Fantastic Mr. Fox
“The Fantastic Mr. Fox” is visionary director Wes Anderson’s first animated film, utilizing classic handmade stop motion techniques to tell the story of the best selling children’s book by Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach).
Mr and Mrs Fox (Clooney and Streep) live an idyllic home life with their son Ash (Schwartzman) and visiting young nephew Kristopherson (Eric Anderson). But after 12 years, the bucolic existence proves too much for Mr Fox’s wild animal instincts. Soon he slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief and in doing so, endangers not only his beloved family, but the whole animal community. Trapped underground and with not enough food to go around, the animals band together to fight against the evil Farmers – Boggis, Bunce and Bean – who are determined to capture the audacious, fantastic Mr Fox at any cost.
The animation is unique and vivid in this film, and a father fox whose lifestyle causes his family all kinds of problems takes a bit of responsibility in the end. And I just ran out of good things to say because the father, despite owning a job at a newspaper, continues to steal and has his family and friends steal from a super market while it is closed for the night. Sure, foxes dig into chicken coops and steal. However, this movie represents CHARACTERS, and characters stand for people. There is a lot of violence in the movie, with several characters dying, weapons being used, stealing, teen age rebellion and a lack of respect shown to adults, as well as drinking and smoking. Perhaps most disturbing of all is the word “cuss” being used in place of other words. In one line a character says, “Oh my Cuss” instead of using the name “God”. It is sad when God is called “Cuss”.
One reviewer said to me after the screening, “I can’t think of any redeeming value in the film,” and sadly-he is right. It is safe to say it is not a kid-friendly or family-friendly film at all. Many families would be disappointed going into a screening of this film without being prepared for what is to come. And many of our Dove families will not want to attend, now knowing what we have shared. There are a couple of funny moments in the movie, but that alone cannot make up for the 87 minutes of immoral behavior that is on display. We regrettably cannot award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this film.