Monthly Archives: December 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox in France

As a follow-up to our earlier post about the French dub of Fantastic Mr. Fox, below is the trailer for the film. Nearly identical, the only changes apparent to me are a music cue in the middle and the fact that they only list two names for the dub. It’s funny that they seemed to have done some dubbing especially for the trailer as Amalric still says the “Shall we dance?” line, a recurring thing that Wes ended up cutting from the movie entirely after test screenings. After the jump is the poster (identical to the UK version) that curiously lists George Clooney’s name.

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The Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack: uncut

In October 2001, audiences at the New York Film Festival viewed the director’s cut of the film The Royal Tenenbaums, the way it was intended it to be seen and heard. The final cut, shown in theaters and released on DVD, changed several of the songs originally used, for a variety of reasons. The two soundtracks released also omit much of the film’s music, including eight tracks of Mark Mothersbaugh’s wonderful score.

Join KZSU Stanford University at 5:00pm PST this Wednesday, 30th December 2009 for a special broadcast of the complete chronological soundtrack music from The Royal Tenenbaums. You will also hear excerpted commentary and interviews with Anderson and music supervisor Randall Poster, as they explain the difficulties in obtaining and replacing certain songs.

Listeners in the San Francisco bay area can tune in at 90.1 FM. Anyone may stream online at http://kzsulive.stanford.edu.

Fantastic Mr. Fox One of Roger Ebert’s Best Animated Films of 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Roger Ebert has been compiling a series of the best films of the year, one studio list, one independent, one docuementary, and now, one animated.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox. In an age of limitless computer-generated images, the next of the year’s best animated features also uses the stop-action method that reaches back to “King Kong and before. Wes Anderson’s landscapes and structures are picture-booky. Yet the extraordinary faces of his animals are almost disturbingly human (for animals, of course), and you feel as if Mr. Fox’s fur is strokeable. The film tells a fable about a reformed chicken thief leading a war with the farmers. Read my review.

Fantastic Mr. Fox ranks among some of the more obscure animated films of the year like Sita Sings The Blues and eight more. It’s an interesting list and worth checking out.

Matt Zoller Seitz and the Directors of the Decade: Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson

Over at SalonMatt Zoller Seitz (freelance critic, and author of one the earliest and best profiles of Wes, and this incredible series of video essays from earlier this year) has been taking a look at some of the most influential directors of the decade in an on-going series of essays. Seitz’s latest examines the work of Robert Zemeckis and Wes Anderson.

An excerpt:

That’s where Wes Anderson comes in. The director of “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001), “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” (2004), “The Darjeeling Limited” (2007) and this year’s Roald Dahl adaptation “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is as much a train-set filmmaker as Zemeckis, Jackson and Lucas, and like Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson (“Punch-Drunk Love,” “There Will Be Blood”), Zemeckis and Spielberg, he’s one of the few prominent Hollywood filmmakers working in the ’70s auteur tradition — and doing it with a style so distinct that it can never be stolen, only imitated. He’s notorious for fretting over every aspect of his movies, from the texture of the clothes to the precise geometric motion of each shot and camera movement to the choice of on-screen font (he prefers variations of Futura). Detractors describe his style as fussy, overcomplicated, even airless — and if one prefers a messier, more spontaneous kind of filmmaking, or a more “invisible” style of direction, Anderson is almost certainly the opposite of fun.

I won’t mount a defense of Anderson as an exciting, imaginative and important filmmaker in this article, because I’ve already done it in a series of video essays.I mention him in this piece because of two particular aspects of his art. One is his commitment to analog moviemaking. He shoots on film and prefers to do everything, special effects included, on the set rather than create them after the fact. Even when he employs digital effects or processes, he calls attention to their artificiality; think of the obviously stop-motion sea creatures in “Aquatic” — or, for that matter, the unruly, roiling fur on the creatures in “Fantastic Mr. Fox” — which the director insisted be fabricated with hard-to-manage animal hair rather than more controllable synthetic hair, because he just liked how it looked.

Be sure to read the full piece at Salon, and leave your comments below. It’s a great essay, and well worth the read.

The A.V. Club Names Mr. Fox Third Best Of The Year

Fantastic Mr. Fox

From The A.V. Club‘s Year in Film round-up:

3.Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wes Anderson’s lovingly hand-crafted, stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox radiates pure joy. Taking its cues from George Clooney’s charming vocal performance as a dashing rogue of a fox who goes to war with a trio of nasty farmers after they destroy his family’s home and rob him of his tail, the film revels in language, music, dance, friendship, and family. It’s a film of dazzling verbosity and meticulous perfectionism, filled with loveable characters and quotable dialogue. Balancing its director’s trademark melancholy with irrepressible optimism, Anderson’s best film since The Royal Tenanbaums is nothing short of life-affirming.

This has been added to our on-going Top-Ten post. If you spot a top-ten list with Fantastic Mr. Fox in it, let us know.