The 2009 film Fantastic Mr. Fox
is our next example of the wonderful world of animation. This film has a similar animation style and process to that of Coraline, in that it uses “puppets,” however Fantastic Mr. Fox uses a style called “stop motion” animation. The animation style is not the only thing these two films have in common, in fact, the director of Coraline, Selick, was one of the original directors when Fantastic Mr. Fox started development in 2004 with Revolution Studios. However, once Revolution Studios folded, Director Selick left Wes Anderson behind so he could go direct Coraline. This was not going to stop Anderson from finishing this film. In 2007, production began again for Fantastic Mr. Fox With director Wes Anderson behind the wheel, a budget of approximately $40,000,000, and voices actors such as George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Bill Murray, this film was destined for a magical award season (Full Cast). Like Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox is also based on a novel, this time written by Roald Dahl, and was adapted into a screenplay by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. Fantastic Mr. Fox was released on November 25, 2009, ready to take home as many awards as possible. During award season, Fantastic Mr. Fox was nominated for sixty-one different awards and won thirty. These thirty included an Annie for “Writing in a Feature Production,” “Best Adapted Screenplay” at the International Cinephile Society Awards, and “Best Original Song” for Petey’s Song at the Houston Film Critics Society.
Now onto the story itself. The film opens to Mr. Fox and his wife strolling through a simple field which then turns into a squab heist. While Mrs. Fox expresses concerns about whether or not it is safe for the pair to be taking these birds from the farm, Mr. Fox reassures her that he “has been stealing birds for a living since before [he] could trot.” When the two find themselves caught in a trap, Mrs. Fox reveals that she is pregnant; this causes Mr. Fox to give up his old habits to find safer work for a domestic lifestyle. However, he finds it is hard for him to completely let go of his past and deny his animal instincts. Mr. Fox decides to take on one last big heist, but this job ends up putting not only himself, but the rest of the animals in danger as well. As the old saying goes, if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. But Mr. Fox does the exact opposite. When it seems like the whole neighborhood has reached its end, Mr. Fox relies on his wild instincts to keep digging – as that is what he does best – until he can save his neighbors. The moral of this story is while you may not like your original self, it is who you are and can save you. There is no reason to deny who you are deep down, and even though you may want everyone to think of you in the highest regard, you do not have to strive to be renowned as “The Fantastic You.” I find the humor in this movie, such as replacing cuss words with the literal word “cuss,” is the kind that will never get old. I encourage you to watch the trailer, rent the movie, grab a bag of popcorn, and enjoy.