In the season of newsworthy remakes (Spike Jonze’s hipster ode to Where the Wild Things Are, Tim Burton’s forthcoming Alice in Wonderland) it's hard to know which films you’re supposed to be dragging the kids to, and which ones you’re supposed to steal away to watch by your nostalgic lonesome. Wes Anderson’s stop-action remake of the Roald Dahl book Fantastic Mr. Fox (now playing in select cities, opening nationwide on Thanksgiving) is the clear winner of this brood: its silly, imaginative, stylish world is for absolutely everyone.
Mr. Fox (George Clooney) spends his life outwitting 3 local farmers -- very different men who share an equal hate for Fox. A life of sinking his chops into live chicks dead-ends in domestication when he falls for Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep), swears off his life of daring-do, and becomes a newspaper columnist. Alas, animal nature is too strong: One night, he feeds the watchdogs laced blueberries, slides into the coop, and back into a familiar life of crime.
It's a real joy to see Anderson’s style expressed though animation, and every intricate detail has his stamp, from the retro corduroy suit dawned by a Mr. Fox to the smart bluegrass soundtrack. The take-homes are heartfelt, not mushy: Accept your family the way they are, know your true nature, and if you break into a grocery store, remember to do a little dancing before you leave.
Photo courtesy of us.penguingroup.com
Plus: Check out this clip featuring the song "Let Her Dance" from the Fantastic Mr. Fox soundtrack!