Posted By Kathleen David on November 28, 2009
Roald Dahl was one of my favorite children’s authors when I was growing up. I loved “Charlie and the Chocolate Factor”. One of the first hardcover books I owned was “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator,” which my parents got for me when it came out. When Mr. Dahl put a book out, I read it.
My favorite Roald Dahl book is “James and the Giant Peach” followed, very closely by “Fantastic Mr. Fox”. I think one of the reasons I liked Mr. Fox so much was the reason I loved all of Mr. Dahl’s works and that was his use of language which was so rich and colorful. I could see in my minds eye what was going on just from the words on the page.
Yesterday we went to see a family movie as a family and we had a couple of choose from. We had seen Planet 51 and had really no desire to go see Christmas Carol(After a couple years in theater doing a Christmas Carol 2 to 3 to 4 times a day, I cringe every time I hear “God Bless Us Every One” besides the Muppets did it best.) So that left Fantastic Mr. Fox because Old Dogs doesn’t seem to be the kind of film we were in the mood for.
Boggis and Bunce and Bean
One fat, one short, one lean
These horrible crooks
So different in looks
Were none the less equally mean.
The basics of the story are the same in the book and the movie. The movie added a couple of characters, a third act, and a ticking clock that upped the tension. The voice acting was good all the way around.
The animation was just grand. It was so nice to see real stop motion animation again. To watch the fur ruffle in what seemed a rather natural way but is really the finger prints of the animators as they move the puppets just so. And these were puppets in the truest sense of the word. As a puppeteer I enjoyed it very much.
As a fan of Roald Dahl, I was trying not to be a purist but in the end I didn’t like the changes that were made for the movie. I did understand why they introduced characters earlier than they were in the story I didn’t understand why they needed to add characters that added a couple of sub plots to the film. And there was some stuff they did with the Fox family that wasn’t in the original book that just rubbed me the wrong way including a whole bunch of human activities which were kind of amusing but it didn’t advance the plot that much.
I do think that to get all the rich detail that the animators put into the piece, it needs to be seen on a big screen. It is a good film and most of the problems I have with it are those of someone who really loved the source material as a child and still enjoys it as an adult.
So if you enjoy really good stop motion animation, this is a great film for you. If you like the book Fantastic Mr. Fox, I think you will enjoy it. If you enjoy some great voice acting, this is a good film for that. If you have children who love animals, this is a good film with a few scary parts but everything turns out OK for the animals. It is also fun for the adults rather than mind numbing so it is a good family film.
It is just for me that is all it is, a good film not a fantastic one.
I am grateful that we went to see this as a family.