Fall Film: Fantastic Mr. Fox


Grace Tynski

   If you’re an avid movie watcher, you may be stuck in a sort of limbo right now. Halloween is over, so you probably don’t want to watch many horror movies right now. It’s only the beginning of November, so you also may not want to jump into Christmas movies quite yet. Lucky for you, I have the perfect movie for you. Fantastic Mr. Fox, released in 2009, is a family film based on the children’s novel by the same name, written by Roald Dahl. The movie follows Mr. Fox, a fox who is a father and husband and finds himself wanting more adventure than the domestic life him and his wife have settled into. This ‘adventure’ leads to a dangerous battle between himself and three cruel farmers. As the movie proceeds, Mr. Fox has to come to terms with what he wants more, the safety and love of his family, or the wild instinct to steal and hunt that’s been engrained in him. The movie is directed by Wes Anderson, a skilled and very stylistic director. Wes Anderson has directed many beloved movies, but in my opinion Fantastic Mr. Fox is his peak.

    Fantastic Mr. Fox is marketed as a family movie, which some people may turn up their noses at, but I can assure you the themes are not juvenile. Themes such as greed, identity, nature, and family dynamics are only some of what may leave an imprint on you after watching this movie. A movie about talking woodland animals may not seem like it could be complex and influential to your life, but if you go into it with an open mind, it will definitely affect you more than you anticipated.

    Besides well-executed and developed themes, Fantastic Mr. Fox is also worth a watch due to the cinematography and score. Wes Anderson has a very specific way of filming where the camera avoids tilted shots, so you’re looking at the whole movie head-on. In a stop motion movie like Fantastic Mr. Fox, this creates a whimsical, dollhouse-esque effect. The color grading is extremely warm and definitely offers up those cozy, late fall vibes. The score, composed by Alexandre Desplat, is worth mentioning also. Desplat is a well known composer, having worked on Harry Potter and Little Women, and he doesn’t disappoint with Fantastic Mr. Fox. The score encapsulates the ambiance the movie is trying to create, and doesn’t lack in gravity or emotion in the right scenes.

    Fantastic Mr. Fox succeeds at everything it’s trying to accomplish, including the aforementioned attributes, along with casting and character development. As it steadily grows in rightfully deserved popularity, it stands the test of time. If you’re looking for a comforting film that is fitting for the season, give Fantastic Mr. Fox a try. You won’t be disappointed.