Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) Poster

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7/10
I think my enjoyment of the film was damaged by all the hype....
MartinHafer17 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
When "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" debuted, there was a lot of hubbub about it. People were abuzz about it at Cannes and people talked about it at Oscar time. So, naturally, I assumed it must have been a heck of a good film--not a slightly better than average film with some slightly creepy characters. Yes, I say slightly creepy because the stop-motion characters look quite a bit like dead stuffed animals. Plus there simply have been so many animated films that looked more technically advanced. This one seemed more like a cast-off from the old days of stop-motion--which isn't all bad, as it IS interesting if old fashioned.

The story is about a thrill-seeking fox who loves to take chances--though he seems to forget that he has a family back home. At the same time, there's an inspiring plot (or at least that's what the formula dictates) about the wimpy son of this fox needing to prove himself. Both these plot come together when three local entrepreneurs get sick of Mr. Fox stealing from them again and again. Much of the final half of the film involves the foxes and other animals all trying to avoid getting killed by these men--and the young fox (not unexpectedly) proving his worth.

Really, there's nothing too extraordinary about this film--the animation or the story. The only outstanding things are the expensive actors that were employed to provide the voices. Otherwise, it's an enjoyable film for older kids and adults alike--though I do think it's a bit too dark for younger audiences.

By the way, you might think I am crazy for making this comparison, but right after seeing the much-praised "Fantastic Mr. Fox", I watched a film with no real distribution at all (Disney basically killed the film and released it straight to video) that had no critical acclaim (1996's "The Wind in the Willows") and found I much preferred the lower budget latter film. It was simply more fun...something I felt was missing at times from "Fox".
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9/10
Endearing and hugely enjoyable
TheLittleSongbird12 June 2011
For those who are looking for a 100% faithful adaptation of Roald Dahl's book, I think they will be disappointed. Lacking the dark edge of Dahl's book and of his writing in general, Fantastic Mr Fox is not so good as an adaptation, however on its own terms it is wonderful. It is an endearing and hugely enjoyable film.

One thing that stood out was how the film looked. Instead of the CGI rendered effects, Wes Anderson opts for a more old-fashioned stop-motion effect. This decision worked, because the visual look is outstanding, not just in the beautifully detailed backgrounds and sets but in how the characters move as well and the small details such as the armchair in his writing hut.

I like Alexandre Desplat's music quite a bit. His score for Fantastic Mr Fox is no exception, it is quirky yet still has the minimalist style that makes Desplat stand out. The story is sometimes slow in the pace but because of the humour and how it looked, I never found the film boring, besides the story itself is so good. The writing is great, the humour is more adult but a vast majority of it is very funny with the odd touching moment too.

The characters add a lot. Mr Fox is one of my favourite titular characters in a book and the film did little to change that, and while some are slightly underused they serve their purpose well. The voice work is fantastic. I wasn't sure about George Clooney, but he does do a bravura job, and Meryl Streep is quite touching. Michael Gambon is sterling, as is Bill Murray as Badger.

In conclusion, hugely enjoyable and one of my personal favourites of 2009. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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Great Fun
Michael_Elliott13 February 2011
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Delightful animation movie features stop motion, which has sadly been pretty much forgotten over the years, although a few examples show up every once in a while. The story here concerns a fox (George Clooney) who gets his wife (Meryl Streep), kids and the other animals kicked out of their homes after stealing chickens from a trio of farmers who then decide to take revenge on the animals. After letting everyone down the fox must try and come up with a way to strike back at the farmer and reclaim their land. FANTASTIC MR. FOX is rather refreshing because it's an original film that doesn't try to cater to any certain type of viewer and instead just comes off as a fresh work that can go into any direction it wants without having to play by any sort of rules. Based on a book by Roald Dahl, there's no question that this film isn't going to be for everybody but the story is so good, the visuals terrific and the voice work is downright wonderful and in the end if you're able to accept this type of film then you're going to love it. The visual look of the film is so beautiful that you really just want to pause scenes and gaze at the beauty in them. There are so many terrific looking scenes but one of my favorites is a POV shot of a rabid dog chasing the fox. Another terrific sequence comes when the fox has let everyone down and he stands out in the rain while his wife comes to talk with him. The look of the rain is unlike any visual I've seen in any movie before and it's certainly one I won't forget. The story itself allows for many kid-like qualities but the screenplay makes sure that adults will get the many jokes thrown their way. I really loved how the bad words were covered up by the creatures simply saying cuss and it's easy for the adults to fill in what word was suppose to be there. Clooney has one of the greatest voices out there when it comes to giving off any sort of emotion and I thought he was terrific here. He can do sly and be a smart aleck while at the same time being charming and he brings that to the fox character and makes him quite memorable. The supporting voices include Streep, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson and Willem Dafoe among others. I'm really not sure how many kids will enjoy this thing but those familiar with different types of animation will probably find this to be quite refreshing. Its sense of humor and messages are all very well handled and when you consider the talent and look this is certainly a must-see.
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5/10
Quirky stop motion adventure
Leofwine_draca24 July 2015
I used to love reading Roald Dahl's stories when I was a kid, so this stop motion version of one of his favourite works intrigued me. Also, I'd never seen a Wes Anderson film before, so I was eager to see what all the fuss was about surrounding this maverick director.

My feelings about FANTASTIC MR. FOX are mixed. There are many elements of the original story present and correct here, but at the same time the story has been muddled and become very Americanised. I don't mind the fact that the animals have American accents (George Clooney et al) but I hate the intrusive pop music that keeps playing on the soundtrack in order to evoke emotion - I always despise films that play this cheap trick.

The heart of the story - humans vs. animals - is a good one and there are a lot of funny and quirky moments, but other parts of the film left me cold. The characters of the young foxes are played by a couple of adult voice actors and the effect is a distinctly odd, and slightly creepy, one. Still, it's not all bad, and it's hard to dislike a film that utilises so much stop motion as this one does.
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7/10
Claymation Wes Anderson style
SnoopyStyle8 September 2013
Mr. Fox decides to end his wild days by doing one last raid. He plans an elaborate raid on farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean.

Wes Anderson brings his sense of filmmaking to claymation. He doesn't comprise any on the his visual, his color palette, and his language. There's no mistake that this is all Wes Anderson. The story isn't of much consequence. The dialog is filled with the dry wit that Wes Anderson is known for. The camera style on shooting head on remain even thought it's animation. Add to it, Wes has enticed the voice talents of all his famous friends including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman. George is especially effective as the suave Mr Fox. It's interesting to see Wes Anderson try something different. However I don't this medium fits him that well. His style is already very static. The restriction of animation really decreases the emotional effectiveness of actors especially this type of claymation.
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9/10
It Was Fantastic!
Hitchcoc13 October 2010
I have never been so absorbed by a group of animated figures. Even more impressive than the stop action process used here (it must have taken forever), is a delightful set of people/animals that charm us and make us care. As with all Roald Dahl children's books, we get to see the dark side of humanity, no punches pulled. The animals are a combination of their natural propensities and "human" qualities. The story involves an upwardly mobile fox, voiced by George Clooney, who wants the best for his family, but can't seem to avoid killing chickens or robbing the people who live on the edge of his domain. He is a "wild animal" and this makes it hard for him to restrain himself. He is also quite irresponsible but so charming that he can talk his way out of anything. Into the mix is his faithful wife (who really gets fed up with him) and a son who is small, aspires to be an athlete, and is in the throes of teenage low self-esteem. A whiz kid cousin come to visit and upsets the apple cart. Ultimately, the actions of Mr. Fox bring about a battle with the dangerous humans and the fun begins. This is a delight to look at. Even if you're not into "children's" animated films, I became totally absorbed.
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8/10
Animated animals
kosmasp7 October 2010
I had the fortune to look behind the scenes of a "puppet" movie. The work and dedication that has to into a production is incredible. To make it work, to give the "items" (animals in this case) emotion and character is anything but easy. You have to care for them, laugh and maybe even cry with them.

Something that this movie achieves so easily, it's almost frightening. Wes was not on set, but gave his ideas and opinions to the animators and they brought it to life. Many kudos to them, who admitted, not being used to work like that before. Great voice artist help elevate the really very good, fine dialogue further.

A movie for almost everyone.
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7/10
Lots of Quirky Fun
gavin694219 April 2014
An urbane fox (George Clooney) cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation.

I have enjoyed every one of Wes Anderson's movies, but somehow managed to not see this one when it first came out. A shame, as it is every bit as good as the others. Not my favorite, but not my least favorite... and even his lesser films are still more fun than most of the things that get made these days.

The cast is exceptional, but it is Anderson's sensibility that really sells this one. He is just so quirky. I have not read the original book, but I assume a few liberties were taken. Maybe Anderson should adapt more Dahl works... he could have made a better "James and the Giant Peach"...
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9/10
Roald Dahl + Wes Anderson = something cool
lee_eisenberg18 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I read Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" in third grade. Even as a cinephile all the way back then, I hadn't thought about a screen adaptation of that book. Well, king of quirky cinema Wes Anderson brought it to the screen. I didn't manage to see it when it got released in 2009, but I've now gotten around to it. Quite an experience. George Clooney voices the calculating vulpine who organizes the other wild animals after some farmers try to kill him. Also starring is Meryl Streep as his wife, and Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson and Willem Dafoe in other roles.

The movie very much has the feel of a Wes Anderson movie, with the centered scenes and stark colors. There's a reason why I've liked every one of Anderson's movies.* I'll be eager to see his upcoming movie "The French Dispatch" (whose release the coronavirus has delayed).

I should note that this flick isn't an exact adaptation of Dahl's book. There are some changes along the way (namely the ending; I guess that the movie's ending looks more conducive to the 21st century). Even so, it's a fine piece of work with all the humor that one would expect in a Wes Anderson movie. I recommend it.

*By contrast, I haven't liked anything that Terrence Malick has done in the 21st century. Does that loser even bother writing scripts? Easily the most overrated director of all time.
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8/10
Fantastic Mr. Fox
jboothmillard19 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are the films I have seen adapted from the books by Roald Dahl, and this was the next one from director Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums). Basically Mr. Fox (George Clooney) spends most of his time raiding farms, but when Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep) reveals she is pregnant, he makes the decision to quit. Two years later Mr. Fox has bought a new house in a tree for him, his wife and their son Ash (Jason Schwartzman), and Mr. Fox has become a newspaper columnist. The tree is located very close to the farms belonging to Franklin Bean (Sir Michael Gambon), Walter Boggis (Robin Hurlstone) and Nathan Bunce (Hugo Guinness), and his old career is soon to return. After moving in Mr. Fox's nephew Kristofferson Silverfox (Eric Chase Anderson) has come to live with them, but this doesn't stop Mr. Fox with his friend Kylie Sven Opossum (Wallace Wolodarsky) planning to steal chickens, turkeys and alcoholic cider. After the successful "final raid" of the three farms, led by the nasty Bean, he and the also mean Boggis and Bunce decide enough's enough, and that they should catch and kill Mr. Fox and the gang. Bean did manage to shoot the tail of Mr. Fox off, but they know that the animals are digging underground all over the place to get away, so the farmers try to drown them in the tunnels with a hoard of cider. Mr. Fox and the gang have retreated to the sewers, but they know they have to go back when Kristofferson has been captured, with only the Rat (Willem Dafoe) knowing his location. Mr. Fox sends a message to the farmers negotiating his surrender for Kristofferson's release, but in fact the animals have planned a counter attack. In the end the farmers are defeated by the cunning of Mr. Fox and the animals, they manage to get his mauled tail back, and they have accepted living int he sewers to stay safe, but they have found a pothole leading to salvation in a supermarket, run by Bean, Boggis and Bunce. Also starring Bill Murray as Badger, Owen Wilson as Coach Skip, Jarvis Cocker as Petey, Wes Anderson as Weasel, Brian Cox as Action 12 Reporter and Adrien Brody as Rickity the Field Mouse. The film is made by the old fashioned stop motion in stead of the modern CGI effects, this makes the film much more charming. Obviously the Americanisation of the story does stop it being completely British, but Clooney is great choice for the leading, and the other supporting characters are great fun too, it a most watchable family animated comedy adventure. It was nominated the Oscars for Best Music for Alexandre Desplat and Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, it was nominated the BAFTAs for Best Animated Film and Best Music, and it was nominated the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film. Very good!
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10/10
Great Dialog, Visual Make This A Winner For Adults
ccthemovieman-128 March 2010
I would think the audience is limited for this kind of animated film but, thank goodness, I'm one of those people who loved it. Apparently, a lot of other reviewers here did, too. There is a lot to appreciate about this movie.

"Fox" is written for other adults, let's be honest. This isn't a kids' movie because most of the dialog would go right over their heads. However, intelligent adults - people especially with a good vocabulary and a quirky sense of humor - should love "Fantastic Mr. Fox."

The hero is even voiced by a real-life elitist, George Clooney. The smug-sounding Mr. Clooney does a super job in the lead voice role of "Mr. Fox." The same goes for the villainous "Mr. Bean," voiced by the nasty-sounding Michael Gambon. The details in the drawings also come through nicely in the Blu-Ray version, so see it in that formula if you have a BD player and HD set. Thus, this film offers great visuals along with the wonderful dialog.

The story is typical; a father finds out his family is more important than anything else and his young son tries to win approval from dad - but how this is executed is really "clever" to both see and hear. Yes, it's a cliché story but it's done so differently with such unique dialog and humor that it's fantastically entertaining.

If you think animated films are strictly for the young; this movie will change your mind. Best of all, it's the type of movie you should be able to enjoy multiple times because there is so much to take in.
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Animated, using small puppets, quirky and different, I liked it.
TxMike30 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Wes Anderson, a native Houstonian, makes quirky and interesting movies. Among his my favorite is 'Rushmore', made in Houston. Here he directs and has a hand in writing the extended adaptation of a storybook.

George Clooney is the clever and fantastic Mr. Fox. We see him and Ms Fox get captured early, stealing birds, and he vows to go straight, get a legitimate job. So 2 years later (12 Fox years) he writes a newspaper column. Meryl Streep is Mrs. Fox. Jason Schwartzman is his young son, Ash. (Bill Murray voices the Badger and, perhaps not coincidentally, Murray and Schwartzman were the two principle actors in 'Rushmore'.)

Other famous voices include Michael Gambon as Franklin Bean, Willem Dafoe as the menacing Rat, and my grandson's namesake, Owen Wilson as Coach Skip.

But Mr Fox, and of course all the other animals, are wild animals. It is against their nature to go straight, and not steal chickens, geese, and apple cider from the farmers. So most of the movie pits the animals against the farmers. Mr Fox indeed turns out to be fantastic!

The extras are interesting, especially as they relate to the animation used here, small puppets moved slightly between single frame shots. Much like claymation of the Wallace and Grommit movies.
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10/10
a marvelous clubhouse of a movie where we're all invited to laugh and feel happy
Quinoa198422 November 2009
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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Entertaining but nothing exceptional
Gordon-1117 January 2010
This stop motion animation is about a clever fox who stopped stealing for a living after his son was born. He steals again many years later, with drastic consequences.

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" has elements to keep people interested. I like the abundance of funny scenes, as it works magic in the film. Visuals are nice and the characters are likable to look at. I find the plot quite straight forward, and even a little too plain in some parts. There are little ups and downs to keep the thrill going. Or maybe I am expecting too much as it is a children's story.

I have always had respect for stop motion animations because it takes so long to make just a scene. "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is an alright animation to spend an evening, but I do not find it particularly memorable.
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8/10
Clever animation. Critical acclaim.
michaelRokeefe18 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Its stop-motion animation versus CGI as director Wes Anderson gives life to a Roald Dahl children's book about a fox(George Clooney)that juggles providing for his family and taking his midlife crisis in stride. The Fantastic Mr. Fox goes from common chicken thief to journalist. This is actually funnier than you may think. It is a blend of sophistication with old school story telling. Local farmers are tired of their chicken houses being raided...and yes they have a real good idea of who is causing their grief. Mr. Fox goes into survival mode and must outwit the chicken farmers and doing so saves a whole community. Mr. Fox is fantastic and a hero. Besides Clooney, an all-star cast lends voice to these interesting characters: Meryl Streep, Wilem Dafoe, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Eric Chase Anderson and Wally Wolodarsky.
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8/10
Refreshing Return to Stop-Motion for a Diverting Treatment
LeonLouisRicci24 July 2014
Another At Odds with Current Trends Movie, Director Wes Anderson goes Animated Without CGI (except in one scene) and Goes Retro with Stop Motion Animation. Tim Burton, another Quirk of a Director, also Bucked the Mainstream on Occasion with this Type. But it is Expensive, Time Consuming, and Considered Antiquated and not Modern Viewer Friendly.

The Result is a Film that Looks like No Other of its Recent Brethren. There isn't an Iota of Pixarness to be Seen. It is Truly a Stand Alone Animated Effort that is Written Up to Kids and Funny Friendly for Adults.

There is an Atmosphere of Wild Animals in Nature's Habitat, but Speaking and Thinking on a Collegiate Level and Wearing Suits and Ties. It all has a Disconcerting Effect and Lends a Through the Looking Glass Quality.

It has Typical Wes Anderson Colorful Touches with a Muted Palette that Manages to Encompass a Primitive Style that Many an Amateur Painters use doing Landscapes and Nature Scenes, so the Art is Subdued to an Earthly Realm. Naturalism.

The Movie is Amusing and even Very Funny at Times and the Energy of the Wild is Unleashed for Viewer Edification. A Remarkable, Different Slant on the Usual Kiddie Fare.

Note...Very young Children may find some of the Characters a might disturbing and Parents should be cautious with Pre-Schoolers. But then again, with most now being exposed to the Internet and TV Programming, even the very young will most likely find these Wild Animals in Human Garb, not that Scary.
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6/10
Good film seems more Wes Anderson and less Roald Dahl
dbborroughs28 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Wes Anderson takes a Rolad Dahl film and makes it his own. There is no getting around it this is an Anderson film except animated. If you don't like Anderson's style then just stay away. If you do, then give it a shot. The plot has George Clooney's Fox settling down with Meyrl Streep when she is pregnant. Years later he's a columnist for a newspaper and is feeling middle aged. He moves his family into a new house and despite promising his wife never to steal chickens again, he begins to go back to his old ways which precipitates a war with the three biggest farmers in the country. An amusing film filled with angst and humor and Anderson's skewed view of life. If Anderson sold this as a kids film he has proved once again how dense the people in Hollywood really are since the vast majority of this film would go over most kid's heads. I like the film but I don't see it as the be all and end all, certainly I wouldn't put as the front runner for this years animated Oscar. My problems with the film stem from the films rambling nature which took up much of the first half. Once the war starts the film seems to settle down, though to me the ending, which was cribbed from Dahl's notes seems an after thought. I do like that Clooney's lead is very fallible, but at the same time he is kind of a jerk and more than once I wanted to shout at the screen questions about why everyone was still around him. Reservations aside this is very much worth seeing if you like Anderson's style.
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8/10
If what I think is happening is happening - it better not be.
lastliberal30 April 2010
I seldom watch these types of films. I am more interested in good acting than cartoons. However, I have to say that I am glad I did.

This was an excellent film with some characters that looked and acted very real.

My favorite is, of course, Mrs. Fox, played by Meryl Streep. She had all she could do to control Mr. Fox (Geaorge Clooney.

Outside of a couple of notables, the rest of the cast appeared to be Wes Anderson regulars. Since I cannot say anything good about them, I just let it go.

Anderson did a good job of keeping the action flowing in a tale of thievery ending with the great escape.

All-in-all a film well worth the time.
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9/10
Something for everyone
grantss2 April 2014
2009 was a great year for animated movies - first the excellent "Up", now this sweet, beautiful, feel-good movie.

Wes Anderson, director of such modern classics as Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore, takes a Roald Dahl novel, and makes a superb movie out of it.

Funny, witty, perfectly-paced, the plot and direction are spot-on. The animation is great and the choice of actors for the voices was inspired. George Clooney as Mr Fox is suave and sophisticated yet impishly naughty. Meryl Streep adds gravitas and motherly concern as Mrs Fox. Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray, ever-present in Wes Anderson movies, are perfect for their roles as the kid fox and the wise-cracking badger- lawyer, respectively. Even the minor parts have major names: Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe and Michael Gambon plus Jarvis Cocker (lead-singer of Pulp, in case you didn't know) as the folk-singing sidekick of one of the villains!

All this, and then Wes Anderson's customary perfectly-chosen rocking soundtrack.

It may be animated, but this isn't just for kids - it has something for everyone. A must-see: you won't be disappointed.
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7/10
Best Stop-Motion Film I've Ever Seen
view_and_review11 October 2021
Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) is just a simple fox trying to make his way in the world. For him, stealing chickens is the quickest and easiest way to make a living. The chicken theft life caught up with him one day while he was on a caper with his wife Mrs. Fox (voiced by Meryl Streep). It was then that he promised to give up the chicken stealing game.

Mr. Fox couldn't quite hold on to that promise. A couple of years later he was back at it again with his friend Kylie (voiced by Wallace Wolodarsky) and even his nephew Kristofferson (voiced by Eric Chase Anderson).

"Mr. Fox" is dry and subdued, but so very funny and entertaining. Though it's done in stop motion puppet animation, it will go over the heads of kids. The deadpan humor, particularly from Ash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman), Mr. Fox's son, was on point. Likewise, Badger (voiced by Bill Murray), Mr. Fox's attorney, chipped in with his own brand of comedy. I don't think I've seen a stop motion animation I've liked as much except if you count a few clips from "Robot Chickin."
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10/10
Truly Fantastic! One of the best family films (and one of the year's best!)
george.schmidt24 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009) **** (VOICES OF: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Wallace Wolodarsky, Eric Chase Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker, Karen Duffy, Brian Cox, Adrien Brody) Truly – well, fantastic – animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's lit classic as envisioned by filmmaker Wes Anderson (who co-wrote with Noah Baumbach and actually provides a voice talent too) about sly, wry Mr. Fox (equally wry and sly Clooney, his voice as welcome as a blanket on a snowy winter's night) whose days of chicken rousting are numbered when he backpedals from his domestic bliss with wife & teen son (Streep & Schwartzman equally cozy tones) to abscond with poultry from three community farmers (read: villains) and the consequences unleashed upon his animal community with impunity. Fast, fun and sharply etched with fine comedic bravado throughout (thank you again Bill Murray for your insouciant vocals) and a truly amazing tour-de-force for the stop-motion animators and production design by Nelson Lowry (seriously should be considered for an Oscar) with its autumnal palette and homemade puppetry look (waycool how everything bristles to life!) One of my faves of the year and one of the best family films of the year too boot; hell one of the year's best!
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10/10
Fantastic, Mr. Anderson
evanston_dad5 May 2010
This delightful animated film has Wes Anderson's fingerprints all over it, which is a great thing if you like his movies as much as I do.

Present are the vague melancholy and yearning for something bigger and better that so many of Anderson's characters feel in so many of his movies. They're never completely happy, because they never know exactly what it is that will make them happy, a conundrum supremely identifiable for his audiences. But what might feel like tedious existential angst in the hands of some colder and more cerebral director never does with Anderson, because he fills his movies with warmth and wit.

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" is beautiful to look at and has terrific voice work from big stars like George Clooney and Meryl Streep. But the standout is Anderson regular Jason Schwartzmann, as a young fox with serious inadequacy issues.

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" is the best animated film I saw last year -- yes, better than "Coraline" and "Up." Anderson has proved that Pixar need not claim a monopoly on worthy screen animation.

Grade: A+
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5/10
I did not like it very much
neil-4764 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Aren't preconceptions horrible? I went to this movie convinced, on the back of having seen the trailer numerous times, that I wouldn't enjoy it. And guess what? I was right.

I'm a big fan of mainstream stop-frame animation - I have the complete Harryhausen (excluding Earth vs The Flying Saucers, but including all the Puppetoons etc.) On my DVD shelves, and I'm a big fan of Willis O'Brien, Jim Danforth, and Phil Tippett. I don't much care for the middle European stuff from the 50s and 60s though.

And that's pretty similar to the style adopted here, and I have to say I don't care for it. There were times when I greatly admired the way some effects were achieved, but I really didn't like the way this film looked (from a character and set design point of view) or moved. In fact, populating an essentially rustic English setting with distinctly American animals didn't really work. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the idea, it was simply that the execution meant that there was, to me, an irreconcilable disharmony between the two.

The voice talent was, on the whole, very good, with Clooney, Streep, and Gambon not unexpectedly taking the honours.

The script was, I thought, awful. Wes Anderson joins the Coen brothers and Darren Aronofsky in that select group of writer/directors who make films which display, with utter confidence, a belief in how clever they are, a belief which a) I don't necessarily share and b) irritates me intensely with its arrogant disregard of me as an audience member.

Finally, this film has no idea - and doesn't care - who its audience is. In many ways it is clearly pitched at adults, but then it is tweaked downwards for tinies: the script contains a number of instances where the word "cuss" is substituted for the F-bomb, for instance.
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Fantastic Mr Fox review
JoeytheBrit9 May 2020
All of the trademark Wes Anderson quirkiness, but somehow minus everything that usually makes that quirkiness so irritating.
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6/10
Cluster Cuss of Wild Animals
ferguson-629 November 2009
Greetings again from the darkness. Sometimes being creative and clever just isn't enough. Writer/director Wes Anderson has a track record of extremely creative projects. Some work very well (Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore) while others fall just short of the mark (Life Aquatic, Darjeeling Limited). When Mr. Anderson hooks up with writer Noah Baumbach (Squid and the Whale) to take on a Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) story, a movie lover can't help but get very excited!

The look of the film is very unusual and "fantastic" in its own right. The fur or coats of the animals is pretty amazing and even the expressive faces are new to the big screen. What really fell short for me was the voice acting of some very impressive folks. George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray all fall a bit flat and just play it too cool ... dare I say it ... they were all a bit boring! Willem Dafoe as the rat was really the only one who brought any life to his role.

So while I absolutely love the look of the film and the characters, I was quite disappointed in the pace and passion of the story and the manner in which it's acted. It is probably too slow for both kids and adults, so I am not sure who the audience will be ... other than film technicians who will appreciate the look.
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