4.02.2010

QUICKIE: Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009)

I can't say I've fallen absolutely head-over-heels for Wes Anderson's latest. I also can't say I've found anything to dissuade me from giving it top marks. With all things considered the pieces do fall quite nicely into place. What keeps me from showering the film with most extreme adulation is the breakneck speed in which it all soars by. Around the third act, when business starts to pick up in every way anyhow, the never-waste-a-second pacing makes more sense, though I'm sure I would be that much more invested had the preliminaries allowed me to digest the characters.

Mr. Fox does manage to maintain whimsy and style without losing steam at any moment as Anderson takes hold of a more vintage style of stop-motion and lets 'er rip. The animation is truly a sight to behold, containing moments that, through shear aesthetic value, threaten to choke up anyone weary from computer animation's current deathgrip on the family market. These astounding visuals are accompanied by a very fitting mesh of original score composed by Alexandre Desplat (who has been the victim of previous criticism on this blog but redeems himself entirely here) and soundtrack selections (including a high point featuring - yep - a Rolling Stones song),  and a stellar voice cast of which Jason Schwartzman is an uproarious stand-out.

This is a film I'm almost positive will grow on me as time pushes forth and I enjoy it again and again. It presents itself for all audiences with ease while ensuring no one's intelligence will be insulted. If my daughter loves it, I will be proud.

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