Fantastic Mr. Fox Twitter Reactions (on-going)

Some quick reactions from filmmakers, critics, and London Film Festival attendees via Twitter. Tweet your thoughts to us @rushmoreacademy.


@edgarwright Fantastic Mister Fox? Fantastic.

@edgarwright You’ll love it. It’s one of Wes Anderson’s best. Brilliantly paced. Really funny. Looks beautiful. As good as the Aardman features.

@markromanek FANTASTIC MR. FOX is beautiful and funny. The attention to detail is just astonishing. Perhaps the most “Wes Anderson” film of all.

@edgarwright FANTASTIC MR FOX also has one of the choice soundtrack picks of 2009 with a brilliant use of The Beach Boys ‘Heroes & Villains”.


@hitfix Fantastic Mr. Fox is cussing great

LFF Attendees

@shoebird woke up thinking what a great little movie the fantastic mr fox is

@loop_pool Absolutely loved Fantastic Mr Fox. Funny and original. Kids at the screening loved it too – plenty of jokes for kids and for adults.

@richardtid fantastic mr fox is absolutely amazing, wes anderson is just sooo good

@anghazardlights Fantastic Mr Fox was – for want of a better word – well, fantastic

London Film Festival photos (on-going)

The Press Conference and Premiere, 14 October 2009 (more as they come in)

Sources: HuffPostGetty, @eldiabolik, @BFI, Mark Romanek (via Edgar Wright), @debbsperks

Some video. A bit more.

Fantastic Mr. Fox Reviews (on-going)

Evening Standard: 4 stars. “The resulting film, though, is brilliantly eccentric, a cult classic in the making and a bold choice for tonight’s opening gala of the 53rd London Film Festival… And though Wes Anderson may have cocked a cheeky leg on some childhood memories, he has produced a distinctively individual work of art and entertainment.”

Time Out London: 4 stars. “Like much of Anderson’s work, it’s cool on the eye and cool on the heart.”

Telegraph: Though his move into animation marks a detour for Anderson, it’s recognisably his film, with its deadpan wit, playful running gags and judicious use of music; there’s a lovely chase sequence early on, set to the Beach Boys’ Heroes and Villains. It’s accomplished work with a cheerful sense of uplift. Not a bad way to kick off a film festival.”

Screen Daily: “If Anderson has a spiritual affinity with Dahl’s written word, he also has a vision of Foxy’s world which recalls Quentin Blake’s illustrations but goes much further; it’s this sustained creativeness that sets Fox apart in a similar way to Nick Park’s Wallace & Gromit. As for the puppets, Fox himself is indeed fantastic; long and lean, standing on tiptoes in his cut-off-trouser-suit and slightly threadbare, he could come from a toy cupboard yet is the perfect incarnation of the Vulpes vulpes who called everyone ‘darling’ in Dahl’s book. When he bares his teeth or shreds his toast it’s worth the price of admission alone.”

Variety: “The film’s style, paradoxically both precious and rough-hewn, positions this as the season’s defiantly anti-CGI toon, and its retro charms will likely appeal more strongly to grown-ups than to moppets; it’s a picture for people who would rather drive a 1953 Jaguar XK 120 than a new one. B.O. for this Fox release will no doubt be closer to that of ‘Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’ than of ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.'” “Throughout the film, Anderson has replaced any obscenities that would appear in the character’s dialogue with the word ‘cuss’… Not only did it temporarily eject the viewer from the world the film had created, but it also seemed entirely inappropriate for a film where much of the audience would be young children. That flaw aside, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ is a hugely enjoyable film that combines the highly stylized worlds of Wes Anderson and Roald Dahl perfectly. While it may frustrate those who expect a straight adaptation of the book, the fast pace and quick wit of the film should satisfy most viewers, even if they aren’t fans of Anderson’s previous work.”

Guardian: 4 stars. “Wes Anderson gets his eccentric groove back on with a witty and likeable movie for little kids and their hip older siblings. It’s a demi-Americanised, wholly Andersonised version of the 1970 Roald Dahl children’s tale Fantastic Mr Fox, all about an elegant furry rapscallion pulling off the chicken-chomping crime of the century against three apoplectic farmers… It’s a smart and well-written kink in the furry Dahl tale.”

Independent: 3 stars. “Fantastic Mr Fox has a gently subversive edge that many mainstream animated features lack. It celebrates a hero in Mr Fox who is a habitual thief. With all its imagery of furry creatures down holes, there is a mild erotic charge here too. The dialogue is smart and sassy enough to entertain the adults. Kids should enjoy the antics of the younger foxes, Fox’s son Ash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman), desperate to emulate his feats, and his karate expert cousin Kristofferson (Eric Anderson). It is possible, though, that the film will prove too spiky and idiosyncratic for the mainstream audience that its producers clearly crave.”

Pure Movies: 4 stars. “Fantastic Mr Fox is a warm-hearted, visually striking film that although will appeal primarily to adults, will hopefully also be a success with younger audiences too. It is a bold choice for the Opening Gala for this year’s London Film Festival, but early critical reaction seems strong. Wes Anderson has proved himself once again to be one of the most creative directors working in the film industry today and Fantastic Mr Fox is a stand-out addition to his already impressive list of credits.”

Hollywood Repoter: “Although sometimes too sly for its own good, this great-looking carnivorous caper brings Wes Anderson’s whimsical melancholy to a kids’ classic.Although sometimes too sly for its own good, this great-looking carnivorous caper brings Wes Anderson’s whimsical melancholy to a kids’ classic.”

Box Office: 4 1/2 stars. “A witty script, brilliantly animated with stop motion techniques and wonderfully voiced by a cast led by George Clooney and Meryl Streep make quirky director Wes Anderson’s first foray into ‘toons a major winner and a total delight. Adapted from Roald Dahl’s best selling children’s book about a wily fox whose family life is threatened when he re-enters his “criminal” past, Fantastic Mr. Fox is indeed fantastic in every way. Returns from this Fox for 20th Century Fox should be sweet with an endless afterlife on DVD.”

Times: 4 stars. “You have a children’s film that is concerned mostly with the quiet consistent heartbreak of family life. And yes, the movie is as stylistically meticulous as you would expect from Anderson, with his trademark proscenium framing, baroque production design and standout soundtrack (including the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys). But it’s the small intimacies — the wiping of a tear from fluffy fur, the fleeting reconciliation of father and son — that suggest the work of a master.”

The Playlist: B-. “It’s undeniably a minor work, but it’s more consistently entertaining and cohesive than either “The Life Aquatic” or “The Darjeeling Limited,” despite its inability to compete with the likes of Pixar in emotional terms.”

In Contention: 3 stars. “The medium of stop-motion animation complements Anderson’s obsessive preoccupation with costuming and set-dressing beautifully: details that can seem overbearingly precious in his live-action work here lend the film a handmade quality that enriches the action rather than stifling it.”

Hit Fix: “…this is a Wes Anderson film in every way.  You can absolutely feel his overall sensibility at play in every detail of what you see onscreen.  The script, co-adapted by Anderson and Noah Baumbach, is a delight, a very funny riff off of the original Roald Dahl source material, and the result is one of the most giddy comedies of the year.”

more soon…

Wes Anderson on the November 2009 cover of Sight & Sound (BFI)

Wes is featured on the cover of the BFI Film Fest edition (November 2009) of Sight & Sound, the magazine of the British Film Institute. If you can’t find it at your local newsstand, the site sells individual copies (though November is not available yet). We will post more once someone has the issue in hand. Thanks to our old pal Derek Hill for the tip.

November 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox to open BFI London Film Festival, 14-29 October


The fox is clearly out of the bag on this one, but we chose to respect BFI’s wishes to hold this story until midnight BST on Tuesday. Please excuse the delay.

Fantastic Mr. Fox will open The Times BFI London Film Festival in October. The film opens on October 23 in the U.K. and November 13 in the US. It is exciting to see that Wes has embraced his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1970 children’s book as a British film.

From the newswire:

London – Monday 27 July: The Times BFI London Film Festival is proud to announce that this year’s Festival will open on Wednesday 14 October with the world premiere of FANTASTIC MR. FOX, from visionary director Wes Anderson (THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, THE DARJEELING LIMITED).

Anderson’s first animated film, which he co-wrote with Noah Baumbach, uses classic handmade stop motion techniques to tell the story of the best selling children’s book by British author Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach). The film features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill MurrayWally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker and Helen McCrory. It is produced by Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin and Allison Abbate.

Wes Anderson, George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Jason Schwartzman are expected to attend the opening night screening along with other members of the voice cast.

Mr and Mrs Fox (Clooney and Streep) live an idyllic home life with their son Ash (Jason Schwartzman) and visiting young nephew Kristopherson (Eric Anderson).  But after 12 years, the bucolic existence proves too much for Mr Fox’s wild animal instincts.  Soon he slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief and in doing so, endangers not only his beloved family, but the whole animal community.  Trapped underground and with not enough food to go around, the animals band together to fight against the evil farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean, who are determined to capture the audacious, fantastic Mr Fox at any cost.

The film was shot at London’s Three Mills Studios and Twentieth Century Fox will release the film in the UK on 23 October 2009.

Sandra Hebron, the Festival’s Artistic Director comments: “Wes Anderson’s boundless invention and meticulous film making craft find perfect expression in this imaginative and hugely enjoyable version of a much loved story. We are delighted to open our festival with FANTASTIC MR. FOX, and thrilled to host its world premiere.”

On having the film’s world premiere at the Festival, director Wes Anderson adds: “FANTASTIC MR. FOX is a British film — based on a Roald Dahl book, set in the UK, produced in the UK — and so I am especially pleased to have been invited to be the opening night movie of this year’s London Film Festival. We had a wonderful experience at the LFF with my previous film, and I am eagerly looking forward to introducing FANTASTIC MR. FOX to the world in this wonderful venue.”

The full programme for The Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival will be announced at the Press Launch on Wednesday 9 September.

The Festival runs from 14-29 October 2009