I know Wes Anderson‘s Fantastic Mr. Fox (20th Century Fox, 11.13.) has been testing in the New York area because I was invited to a New Jersey showing several weeks ago. I tried to RSVP on the up-and-up with my own name, but they said no-go because I wasn’t from the right age group. In any case another showing of this animated stop-motion film happened yesterday and some guy who…like, allegedly attended has passed along a vaguely written impression to Nathaniel Rogers of The Film Experience.
“A beautiful union of filmmaker and material,” the guy said. “You can sense the love and reverence [Anderson has] for the Roald Dahl story while at the same time putting his stylistic stamp as a filmmaker all over it, without one overwhelming the other. It felt just like a Wes Anderson movie, only animated. Same title/caption font, hip soundtrack (though the only song i specifically remember is ‘I Get Around’ by the Beach Boys), slo-mo dance sequence.
“Only about 60-70% of the animation was completed, but i loved the look of it. I’d describe it as akin to James and the Giant Peach meets a diorama.”
The Wikipedia facts are these: (a) Joe Roth and Revolution Studios bought the film rights to Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2004; (b) Anderson signed on as director with Henry Selick, who worked with Anderson on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, as animation director; (c) Anderson signed on because Roald Dahl is one of his heroes; (d) In adapting the novel, the story the novel covers would amount to the second act of the film ; (e) Anderson added new scenes to serve for the film’s beginning and end; (f) Selick left the project to work on the Neil Gaiman story Coraline in early 2006, and was replaced by Mark Gustafson; (g) Fox Animation Studios became the project’s home in October 2006 after Revolution folded.