Monday, May 04, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox Sneak

It's a test screening exclusive. My pal "txt critic" strikes again. He managed to get into a test screening of Wes Anderson's animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox. It happened yesterday here in New York. Here's what he had to say about the movie which is based on the Roald Dahl book. Keep in mind that the movie is still a work in progress.
terrific! like a beautiful union of filmmaker and material. you could sense the love and reverence for the dahl story but he absolutely put his stylistic stamp as a filmmaker all over it, without one overwhelming the other. it FELT like what a wes anderson movie would be if animated. same title/caption font, hip soundtrack (though the only song i specifically remember is "i get around" by the beach boys), slo-mo dance sequence

very dry humor. i dont know if it's really for kids

only about 60-70% of the animation was completed, but i loved the look of it -- i'd describe it as akin to James and the Giant Peach meets a diorama
He also informs me that despite early reports and the information on the IMDB page, Cate Blanchett's voice is nowhere to be heard. It's Meryl Streep supplying the pipes for "Mrs. Fox". George Clooney, as you already know, voices the title character. My friend thought the voicework was excellent -- none of the dip in quality you sometimes get when filmmakers feel the need to have all celebrity voices [*cough* every studio but Pixar]. Sadly, Anjelica Huston has but a voice cameo (the other bit voice players are Brian Cox and Owen Wilson). Come on, Wes ... she's earned a front and center role by now. Next time, maybe?


txt critic ,who isn't even a quarter-century old, also tried to convince me that he was the oldest person there. Apparently the invites were asking for 18-32 and the crowd was heavily NYU students in Wes Anderson appropriate garb: tweet jackets, black rimmed glasses, pork pie hats, etc... "preaching to the choir so to speak" he says.

Fox Searchlight title cards are on the movie though previous reports have suggested it's a big Fox (as in 20th Century) releasing it. Whichever, it's FOX. Appropriate, no? The current release date is in November but if it's only 70% finished.... ???
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15 comments:

Alex in Movieland said...

sound great.

and November doesn't seem that out of line. they did finish The Reader in like... half a day :)

john said...

Interesting, Blanchett has actually talked about the project so she must have been REPLACED by Meryl, I think this calls for a big Hollywood catfight, even if it is just a voice role.

Guy Lodge said...

... and it showed.

;)

Guy Lodge said...

Oops, that last comment was in response to Alex.

rosengje said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob said...

Is it possible they're testing multiple versions (i.e. seeing people's reactions to a Streep-voiced version and/or a Blanchett-voices one)?

Liv. said...

Anderson AND Streep? thanks for making my day a lot better than it was =]

Alex in Movieland said...

Guy, I got that :) [and I don't really agree. the biggest problem IMO was the screenplay, and the dude must have had years to write it :P ]

rosengje, how is Where the Wild Things Are animated? :P

Liv, voice doesn't count. :) I for one need to see the actor on screen before calling it a movie making colaboration in the right sense of the word.

Wayne B. said...

Excited now; Wes Anderson's movies are so quirky that they remain in the head for years. I didn't really like "Rushmore" the first time I saw it but watched it three more times that first summer and it grew on me. Now it would probably be in my Top 5 of '98 list. I like when an animated movie is produced that adults can enjoy as well

Seeking Amy said...

Sounds promising. I was looking forward to this project but a bit hesistant because I thought it could be too quirky for its own good. But The Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of my favorite stories from my childhood, and if anyone could do Roald Dahl justice, its Wes Anderson (Sorry Tim, you tried!)

The animated feature category seems so crowded this year! Coraline got great reviews, Up is surely to deliver, and there is still 9, The Princess and the Frog, and Ponyo. I hope they all deliver the goods! It would make a very a special year for animation.

Casey said...

good news. love Wes

Agent69 said...

2009 best year for animation ever??

RC said...

I love this book!! And think it could really be great, I am excited to hear the excited interest in the film, and glad to hear it hasn't been overly "kidded up"

NATHANIEL R said...

agent69

one could hope. greatest year ever for anything is so exciting. but there have been some other great animation years so...

Pfangirl said...

Oooh, I totally forgot about this movie. I always wondered why it took Hollywood so long to attempt a Fantastic Mr Fox film - it always seemed so obvious to me. It's also one of my favourite Dahl books, read many times during childhood, so I have high hopes for the movie version.