Combining clever stop-motion animation with a family-friendly story from Roald Dahl, director Wes Anderson puts his signature wit on his latest film, "Fantastic Mr. Fox," to fantastic effect.
A voice cast including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, along with Anderson faves Bill Murray and Owen Wilson, adds to the foxy fun.
And the DVD and Blu-ray discs from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are on their way, hitting shelves March 23.
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" tells the story of Mr. Fox (Clooney), a clever husband and father who aims to take his family life above ground -- literally and figuratively. He decides to move his wife and son from their fox hole to a glorious tree with views of an autumny vista.
After promising his pregnant wife, Mrs. Fox (Streep), that he will no longer hunt for chickens after they narrowly escape certain death in a fox trap, it's a test of the will when, years later, their new tree home sits so close to a trio of grumpy farmers -- Boggis, Bunce and Bean.
Let the chicken games begin!
In the meantime, zen-tastic Fox nephew Kristopherson comes to visit the family because his father is suffering from double pneumonia. Mr. and Mrs. Fox's son, Ash (Schwartzman), who is always trying to impress his athletic father to minimal effect, becomes jealous of the lithe and limber Kristopherson and hopes he'll go back home when his dad gets down to a mere "single pneumonia."
The movie is humorous and understated, and the voice actors deliver their lines with appropriate skepticism and dry wit.
Underlying everything is Mr. Fox's existential question: Who am I? Can he, in fact, be happy without a chicken in his teeth, he wonders.
And while Mrs. Fox was able to rein in her wildness after the birth of Ash, Mr. Fox is itching for one last big job. From there, the foxy hijinks ensue.
When I was offered the chance to review the DVD, I was immediately on board since I had missed out on the film in theaters last fall. So, I gathered up Ian and CC, some movie goodies and settled in. The movie is brisk, less than 90 minutes, which is great when you have a restless toddler who has all of her toys at her disposal.
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" is definitely child- and family-friendly. It tackles themes of human, er, fox, nature; rivalry; and jealousy with humor and wit. The story is simple, but the details really shine.
I'm giving away 3 "Fantastic Mr. Fox" DVDs from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Just leave a comment below, describing your "foxiest" moment, and I'll announce the winners Monday, March 8.
In the meantime, enjoy the trio of embedded "Fantastic Mr. Fox" activity sheets.