Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
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God damn cussing amazing. Cuss this movie makes me happy as cuss.
I'm not a big fan of animated films. I mean, I enjoy them when I see them, but they're not something I actively seek out, and have few in my personal collection. Fantastic Mr. Fox is really something special though. Old school stop-motion with the "mistakes" left in (rippling fur, for example), it is inspired by a Roald Dahl story, but builds on it considerably (the book is the second of the film's three acts, really), and is, regardless, a product of Wes Anderson's imagination. George Clooney voices Mr. Fox, a character right out of Lafontaine's Fables, who just can't seem to break his compulsion to trick people, specifically three evil industrialists. But it's really about fathers and sons (what Anderson film isn't, on some level, or maybe parents and children?), and the difficult relationships between Fox, his eccentric son Ash, and over-achieving nephew Kristofferson are the center of the story and provide emotional context. The message about acceptance and finding one's true calling is appropriate for kids, but this isn't couched in some kind of Wertham-fueled, Care Bear mentality. Characters can be killed or maimed. Not quite Watership Down, but on the edge of that spectrum. Often hilarious, but also touching and real - a must whether you have kids or not.
More Andersons movie then a Dahl adaptation, which I don't mind a bit. Very stylish and fun.
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In 6 official lists
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This movie ranks #24 in 100 Animated Feature Films (BFI Screen Guides)
This movie ranks #44 in IMDb's Animation Top 50
This movie ranks #88 in Cahiers du cinéma - Yearly top 10s
This movie ranks #125 in Reddit top 250
This movie ranks #139 in The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #828 in The Criterion Collection