And so the fun begins. The LFF opening night gala was Fantastic Mr Fox, an adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic by quirky director Wes Anderson. Filmed in stop motion animation, but owing more to 70s childrens TV than modern Burtonesque features.

The movie is sweet and the filmmakers show dedication and detail. But it struggles to find its audience; not exciting enough for a Pixar generation of kids, not funny enough for adults, and probably not impressive enough for critics.



And so the fun begins. The LFF opening night gala was Fantastic Mr Fox, an adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic by quirky director Wes Anderson. Filmed in stop motion animation, but owing more to 70s childrens TV than modern Burtonesque features.

The movie is sweet and the filmmakers show dedication and detail. But it struggles to find its audience; not exciting enough for a Pixar generation of kids, not funny enough for adults, and probably not impressive enough for critics.

That said there is some fine vocal talent on display, encouraged by Anderson's use of location sound recording. At the press conference Jason Schwartzman (who plays Mr Fox's son Ash) said that it was a joy to work with such great talent, and he enjoyed just watching his fellow performers, acting like animals and hiding behind bushes.

The 'Fantastic' George Clooney was his usual witty self with sharp dismissive responses. At one point he was asked whether playing a father/son relationship had made him "broody". He replied:

"What's broody? I'm learning so many new phrases over here." The press persisted with personal questions which he deftly avoided answering. He also joked that he was proud to be "officially Foxy" and "didn't enjoy working with Bill Murray."

Murray skilfully wove surreal answers: "unless you've played a badger, we can't even have this conversation", with earnest talk of his fellow actors fine vocal achievements.

On the controversial decision to make the animals American, Anderson said that it was because he wrote American voices better, but he made the farmers British... "Because they're the bad guys," Murray chimed in.

Thank goodness someone said it because all the press were thinking it. It's the one sore point that really sticks out for me. The film is meant to retain its English village setting, but so many Americanisms slip in and out (like the incongruous Action 10 news) that I really wasn't convinced.

We can also rest assured that the moral of the story, according to Clooney, is "stealing is good".

Despite its animation, this is a distinctly Anderson directed film. Whether you like that or not is a personal matter, but it was good enough for Felicity Dahl, who thinks that Roald would have loved it.