Finally, a film that lives up to the hype. Not only is FANTASTIC MR. FOX thrilling to simply look at, I think even hard-core Roald Dahl fans will appreciate the liberties Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach (SQUID AND THE WHALE, MARGOT AT THE WEDDING) took with the story. While it’s not clear what they invented and what they took from Dahl’s original notes, the events in the book occupy the middle of the film with added backstory in the beginning and a more involved and complete ending.

You might think animated film means loud, cartoonish and over the top, but the relationships here are subtle and realistic and just one example of how the Anderson camp has upped the ante for animated kids movies. Another part of what makes this such a solid effort is the simple fact that it knows its limitations. Sure, it’s a children’s story that adults also love, but it’s still a children’s story. Anderson doesn’t try to reach beyond the boundaries of the genre in an attempt to be something bigger or more important, probably because he recognizes how important it already is, all on its own. Working only in the world of Mr. Fox and his friends, we have the chance to lose ourselves in the excitement of this make-believe world, which is precisely what Roald Dahl did best. It’s obvious that Anderson is an adoring fan, and watching FANTASTIC MR. FOX, you can feel all the love that went into making it. It really is fantastic.