But the film isn't just impressive visually, it also features a formidable cast of talent that includes George Clooney as Mr. Fox, Meryl Streep as his Mrs., and Jason Schwartzman as their son Ash, as well as supporting work from Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Owen Wilson. Like Anderson's previous work, 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' deals with matters both profound and absurd. Early critical response is overwhelmingly favorable, with most critics noting that the kitschy puppets are a perfect match for Anderson's signature style of quirky storytelling. On the heels of Spike Jonze's adaptation of 'Where the Wild Things Are,' another hipster director, Wes Anderson, takes on another beloved children's book: Roald Dahl's 'Fantastic Mr Fox.' Unlike Jonze's blend of live-action and CGI, Anderson's film details the life of its titular character using super-retro handmade stop-motion animation, and the result is as uniquely folksy as it is stunning.
But the film isn't just impressive visually, it also features a formidable cast of talent that includes George Clooney as Mr. Fox, Meryl Streep as his Mrs., and Jason Schwartzman as their son Ash, as well as supporting work from Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Owen Wilson. Like Anderson's previous work, 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' deals with matters both profound and absurd. Early critical response is overwhelmingly favorable, with most critics noting that the kitschy puppets are a perfect match for Anderson's signature style of quirky storytelling.
Variety: "The film's style, paradoxically both precious and rough-hewn, positions this as the season's defiantly anti-CGI toon, and its retro charms will likely appeal more strongly to grown-ups than to moppets; it's a picture for people who would rather drive a 1953 Jaguar XK 120 than a new one."
Entertainment Weekly: "What I now understand, though, is that in essence, [Wes Anderson] has always been making cartoons; he just confused the issue by putting real live actors in them. Before, he twisted reality into a permanent ironic pose. Now, in the infectiously primitive talking-animal world of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox,' he's become an ironic realist."
Salon: "There's so much to look at, and to giggle over, in 'Fantastic Mr. Fox': It has style and wit and heart, without ever being overly whimsical, a trap Anderson has too often fallen into. 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' could turn out to be the one movie Wes Anderson naysayers end up loving, and the one his loyal fans treat as a lesser accomplishment, a trifle."
'Fantastic Mr. Fox' showtimes and tickets
New York Magazine: "In one respect, 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' feels incomplete. When it ended, I found myself wishing that Anderson, animation director Mark Gustafson, cinematographer Tristan Oliver, designer Nelson Lowry, and the whole battery of gifted artists could come out and take a bow. Months of labor in every frame, and it still feels handmade, present, as if they're all backstage and the curtain is going up before your eyes."
Village Voice: "Where Dahl's book was essentially a survival story, Anderson's film has become a non-conformist fable about that wildness of spirit (our animal instincts, if you will) we are encouraged to tame as we get older and 'settle down.'"
The Guardian: "Granted, Anderson's mannerisms have been irritating in the past, but pitching a film at children has restored his sweet-natured charm. This is hip -- but with heart. Anderson and his co-writer, Noah Baumbach, together dream up a home-made simulacrum of the universe, in which lives a slightly reclusive and dysfunctional family group, like those in Anderson's 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and 'The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou' or in Baumbach's
'The Squid and the Whale.' Those were families who nursed their singularities and shared weirdnesses as a defense against the world. In 'Fantastic Mr Fox', the world itself seems just a little bit weird, but gloriously so."
The Los Angeles Times: "The greatest asset in 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' is Anderson's oddball comic timing and tone, especially as channeled through Clooney. The actor is capable of playing high-energy (as he does at times in his other current film,
'The Men Who Stare at Goats'), but here he's in his more characteristic calm and soft-spoken mode."
The Hollywood Reporter: "From the fox-red glow of a morning idyll to the noirish gutter scene where one character meets his end to the icy fluorescent glare of the film's closing scene -- happy but not without compromise -- 'Fox' is a visual delight."
The New York Times: "Is it is a movie for children? This inevitable question depends on the assumption that children have uniform tastes and expectations. How can that be? And besides, the point of everything Mr. Anderson has ever done is that truth and beauty reside in the odd, the mismatched, the idiosyncratic. He makes that point in ways that are sometimes touching, sometimes annoying, but usually worth arguing about."
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