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Fab Mr. Fox *whistle with the clicky sound*

October 15, 2009

The BFI are putting on a great show in Leicester Square for the London Film Festival. It does seem bigger than other years, as previously they only took over a section of the Square, whereas last night it seemed most of it was devoted to the LFF. Red carpet was everywhere – they filled the whole of the central garden with it. I wonder if the grass would survive….

Anyway, the reason why I was there was to see the opening film and world premier of Fantastic Mr. Fox. All the advance reviews seemed to be favourable for this film, with the Evening Standard giving it a glowing review. I would have to say after watching the it every review I have read so far has been correct in it’s praise.

Wes Anderson has done a fantastic job in co-writing / producing / directing. He’s certainly put his spin on this classic story, with the heart and quirkiness of The Royal Tenenbaums. I think newcommers to his fims would certainly want to check out his back catalogue after watching this.

The stop motion effects used in this film are done with great effect by a company who are just around the corner(ish) in East London (the name escapes me now, so I’ll be sure to edit this once I find out). It is not practiced enough this kind of animation, as demonstrated so well in this film. The residence where the foxes lived was wonderfully put together, and I particularly liked every detail in the badger’s office, with his receptionists typing in the background of the scene a great addition. The effect of the wind on the fur was also a great touch.

The trick with a star cast in an animation film is to use their talent and skills as actors rather than have their name and own personal characters get in the way of the story telling. Wez has seemed to pull this off, as I either didn’t pick up on who was voicing who, or it didn’t distract me from watching the film. The casting is great, as all actors seem to be playing their characters with perfect delivery. Just a few to mention are George Clooney as Mr.Fox, Meryl Streep is his wife (and a great byline of Mrs.Fox being ‘around town’ in her early years),  and of course Bill Murray the badger. Those were the characters below ground – those above were the Brits who were the ‘baddies’. It was great to see Jervis Cocker as Petey the son of Franklin Bean (wonderfully voiced by Michael Gambon).

So I’m sure I’ll drive people mad in the next few weeks by constanly doing the whistle with the clicky sound, as per Mr.Fox’s trademark.

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