It’s surprising that it took five live action films before Wes Anderson tried his hand at animation; the hand-made, stop motion animation that enables this Roald Dahl adaptation is a perfect match for the gentle, whimsical nature of the director’s films. Fantastic Mr. Fox is a Wes Anderson film through-and-through, whether it’s the wistful, pastoral look, the cast (which features regular collaborators Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray, alongside George Clooney and Meryl Streep, each doing excellent work) or the characters themselves, who approach the world with a studied nonchalance that almost hides the deep-seated insecurities and fears at the core of their being.
Fantastic Mr. Fox tells a simple tale of a charming and, yes, fantastic fox whose predilection for thievery lands himself, his family and ultimately his entire community in significant strife as three dastardly farmers seek revenge after one theft too many. But Fox is one of my favourite Anderson films because it’s really about more than that. It’s about accepting that your flaws define who are as much as your talents. It’s about recognising that compromise is not always a failure; even if that compromise requires moving your entire community to the confines of a labyrinthine sewer.