Movie Reviews Fantastic Mr. Fox
The stop-motion animated Fantastic Mr. Fox , with a voice cast that includes George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Jason Schwartzman, received enthusiastic reviews from national critics and those in Los Angeles and New York, where the film opened over the weekend. Directed by Wes Anderson from the Roald Dahl children's book, the film looks rather primitive compared with today's state-of-the-art 3D computer-animated features, the critics agree, while also observing that may be part of its charm. Indeed, Lou Lumenick in the New York Post described it as "a retro marvel." None of the critics appeared to be put off at all by the unrefined imagery. "Once you adjust to its stop-and-start rhythms and its scruffy looks, you can appreciate its wit, its beauty and the sly gravity of its emotional undercurrents," wrote A.O. Scott in the New York Times. Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News escalated the praise, calling the movie, "a visual treasure that successfully blends deadpan quirkiness with a wry realism rarely seen in any film, let alone one for children." In USA Today Claudia Puig somewhat reticently concluded that Anderson renders Dahl's story as "a sometimes witty, if odd, cartoon for all ages." Actually, several critics suggested it may not be a movie for children at all. Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times called it "ultrasophisticated," adding that it "does more than occupy its own particular space between the worlds of childhood and adults. It provides a pleasantly cerebral experience, exhilarating and fizzy, that goes to your head like too much Champagne."