Fantastic Mr. Fox at The Stranger

My review of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is now featured in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly.

Stop-motion animation proves to be a perfect fit with Anderson’s sensibility. A filmmaker of tableau imagery packed with defining detail and quirky humor, he’s the Joseph Cornell of American cinema, creating colorful cinematic boxes around stories of dysfunctional families, absent fathers, and characters lost in ambition and obsession and the need for affirmation and parental approval.

The combination of elaborately designed sets and minimalist animation looks downright quaint next to the expressiveness of Henry Selick or the Aardman folks, but it evokes storybook illustrations by way of 1950s-era puppet animation. Anderson’s animal dolls could have stepped right out of museum dioramas and into their vintage-store wardrobes, and the mix of stillness and sudden action (from discreetly ruffled fur to a sudden acrobatic leap) is an animated analogue to the deadpan performances of his human casts.

Read the rest here.

The Family Fox
The Family Fox

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website ( I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View ( I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly,, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View. I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

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