Wes Anderson has pulled off the slacker move of the decade in making a film that looks like he doesn’t care if you like it or not. But he obviously does. The Fantastic Mr. Fox is a stop-motion animation movie. By definition, if you make such a film, you care. You care deeply. It takes days to set up three minutes of movie. But the feel of the movie is that he’s making it for him. For him and his cool friends who GET IT, man.
So this movie-going experience was a little distracting for me. Because there is a lackadaisical feel – from the fonts with the sense that someone said “uh, just put them there” look, to the casual dialog which goes with The Fox’s Cowboy Bebob stride – it’s like Wes wants you to believe that he and a couple of his friends decided to make a really long YouTube video over a weekend. You know; him and his friends Meryl Streep and George Clooney. Bill Murray and Willem Dafoe. A thousand editors and animators and caterers. Just a little project, he hopes you like it. But it doesn’t matter if you do; they were just doing it for fun. Twice I had to consciously disregard his filmmaking to watch the film.
And, it’s fabulous. Carelessly fantastisco. It’s beautiful, detailed, rich and lovely. It’s also very very witty. There is all the hipster-insider smart and funny dialog that you better be good at, if that’s how you’re going to play. And he nails it. There is also a very real, sweet and smart, appreciation of the original work.
It’s a great movie. A lot of people worked very hard on it and I would like to make my pleasure for their work clear. Good job you guys. I liked it. I know you secretly wanted me to.