I have never moved anywhere on the planet without my copy of Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I didn't go to the theater to see my all time favorite book made into a movie. I just couldn't be disappointed. How could it ever live up? I just knew it couldn't!
Boy was I wrong. What broke me? If you've been reading my blog "A Place Like This", you know that we have a family of fox living in our yard. Everyone has caught fox fever, which does have us reading nature manuals, and watching any movie with a fox in it, i.e. Robin Hood, Fox and Hound, and of course the new DVD release of Fantastic Mr. Fox.
It's time for a confession…..I love this movie. It carries the spirit of my favorite book where the fox changes his ways,doesn't hunt chickens and other small prey, becomes a journalist, hunts small prey again, farmers attack, fox family must fight for survival and in the end out fox the three wicked farmers.
The movie has so many elements that are different from the book but help to make the movie an entity of it's own, just not some movie based on a book. I knew the minute I heard the first four notes of the opening title theme that it was the tune of Davy Crockett. Interlaced throughout the movie are little snippets of soundtracks we all know and love like Robin Hood and other great faves.
The incredible and minute detail that went into making this movie is mind boggling. Wes Anderson did stop motion photography. Every little piece of scenery had to be made by hand and then to find the most talented of puppeteers to make the characters move as if the camera never stopped.
Wes added characters and it only added to the story. He really had the different personalities and nature of each animal character pegged.
The dialog is very witty and I just love the fact that they are dressed like humans, for the most part act like humans, and then there are these incidents where they act like the wild animals. It's so funny.
Another clever idea that Wes had was instead of using swear words for impact, he actually used the word "cuss". This just had me howling. It sounds so funny and is definitely poking fun at the usage of bad language.
I was so sad to see this movie end and I'm so glad we own it on DVD. We will be watching this movie again and again. That being said I also have to plug the book. I've read this book to many children and highly recommend it for an early chapter book. It's a fantastic story and sure to become a family favorite.