Monday, January 18, 2010
As I sat watching Wes Anderson's stop motion film Fantastic Mr. Fox in a somewhat shady dollar theater with my squirmy, candy-hounding children last week, I was completely captivated. It was quirky, funny, weird, stylish, and absolutely gorgeous to look at. I'm also a devotee of Roald Dahl, whose novel the film is based on. So I'm thrilled to hear that it's being called Oscar-worthy by critics, some of whom think it even has a chance to beat out Pixar's Up.
I'm a fan of Pixar, and I loved Up, so it won't surprise me if Pixar take the prize. But as an admirer of the handmade, I also regret that digital animation has taken over the art form. As beautiful and impressive as digital animation can be, it's missing something for me . . . warmth, I think.
I love how rough around the edges the animation is in Mr. Fox, and I love that it doesn't pander to it's audience, neither the adults nor the children. The film works for everybody, not because of double entendre or off-color jokes, but because it's artistic, well-written, and damn funny. That's a quality the film shares with Roald Dahl, who never treated children like idiots, knew they could handle a bit of discomfort and fear, and didn't see a young audience as a reason to water anything down.
Plus...Meryl Streep. 'Nuff said.