Throwback Thursday – Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)

films, reviews, TBT

p3531300_v_v8_aj5_star_rating_system_4_stars1 We’re already on our second Thursday of the month and, in keeping with my nostalgic film, I’m rewatching the second film that I reviewed on this blog. It was nearly a month after I posted the first one so, it’s safe to say, I had a pretty relaxed start to this whole thing. I’m so invested in my schedule these days that it’s hard to cope with the fact that I used to just post whenever I had something to write about. It could be weeks or months between writing. I’m not saying that these days I write to gain any kind of response but, back then, I definitely wasn’t writing with the belief that anyone was going to read it. To be honest, I probably only went through with it because I didn’t believe anyone was going to read it. I’d have been mortified to think anyone I knew would see what I was doing. I’m still a little mortified that so many people in my life know about this now but I my love for doing this outweighs all of my natural instincts to hide away. I wish I had more confidence. The kind of confidence it takes for a fox to steal food and drink from under the noses of three angry farmers. Oh, look at that. Brought right back round to topic in hand. It’s almost like I’ve done this blogging malarky before.

Is it even possible to dislike stop motion animation? I can’t imagine how you can not enjoy it. Surely, the sheer craft that goes into and the charm of the end result just make stop motion films impossible to be negative about. If I’m honest, I’ve always been interested in trying it myself. For one thing, it’s the only way someone with my awful drawing skills will ever get to being an animator. However, it requires a lot of patience to do it and I’ve never been convinced of my ability to get through it. Although, thanks to a recent Instagram challenge, I’ve been experimenting with stop motion this week. Obviously, it’s all very basic but it’s been a load of fun. It also means that this week’s TBT was an even more fitting film to watch. The fact that it’s one of my favourite Wes Anderson movie is just an added bonus.

When I first watched Fantastic Mr Fox I fell in love with the animation. As with all of Wes Anderson films, the aesthetic is just perfect. The colour scheme works so well and the animation is just a thing of beauty. I still maintain that the scene in which the thieves dance together whilst on a late night heist is one of the greatest moments in cinema history. It’s so joyous and entertaining. With the addition of the soundtrack, something that Wes Anderson always gets right, Fantastic Mr Fox just comes together to work for everyone. It has enough fun for children and enough complexity for adults. It is nostalgic in its animation but not so much that younger viewers, more used to Disney animation, won’t enjoy it.

In my first review, I lamented the changes from the book and felt that the villains were diluted and the family plot took over a bit. I still feel this every time I rewatch but it gets less important. Do I wish it had more of the nightmarish feel that Dahl’s book does? Yeah, obviously. It was book my twin sister and I loved as children. I feel like I know that story so well that it was always going to tricky to see it told in another way. However, over time, I’ve mellowed. The story is well told and the animal community is fantastic. It’s very Wes Anderson like but not overly so. It’s as twee and awkward as we’ve come to expect from the director but its accessible. It still might not be the Fantastic Mr Fox film that we expected back in 2009 but it’s a delightful film. And one I have watched time and time again over the last 10 years.

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