Rather than try for a slavishly faithful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book The Fantastic Mr. Fox, director Wes Anderson has opted to reshape it to suit his own distinctive style and themes. The basic premise, that Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) steals food and beverages from three mean and nasty farmers, is the same. However,
To realize his vision,
Although fidelity to the source material was clearly not
Of course the question is, is this really a kid’s movie? Like this year’s Where the Wild Things Are, this feels more geared towards adults nostalgic for their childhoods than actual kids. At least it’s more fun than Wild Things, but it still seems a bit subtle for the kiddie crowd. The only complaint I have is that Mr. Fox trots out the same tired “be true to yourself” message that seems to be in every kid’s movie these days in lieu of anything of actual substance. Given the nature of the characters and situations here, that message takes on a slightly more subversive slant than it might in something like Kung Fu Panda, but not by much. Still, this is a visually stunning, smartly written, and highly entertaining film, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
3 ½ out of 4 stars