Fantastic Mr. Fox. Dir. Wes Anderson. 20th Century Fox. 2009.

Mr. Fox in Fantastic Mr. Fox is a charismatic selfish father that puts his own wants and needs before his family. The narrative follows Mr. Fox and his many escapades of stealing chickens and putting his family and town into harm’s way by interfering with three powerful corporate farmers. After being fooled one too many times, the Farmers finally put their heads together to attempt to stop the cunning Mr. Fox and finish him off once and for all. Meanwhile, the rest of the animals in other locations are forced to flee as well and eventually meet up with Mr. Fox and his family. Upon the intersection of the town animals and the Fox Family, Mr. Mole and Mr. Fox exchange a slight banter between them: Mole says,” I just want to see… a little sunshine,” Mr. Fox replies, “But you’re nocturnal, Phil. Your eyes barely open on a good day,” Mole, flustered, replies back,” I’m sick of your double talk, we have rights!” What’s interesting about this is that Moles, obviously a nocturnal animal, usually live underground and are typically blind. Not to mention the clay human-made puppets that give you an increased lack of reality; the film gives the animation a choppy, purposely unrefined, and slightly scary in the mechanical movements made by the animals.

This reality is nonexistent from that start of the movie from the help of the real animal haired puppets that give them that sense of being “handled”. The animal figurines used in Fantastic Mr. Fox are made with animal fur. Wes Anderson has achieved this to ensure that the figurines give the impression of being a “handled” animal instead of a real or animated animal. Having the stop motion videography and flexible real fur constantly provides a rippling and revealing fingerprint impressions even though the animals have minimalistic movements; the motions of the figurines creates a bizarre alternate reality that questions the animal characteristics of the characters. This effect adds to the underground scene even more by making Mr. Fox’s comment ironic since they were all fake and puppets made by humans themselves. By providing these flipped realities, Wes makes the movie playful and this scene becomes humorous, despite its inaccuracy. The fake animals have animal characteristics but live human lives performing actions definitely not made by animals. This effect is commonly found in many animation films particularly designed for children where the animals live human lives and are anthropomorphic in nature. 


Fantastic Mr. Fox. Directed by Wes Anderson. 2009.