On the trail of Mr. Fox

wesfoxThis intelligence report is a community effort. Comment, tweet (@rushmoreacademy), or e-mail additions and corrections. I will add them to the post. Discuss the Fox over at the Yankee Racers forum!

Released by Fox Animation Studios (originally Revolution Studios)

Release date: November 6, 2009

Directed by Wes Anderson
Novel by Roald Dahl
Screenplay by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach

Animation by Mark Gustafson (originally Henry Selick)

Music by
Alexandre Desplat, composer (The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Jarvis Cocker

Cinematograpy by Tristan Oliver (Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run)

George Clooney as Mr. Fox
Cate Blanchett as Mrs. Fox
Bill Murray as the Badger
Jason Schwartzman
Anjelica Huston
Meryl Streep

Intelligence reports:

  • The Dahl book is far too short for a feature-length film, so Anderson and Baumbach had to write new material.  We have heard that the Dahl book will serve as Act II of the film and that Acts I and III will be new material.
  • The film uses several kinds of animation, particularly stop-motion. It was filmed in London.

Wes: It’s stop-motion. It’s like ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ or those Christmas specials. These [characters] have fur, so it’s not like claymation (source).

Wes: Well for this film we recorded all the voices on locations. We went out in a forest, we went in an attic, we went in a stable. We went underground for some things. There was a great spontaneity in the recordings because of that, I think (source)

Henry Selick: Yeah, [Wes is] doing stop motion. He’s directing from Paris through his iPhone, shooting movies of himself as the characters for the animators to work with (source).

  • On recording the voices:

Bill Murray: Unfortunately, my badger… I worked really, really hard on a Wisconsin accent, ’cause I thought that would be an appropriate badger voice. And for the first couple scenes I did this Wisconsin badger voice that I thought was so funny. I did the first couple scenes and then Wes goes, “Nah, I don’t think so. I would think it’s kind of a Savile Row badger.” Who here has seen a badger walkin’ down Savile Row? Anybody? (source)

Jason Schwartzman: I was set to do it in London over one day – a full day. I asked Wes [Anderson] whether we could put aside some time first to talk about the movie, my character, his motivation… and so on. He said ‘sure, we’ll be fine… we’ll rehearse first and then talk about those things later – way before we record anything’. So anyway, it got to Friday, the day we were recording, and again I said ‘can we talk about it?’ and he said ‘we’ll be fine, we’ll rehearse it… we have the whole day’. Anyway, it’s about 2 o’clock – bear in mind I have a dinner at 8 o’clock that night – when we go check out the puppets. 7 o’clock rolls around and we still haven’t recorded anything. He says ‘should we cancel it? It might seem a bit rushed now if we do it”, and I said ‘yeah, it’ll be too rushed – lets cancel it’. Thing is, he’d already paid the money for the studio. So, he says ‘Lets just go in there and mess around [anyway]’. And what did we do? We did the entire movie in 20 minutes! Every single take! It was so much fun (source)

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