Fantastic Mr. Fox Lookout
Wes Anderson returns to the heist-fumbling that put him on the map in 1996's indie favorite "Bottle Rocket.” This time, instead of a group led by incompetent yet goodhearted robbers, the devious plot is executed by a group of farm animals led by the suave Mr. Fox in the stop-motion animated "Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Based on the Roald Dahl novel by the same name, the clever Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) must formulate a plan to save his family's fur from some mean farmers.
Aided by other creatures whose homes are also in peril, Mr. Fox assembles a formidable team of rodents voiced by several Anderson Alumni including Bill Murray (Badger), Willem Dafoe (Rat), Owen Wilson (Coach Skip), Jason Schwartzman (Ash), and Adrien Brody (Rickity). Meryl Streep adds extra pedigree to this project, voicing Mr. Fox's spouse Mrs. Fox.
The film looks just as fantastic as its title, and Bitter Balcony is hoping this will be a successful animated piece by the adventurous Anderson, whose “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" and "The Darjeeling Limited” seem to have divided his fans and critics. Perhaps adapting a beloved children's book by Dahl will kinder the spark of fresh innocence "Bottle Rocket" and "Rushmore" did so well.
The screenplay was co-written by another indie darling, Noah Baumbach ("Margot At The Wedding,” "The Squid and The Whale"). Baumbach, who previously collaborated with Anderson for "The Life Aquatic,” should balance Anderson's bookworm humor and sentimentality with his own brand of intellect. Here’s hoping "Fantastic Mr. Fox” will blend the best of Baumbach and Anderson – and not turn into the bland, heartless job Tim Burton did for Dahl's “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" lands in theaters on limited release (New York and the cool cities) Nov. 13. The rest of us get it Nov. 25.
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach(screenplay), Roald Dahl(Novel)
Cast: George Clooney(Voice), Meryl Streep(Voice), Bill Murray(Voice)