Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring A bunch of clay and famous peoples' voices
Synopsis Mr. Fox steals from some grouchy farmers and gets caught underground with his family. What is a fox to do?
Brought to you by American Empirical Pictures and 20th Century Fox
Expected Release Date November 6th
Whitney: So this movie has had an IMDB page for over 5 years. I'm expecting big things, Mr. Anderson! It's an interesting project because, like Where the Wild Things Are, the book seems far too short for a feature. Also, sexist and probably a little racist. So what will a filmmaker that has known to be anything but brief, sexist, and racist do with such a project? I don't know...but I'm stoked to find out.
JA: I love Wes Anderson, but like many I've been ready for him to shake things up. Step out of his hermetically sealed suffocatingly precise framed bubble. A stop-motion animated retelling of a Roald Dahl story.... well that could be a shake-up, I'd say. Unless he molds the story to fit inside his bubble, which seems entirely possible since the meeting of Anderson and Dahl is such a no-brainer now that we're confronted with it. Speaking of Mr. Dahl, I've always considered myself a rabid Dahl devotee, but I'm terribly embarrased to admit that I've never read this story. Thirty lashes of the whip for me.
Joe: Oh boo-hoo hermetically sealed blah blah too precise blah. Wes Anderson can keep on remaking The Royal Tenenbaums for his entire career and I'd be perfectly happy. Those movies (large portions of The Life Aquatic notwithstanding) bring me so much joy. But I'll certainly welcome a diversion into animation and adaptation and the weird sadism of Roald Dahl. At the very least it'll get everybody up off his jock.
Fox: This film is actually about me. It's true!
I guess we have to have the "Wes Anderson needs to 'shake things up'" debate every time this young visionary makes a new movie, and... I just don't get it. The man is a visual stylist, so his work is gonna mirror his previous stuff. Tell me you watch other stylists like Godard or Antonioni and don't feel automatically transferred into their world again. Lastly, The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Ltd. are masterpieces, and anyone who wants to dispute that can meet me in a private IM chat room at the time of your choosing!
Whitney: I agree that people are too hard on Anderson because of his similar style across films. And that seems ridiculous to me, too. Just like the man he worships - Federico Fellini - he has chosen a form of expression that seems true to him and he's exploring it. I think there's much more to explore.
JA: I guess the thing with Anderson is that his world is so specfic and he adheres to it so... specifically... that it gets to feeling a little stifling sometimes. Since you brought up Fellini as a comparison I'll just say that yes, you watch a Fellini movie you know it's a Fellini movie, but Fellini's films are much looser and natural feeling. The best comparison auteur-wise with Anderson is Hal Ashby since Anderson's spent half his career ripping off I mean "making tribute" to Ashby and even Ashby's films have more freedom than Anderson's. By freedom I just mean spark and life; Anderson's characters can be such arch characters. Sometimes nobody seems human. I am a big fan, don't get me wrong, and when his stuff works it really really works. But I do think it's good for him to be trying something different.
Nathaniel: Agreed. There's staying true to yourself and there's limiting yourself --diminishing returns if you repeat yourself too often. Stray too far and you've left the stifling comfort zone for something that's not even you. It must be tough to be a hugely acclaimed talented and wealthy not-even-40-yet film artist. And I mean that with the barest minimum of snark since I'd like him to succeed.
And there's this related note: 2009 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for animation. Coraline already set her eyes on next year's animated Oscar. Who can challenge that resourceful 3-D lass who won't trade her eyes for buttons? Maybe Miyazaki (Ponyo on the Cliff) or regularly nominated Pixar (Up). Perhaps the first black Disney princess (The Princess and the Frog) voiced by Anika Noni Rose (!), the feature adaptation of that creepy memorable Oscar nominated short ("9") and more, too.
In case you missed any entries they went like so...
We Can't Wait:
#1 Inglourious Basterds, #2 Where the Wild Things Are, #3 Fantastic Mr. Fox,
#4 Avatar, #5 Bright Star, #6 Shutter Island, #7 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
#8 Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, #9 Nailed, #10 Taking Woodstock,
#11 Watchmen, #12 The Hurt Locker, #13 The Road, #14 The Tree of Life
#15 Away We Go, #16 500 Days of Summer, #17 Drag Me To Hell,
#18 Whatever Works, #19 Broken Embraces, #20 Nine (the musical)
intro (orphans -didn't make group list)