A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be in the UK, where Wes Anderson’s newest film, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” was already playing. Based on the book by the amazing-yet-hard-to-adapt-onscreen Roald Dahl, the film is truly fantastic, and filled with moments that made me snort with laughter and bite my lower lip thoughtfully (this is good.)

The relationships within the Fox family (spouses who love each other but fight real, honest fights, giving up certain freedoms to start a family, feeling out of place, etc.) are so well done, you kind of forget you’re watching drama being played out by a fox puppet wearing a tube sock as a bandit mask.

But don’t get the feeling it’s just bogged down in emotions. There are thrills and spills too, and the voice talent does stellar work, and sounds like they’re having a great time while they’re at it.

One of my favorite bits is the use of the word “cuss” for all bad words, and how often the characters use it – this is allegedly a children’s film! They’re all like “What the cuss?” and “Cuss you!” and for reasons inexplicable, it’s hilarious.

Like Anderson’s other films, notably “Royal Tenenbaums” and “Darjeeling Limited” what makes “Fantastic Mr. Fox” so good is the way it looks at families and their actions with both a loving and humorous eye, pointing out both the heart-wrenching and ridiculous.
And I mean, come on. You’ve got to love a film that has fox puppets wearing tube socks as bandit masks, right?

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