Fantastic Mr. Fox might be a stop-action animation film, but it's all Wes Anderson.
Adapted from the Roald Dahl kids' book, it features the voices of Meryl Streep and Bill Murray, and George Clooney in the title role.
Like Dahl, Anderson possesses an off-kilter, sly sensibility. We're introduced to dapper Mr. Fox as he leans against a tree, The Ballad of Davy Crockett on the soundtrack. A family man, he's trying to go straight, keeping a promise to his wife (Streep) to stop stealing chickens.
That's not going to last — instincts, you know. This will get him and his family in trouble with the powerful landowners around them. But like other Anderson films — The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou — Mr. Fox has a theme of fathers and sons. Mr. Fox's son, Ash (Jason Schwartzman), is sullen and never thinks he can measure up. The visit from a cousin named Kristofferson (Eric Anderson), who is seemingly perfect, only makes matters worse.
Adults will pick up on the subtext, and everyone will enjoy the zaniness of the film. Mr. Fox, written by Anderson and Noah Baumbach, is filled with clever lines, delightfully delivered by the cast. It's also colorful, and despite having an almost quaint quality in the this CGI age, it looks fresh and vibrant.
It's fun and refreshing quirky entertainment for all ages.
Fantastic Mr. Fox retails for $29.98 and $35.99 on Blu-ray.