movies: fantastic mr fox

fantastic mr fox - dig the life fantasticI had something of what I can only describe (badly) as a "meta-moment" at tonight's screening of Fantastic Mr Fox...

And technically it was more than one moment... but, work with me here...

There were a number of points during the film where the audience laughed. Some of these moments I'm still baffled over (although the very first one I think can be chalked up to the clunky animation style), but others I can acknowledge as amusing... but really, it wasn't really that funny, and it certainly wasn't laugh out loud funny.

So does that say more about me or more about the audience... there were more of them... so maybe they were right... maybe it was funny, or maybe there were just some very loud laughers who made it seem funnier than it really was.

But I'm definitely filing this in the "ho-hum" column.

As I mentioned before, the animation can only be described as clunky (at that was intentional since it was filmed in 12 frames a second instead of 24, although why still baffles me)... and while it did grow on me a little bit as the movie progressed, for the most part, I wasn't overly impressed. And it was worse because it's stop motion animation involving characters with fur... so essentially their fur is always moving and rippling due to the animators fingers messing it up, even when they're standing still, and even the fur itself isn't that attractive. They're not sleek, stylish characters, they're actually kinda shabby.

The story has some nice moments, but to be honest I cared less about Mr Fox and his foxy ways than I did about the story of his son Ash who is "different" (although doesn't think he is) and doesn't feel like he has his father's affections. But neither story is explored particularly well... Mr Fox, voiced quite suavely by George Clooney, gave up thieving twelve fox years ago, but for seemingly no apparent reason falls back into his old habits (he doesn't even have the excuse that one of the farmers is sleeping with his ex-wife)...

And the later part of the story has a fairly big plot hole (as well as a fairly big actual hole)... if they're so good at digging, why don't they just dig horizontally and make a run for it?

Speaking of fox years... I also wasn't particularly impressed with the use of on-screen text during the movie... I'm sure they're probably chapter titles from the original book, but they were unnecessary and at least once gave away what was coming next. So big fail in the "Show, Don't Tell" column.

The voice cast were all excellent, although once again, this movie falls into the "Known Voice Acting" trap... a lot of people who's voices I recognised enough to go "Oh yes... Dumbledore as a farmer... Venkman as a badger... Lightning McQueen as some white fluffy sports coach... William Stryker as a reporter"...

It's definitely not a movie I would recommend for children... I don't think there's enough to keep them entertained, it's not colourful or flashy enough... and it has more in common with Rankin Bass than say Pixar.

yani's rating: 1 cuss word out of 5

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