliciously alcoholic apple cider just waiting for the taking. As it turns out, this makes the farmers angry as hell (or rather Bean mostly, who at one point does one of those manic 'destroy everything in the house' reactions Kane might appreciate), and they go and destroy the Fox home and all the outlying areas.

From there it becomes a battle of wills and, sometimes, real fire power and acorn-bombs and a rabid dog and other wild craziness. Oh, and the stop-motion. Thanks be to someone out there: there's filmmakers still going through the painstaking but endlessly creative process of frame-by-frame film-making where it takes dozens of hours to get just a few seconds of film. People like Anderson and Henry Selick seek out the limitations so they can break through them, or toy around with them as much as possible.

With the characterization of 'Mr. Fox', Anderson and his animation team gives us creatures whose hair is always slightly blowing in the wind (something that must have been hard to attain being shot frame by frame), have eyes that are motorized and look like real human eyes almost, and water (or apple cider) when it flows becomes rather dreamlike and appears like we haven't seen it before. That all of the characters have something amazing to their features, be it the way Mr. Fox gnarls his teeth and then does his trademark whistle or to how Rat clicks his fingers like a West Side Story villain, there's something happening every other second. You might figure out how this is all done, but it's not as much concern as what they do with their creations, like kids with action figures making an epic on 8mm film.

Fantastic Mr. Fox has the childlike wonder, the modestly dazzling sets and production design (art-Anderson is basically the way to put it by now with his films, from the title cards of species identification to maps and chapter-headings), and an original sense of perspective when it comes to action scenes and simple little camera moves that comes off extraordinary in this setting. But it's also, mostly, hysterically funny. It's not a crude funny like the Hangover or too bizarre like the Men Who Stare at Goats. It's sometimes just plain awkward, or just totally unexpected, or built around an absurdity that comes up and down like the explanation of how to play Whackbat, or Mrs. Bean and her blindness. Or just a line of dialog ("He's just another rat found in the back of a Chinese restaurant") sets off a belly laugh that's hard to contain. This is, at the least, the funniest of all the Dahl adaptations, keeping to the surrealism of animals and humans alike, while sticking to a perfectly dry, off-handed approach by its filmmaker.

As with everything else in the movie, the comedy feels home-grown, not in a Hollywood lab where everything's tested. This goes too for the excellent voice work that brings Anderson/Baumbach's dialog to fruition. In the theatrical trailer, when first seen, the voices of Clooney and Streep and Bill Murray almost distracted from the quality of the animation. But in full context, they all work, even Anderson himself as a real-estate agent creature. And the outdoor-not-in-studio recording of the voices does add something extra: you feel like there's something real going on, not just in fantasy, thanks to the actors and their "on-set" work. I'm sure some extra ideas or expressiveness came out of this, because the performances are a great part of what makes this world so tangible: we know these people and animals, sort of, at least as much as any other Wes Anderson movie.

And sure, they're foxes, but why not connect with the theme while we're at it? The film is lovely and insane, smart and silly, lovable and (for a few moments) a little scary, with a kick-ass soundtrack straight out of a record collection (and musical store) that connects just right right this spectacular place of someplace-England. And hey, why not some existentialism to top it off: "Who am I? And how can a fox ever be happy without, you'll forgive the expression, a chicken in its teeth?" How indeed? "I don't know what you're talking about, but it sounds illegal."


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