Now most of you may be thinking, because of my geekdom I would pick “Avatar”, “Star Trek” or even “Up”. Which by all means all three of those movies were top notch. I mean “Avatar” is James Cameron, and so far every movie that man has directed has been pretty good. (Yes, the first time I saw “Titanic” I enjoyed it even though the outcome was predictable and Leonardo DiCaprio is on my top 10 least favorite actors.) I’m a huge Trekkie, (I don’t care what anyone says “Trekker” just sounds elitist and dumb.) I love “Heroes”, (Go Zachary Quinto!) been a fan of John Cho since “American Pie”, and Simon Pegg kicks so much ass! AND PIXAR CAN DO NO WRONG. But this past year I’ve gotta give it up to Wes Anderson and “Fantastic Mr. Fox”.
Well, normally I despise Wes Anderson’s work. I hated “Rushmore”, I didn’t understand “The Royal Tenenbaums”, and “The Aquatic Life of Steve Zissou” was just bad. I think the dialogue is just too dry for my tastes. However “Fantastic Mr. Fox” blew my socks off.
Based off of a Roald Dahl novel, (The author of other timely classics such as James and the Giant Peach, The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.) the story follows Mr. Fox as he’s forced to live a life of domestication when he yearns to be free and wild, such as he was born to be. He has a loving wife and a disgruntled angsty teenage cub.
What first drew me in to the movie was the fact it was stop motion. Personally I love stop motion. Anytime I see a preview for something like that I’ve gotta check it out. “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “James and the Giant Peach”, hell even those old Afternoon Specials like “The Mouse and the Motorcycle”. Awesome!I feel like it’s a lost art. There’s something just appealing about the raw and grittiness of seeing things jerk around smoothly, if you know what I mean.
Secondly the dialogue. Usually Wes Anderson’s dialogue comes off slow and dry. But for some reason, in this case it totally worked. The uncomfortable long pauses along with the monotone nature of some characters just made this movie even more delightful.
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” was a breath of fresh air in the heavily polluted CG atmosphere we have become accustomed to. The movie brought me back to my childhood as I revisited all of the long forgotten places I had read about in my youth. Both time and love were infused into this movie and it is apparent in the final product. So my hat goes off to you Mr. Anderson. You have the greatest movie of 2009 in my book.