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.