Digging Through Fantastic Mr. Fox

The fall season is typically associated with October and Thanksgiving, though October is the prime time to watch Halloween movies and very few movies exist for the Thanksgiving occasion specifically. However, there is another movie that can celebrate the fall season and is not exclusive to either of these events, and that is Wes Anderson’s 2009 movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1970 book of the same name.

The film is about Mr. Fox, an anthropomorphic fox who is bored with his current life and plans to do one last big heist against three local farmers: Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. However, the farmers have had enough of the sly fox’s antics and envelop him, his family, and eventually the entire animal community in their revenge.

The film stars George Clooney as the titular Mr. Fox, Meryl Streep as Mrs. Felicity Fox, Jason Schwartzman as Ash Fox, and Bill Murray as Clive Badger. It also features Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson, and Eric Anderson as Kristofferson.

Though this may sound somewhat dark, the film is actually mostly a comedy and is animated in the stop-motion style of animation. This makes it perfectly accessible to children and adults alike, especially given its PG rating. The film has a mostly light color palette that evokes the typical colors of autumn, which is what makes this the perfect fall movie.

The film also features Wes Anderson’s typical trademarks of his other films, most notably the centered and symmetrical look of the film, witty dialogue, and an ensemble cast as well as a storybook color palette. Both film buffs and casual movie watchers will enjoy this amount of detail in the movie.

There are other aspects of the film that some will enjoy. The soundtrack encompasses various styles and genres of music. Case-in-point, the film features later in the film a folk song sung by Jarvis Cocker, two pop-rock songs from The Beach Boys, and even the theme song from Disney’s 1973 movie Robin Hood, a ballad. Even Alexandre Desplat’s score features various influences, ranging from American folk music to Latin music.

The relationship between Ash, Mr. Fox’s 12-fox-year-old son, and Kristofferson, Ash’s niece, is one some might find relatable. Some may even relate to Ash’s personal traits, especially in how Ash simply “feels different”. Others may enjoy the relationship between Mr. Fox and Mrs. Felicity Fox and find it both emotional and wholesome, in spades of course as anything is, and others might enjoy it.

Either way, you look at it, there is something for everyone in Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it is a perfect movie to watch with a blanket on and some apple cider (or other autumn drink). Currently, Fantastic Mr. Fox can be watched on both Hulu and Disney+, both of which require their respective subscription to access.

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