Movie Reviews – Fantastic Mr. Fox and Where the Wild Things Are   December 7th, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox is probably the most accessible Wes Anderson film, though it’s still quirky in places, especially with the odd dialog and affected character deliveries. However, the the visual flairs that his films are known for were a treat to watch. The stop-motion puppetry was a little jarring at first, and the tall and thin character designs looked a little odd, but it was easy to get pulled into the world they created.

The movie both embraced, and at points highlighted, the limitations of the medium, but in a nice way and the film was wonderfully charming. There were spots where the previously mentioned dialog dragged things down a bit, but on the whole it was a lot of fun. The film might not be for everyone, especially if you don’t appreciate at least some indie film styling. It might also be a little weird for young kids, but older children and hip teens and adults could dig it.

Where the Wild Things Are was a surprisingly good adaptation and expansion on a children’s picture book. It’s more of a film for adults who remember what it was like to be a kid, with all the joys and heartaches than it is a kid’s movie as it might be a bit emotionally intense for at least young kids. It’s a lot like other Spike Jonze’s films (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind) where the story is more about characters’ relationships than a lot of action happening, so based on that you’ll either love or hate the film.

It was very engaging and moving, emotional, sweet, disturbing and sad, and I appreciated how evocative it was.  The character design and animation of the Wild Things was wonderful, giving them both physical realness, but with some cartoony physics, to make interesting and fantastic visuals.

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