Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why Fantastic Mr. Fox is the Best Wes Anderson Movie...Ever

Wes Anderson is an enormously polarizing director. I know people who can't even sit through the first ten minutes of his films, and people who see them 10 times...in theaters. His work is quirky to say the least and his highly stylized films are products of complete creative control. Every single thing in the frame in a Wes Anderson film has been carefully thought out, color coordinated and placed with extreme care. This is perhaps what makes Fantastic Mr. Fox the best of his films, because he is able to control every single detail and movement through stop animation. It is the absolute peak of creative control. He doesn't even need to depend on actors to look the right way because he could physically create all the characters. If he wants a room full of golden hard cider, he doesn'tneed to create a life size one he can make one digitally or in miniature.


Fantastic Mr. Fox is also amazing because many of the things that may have come off as pretentious or too quirky or weird in a live action film, come across perfectly in animation. Also the characters themselves are allowed to be strange caricatures of themselves because they're animals. For example, Mr. Fox would be a totally obnoxious character if he were played by George Clooney in the flesh, not just voice acted by him. But instead, he is a funny and strange character whom we can rally around.

This film has also succeeded in making a mature animated film that kids also enjoy. Based on the classic Roald Dahl book, Anderson makes complex characters with flaws and journeys, something that is not often found in animation, especially not the maturity part. By having the animals voice acted by famous actors, Anderson was able to entertain adults and by making the movie a delightful and funny movie, kids are entertained as well. He really helped to heighten the opinion of animated films, and please a large group of people.

Stop animation is so perfectly suited to Wes Anderson's style that I don't know why he doesn't use the medium more often. Many fans do not even consider Fantastic Mr. Fox when they are ranking Wes Anderson's best films, but for me it belongs at the top of this list. I don't think his style will ever be better captured than through an eccentric band of woodland animals stealing squabs and hard cider.

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