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"Fantastic Mr. Fox" Review

Director Wes Anderson is known for arch and quirky films like Rushmore, The Royal Tennenbaums, and The Darjeeling Limited so that he had crossed over into animation with his adaptation of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox caught me by surprise; I'd heard he was involved but figured he was just producing like Tim Burton frequently does.

Boasting a voice cast led by George Clooney and Meryl Streep and staffed with Anderson rep company types like Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, and Bill Murray, FMF is a cute old school-styled stop-motion animated film which looks like it's for the kids, but is much to sophisticated in its execution. That's not to say it's raunchy, but that its humor will sail waaaaaaaay over the heads of the rugrats as we watch Clooney's titular fox trying to square his quiet family life with his basic instincts to rob the local farmers warehouses.

If you're familiar with Anderson's symmetrical shot compositions, you'll smile at the tableaus he stages which make everything look 2D. The voice cast is funny and there's enough goofball humor to be found for those who can ride Anderson's wavelength. It's hard to explain what makes it neat - I'm failing in my critical responsibilities! - but I liked it. Might be just me though.

Score: 6/10. Catch it on cable.


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