[The Fantastic Mr Fox]

Guys, this is such a good year for allegedly children’s movies. We had Up, we had Wild Things, and now? The Fantastic Mr Fox, Wes Anderson’s stop motion adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel, which was so much better than I had even hoped. I am a little grumpy, to be honest, that it didn’t get the viral marketing blitz that Coraline did. Who, for example, knit the wee fox sweaters? Inquiring knitters want to know.

I have to say right out that I am a huge Wes Anderson fan, even though I did not enjoy The Life Aquatic & own The Darjeeling Limited mostly for the nearly-fetishized shots of Adrian Brody & his v long limbs. The Fantastic Mr Fox is visually unmistakable as Anderson, from the open-book opening to the cross-section dollhouse-esque shots to the neurotic perils of family life. I wanted to own the DVD immediately, to freeze-frame and admire the detail. With all the visual richness, though, it’s somehow less fussy than Anderson tends to be. It’s clever, but not irritatingly so, full of fox-sized adventure in a dangerous world, more true for being handmade. It’s fantastic.

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