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Non-Review Review: The Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Fantastic Mr. Fox isn’t a movie for everyone. It’s decidedly quirkily a Wes Anderson film above all else – above being an animated or stop motion film or a Roald Dahl adaptation. There’s the same dialogue and awkward poses and eccentric misunderstood characters at its core. It’s decidedly retro and it won’t win any awards for visual innovation. But – somewhat fittingly for a movie with a moral about being yourself – it is very much its own movie. Still, the suggestion that this isn’t a movie for kids is a little disingenuous. There are, I reckon, a lot of children who will enjoy the movie’s style and story and beauty. However, there will be a quite a few who won’t. But I reckon the same will be true of an adults as well. This is a movie for Wes Anderson fans, of all ages – even those who have never seen a Wes Anderson film before in their lives. But it’s also a film for those who can appreciate cinema in all its forms and with all its different trappings and styles. Those looking for a conventional animated children’s tale, or particularly light entertainment, will likely leave disappointed – but those looking for something with a bit more soul than usual will be right at home.

He's a foxy fella..

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Have We Stopped Making Children’s Films For Children?

The three biggest children’s films under discussion at the moment are Pixar’s Up, Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are. These three films have generated a debate about who exactly family entertainment should be aimed at, and whether are not there are themes (rather than content) which should be taboo for films that would appear to be aimed at children. More importantly, these three films have sparked a flurry of complaints or criticisms from adults who claim they are far too mature for younger audiences. So, are we really only making these films for big kids?

Watch out, here comes the Politically-Correct-allo!

Watch out, here comes the Politically-Correct-allo!

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Getting Animated – The Revival of Old-Fashioned Animation?

We live in the era of 3D and CGI. I remember back in they day there were worries and complaints by all the unions in Hollywood that the advent of perfect CGI would mean the end of actors in Hollywood – why pay Jim Carrey $20m a film when you can create a character for a fraction of that? Needless to say it hasn’t happened yet and I doubt it will. Hollywood and movies have always been the land of personalities. Get rid of those personalities and you have very little. It isn’t the antics of directors and writers that fuel the tabloid industry. So it’s logical that the part of the industry that has been most threatened by the marching on of science is the one where there is already minimal personality. I speak of course of the death of 2D animation. Although I hope I’m being premature – there have been two stories in the past 24 hours that indicated that old-fashioned non-live action films may not be quite dead.

Just a fraction less sophisticated than the animation Wes Anderson employs...

Just a fraction less sophisticated than the animation Wes Anderson employs...

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