by Ellen Gillingham
Roald Dahl wrote children’s book Fantastic Mr. Fox. His literary style reflects realism, alienation, and militarism. The book has a secular and dark tone likely due to the untimely deaths of Dahl’s close relatives. Themes in the story are simple and fable like. They include the reparations for stealing, protecting a family, and the destruction of growing up.
Wes Anderson expanded Roald Dahl’s children’s story to a feature-length film version. The film is quirky and focuses on a dysfunctional, modern, and anthropomorphic family of foxes. The film’s theme examines the difference between nature and nurture. Additionally, it is a story with a moral because the main character stops associating himself with crime, which leads to a happy conclusion. Finally, Fantastic Mr. Fox includes a message about how culture is socially aware and media saturated.
Wes Anderson captures the spirit of Dahl’s book and expands it with additional characters, plot events, and themes. The main challenge Anderson faced is that it was originally a British story. However, Anderson’s American quirkiness and soundtrack make the film version more reminiscent of American rather than British culture. This problem is extended when the American-voiced animals and British-voiced humans in the film are seen as dichotomist symbols for good and evil.
This source is a six part article that primarily focuses on a color analysis of Fantastic Mr. Fox. (One thing I noticed while watching the film, is how it was very orange/brown.)
This article is about how Fantastic Mr. Fox is a well-deserving film from Wes Anderson because it leaves the viewers with a warm feeling.
This source is a blog that looks at the colors in Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.
This blog from March 17, 2011 focuses on how the autumn colors (red, orange, and brown) are the only ones used in the film. The blog is important to understanding the film because it provides examples of how green lighting or color correction unifies elements in the shots. It also explains and provides images of how objects are painted. The blog also lists many the effects that the color pallet has on the perception of the film.
Fantastic Mr. Fox borrows from many different film genres (e.g. caper film, gangster film, western film, romantic-comedy)? Do these genres play well together? Does the film implicitly make the argument that genre-mashing is something that works well in films for children?
Fantastic Mr. Fox borrows from many different film genres that work well together like caper, gangster, western, and romantic-comedy. The film involves many story-lines that come together with Roald Dahl’s original story. For example, the action in the film has elements from gangster, western, and crime movies. On the other hand, Mr. and Mrs. Fox’s relationship adds aspects of a romantic-comedy to the movie. The genres not only play well together, but they allow the film to appeal to a wide audience. This makes the argument that genre-mashing is something that works well in films for children because the movie going experience for children often involves many children and parents. The genre-mashing gives every personality in the family something to enjoy. Overall, people of all ages can find an aspect of interest in this film.
“Listen, you’re Kiely. You’re an unbelievable nice guy; you’re job is really just to be available – I guess.”