Fantastic Mr. Fox Who'd have guessed it? Wes Anderson, creator of the rascally stop-motion fable Fantastic Mr. Fox , turns out to be born to make animated films.… Fantastic Mr. Fox Who'd have guessed it? Wes Anderson, creator of the rascally stop-motion fable Fantastic Mr. Fox , turns out to be born to make animated films.… 2009-11-25 PG PT88M Animation Kids and Family George Clooney Meryl Streep Bill Murray Jason Schwartzman 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Movie Review

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

MPAA Rating: PG
George Clooney, Fantastic Mr. Fox | OUTFOXED George Clooney is master of his domain in Fantastic Mr. Fox
Image credit: Fox
OUTFOXED George Clooney is master of his domain in Fantastic Mr. Fox

Okay for kids?

EW says…

Min. Age 7-9 Yrs Old

Young children will love the cute critters. Older kids will relate to Ash's coming of age. And for adults there's sly humor, existential subtext, and an eclectic hipster soundtrack.—L.P.F. A.W.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox

Young children will love the cute critters. Older kids will relate to Ash's coming of age. And for adults there's sly humor, existential subtext, and an eclectic hipster soundtrack.—L.P.F.

Full Review and User Ratings

PG

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EW's GRADE
A

Details Release Date: Nov 25, 2009; Rated: PG; Length: 88 Minutes; Genres: Animation, Kids and Family; With: George Clooney and Meryl Streep; Distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Who'd have guessed it? Wes Anderson, creator of the rascally stop-motion fable Fantastic Mr. Fox, turns out to be born to make animated films. I say that with a bit of mischief, because I'm not a big fan of Anderson's work (Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited). What I now understand, though, is that in essence, he's 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.

Freely adapting Roald Dahl's 1970 children's book, Anderson creates an endearingly tactile fairy-tale thrift-shop universe, with quaintly painted backdrops, cotton balls for smoke, and a family of foxes who move in such deliberate fashion that, up close, you can see the hairs on their faces bristle and jerk. Yet Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney), Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep), and their son, Ash (Jason Schwartzman), inhabit a world that's disarmingly, well, lifelike. There are jokes about flipped real estate (they move from a hole to a tree — i.e., an upscale condo), plus a very unchildlike soundtrack powered by the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. As a hero, Mr. Fox has the arch self-possession to insist to his wife that he poaches poultry ''because I'm a wild animal.'' Against her wishes, he plots to rip off a trio of evil farmers, and the film turns into a modly surreal, underground-burrowing heist yarn, with Clooney as self-mockingly sympathetic as he is in the Ocean's films. With its virtuoso tomfoolery, Fantastic Mr. Fox is like a homegrown Wallace and Gromit caper. To Wes Anderson: More, please! A

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Originally posted Nov 11, 2009 Published in issue #1076 Nov 20, 2009 Order article reprints