"Fantastic Mr. Fox" just looks... odd

I never read the Dahl book. I’m sure it’s smart & funny & clever. The movie trailers look like it should be quite enjoyable. But for one thing… the animated animals look… off. That’s bothered me for the past few days and this morning it finally struck me as to why.

They look almost like animated taxidermied dead animals.

Anyone else think this or did I just ruin it for everyone?

That’s why I’m looking forward to it–because it’s got real texture, depth, dimension, physicality–not just millions of digital hairs on interchangeable digital critters. Plus, taxidermy animals have dead eyes, and these characters most decidedly don’t.

It also reminds me of Wladyslaw Starewicz’s The Tale of the Fox, a seminal landmark in stop-motion and still one of the best (IMHO) feature animated films ever made. A smart, funny, inventive fairy tale, the Wes Anderson movie may not be a direct relation, but it comes from a similar, time-honored tradition. I can’t wait to see it.

Classic stop-motion aesthetic. One of the best Roald Dahl books ever. It will be fantastic.

Not only does it *look *weird, I can’t figure out what the story is or what age group it’s supposed to appeal to. I saw the trailer a couple months ago and the boyfriend and I simultaneously said “Tyler (his 5 year old son) won’t be into that”. Then we tried to figure out who would be into it, as it doesn’t seem quite whimsical enough for kids but also doesn’t seem to contain any “goes over kids’ heads but is funny to adults” type of humor.
Would any fans like to give a short synopsis? I know I could just look it up but I’d be more interested in hearing it from someone here.

Uncanny valley?

It looks like they intended it to look like older stiffer stop-motion.

It will appeal to Wes Anderson fans and fans of classic stop-motion animation. It’s not Shrek, thank God, and is designed for fans of cinema more than casual film-goers of any age, IMHO.

Well, I don’t care for any of his work that I’ve seen (Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore and Darjeeling Limited) but I am a fan of cinema so I can’t tell if I’d be qualified to see this picture or not :rolleyes:

Don’t worry. No one’s going to make you fill out a questionare at the door.

I’ll wait on the reviews for this one, but it certainly looks interesting. I don’t much care for George Clooney’s voice, though. If Mr. Fox starts bobbing his head, I may have to walk out.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound condescending. I do think, however, that Wes Anderson’s films appeal to a very specific sort of person who is very different to the average film-goer.

It really does look like a Wes Anderson film first and foremost. I don’t think the general family market is the target demographic here, so your two options (kiddy fare vs. ironic adult-oriented “children’s movie”) don’t really apply. It’s another beast entirely.

And I in turn should not have responded to your unintended snark with more snark:)

Anyway, you have sort of answered my question or at least confirmed my suspicion that this is an entirely different kind of film. What is your opinion of the marketing of this picture? I don’t recall if Mr. Anderson’s name is prominent in the promotion but if one isn’t a big fan it wouldn’t really have much impact / explain anything anyway.

No offense intended towards fans; I’ve just been curious about this since I saw the preview.

The figures have real fur on them. I think that explains your reaction, at least in part.

It’s really hard to tell, without seeing the movie, whether the marketing is “accurate” or is trying to play toward a more general crowd-pleasing feeling than the movie actually reflects.

Anderson’s name has been quite prominent in the ads, as has been the critical response (it’s at 88 at Metacritic, which was the same score Up had). Also Clooney and Streep are big b.o. names, so they’ve been featured prominently too (though Bill Murray hasn’t; maybe it’s a function of how big his role is).

So far, I think they’ve done everything they can, without hiding something you can’t deny–it’s old school animation, and for those not used to it, it’s going to feel a little like what the OP is feeling.

Well, firstly, it’s being released under the Fox Searchlight banner, which immediately tags it as a quirky indie film.* Secondly, all the promotional material uses that same typeface used previously with The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic, which, while not a brand, at least helps give the flavour of the film. Anderson’s name is on the poster (“A Film By Wes Anderson”) above the title, but not in the trailer.

FWIW, it’s got a “Certified Fresh” rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and a “Universal Acclaim” rating of 88 on Metacritic – that alone will draw the curious who take critics seriously.

Really, I think the trailer, posters, etc., are quite effective at appealing to the people who will enjoy it the most, fans and non-fans alike. Everyone else will be mystified, but that’s like any other cult film, really.

  • Wait, maybe not. Fox Searchlight posted the trailer on YouTube, and they have their own Fantastic Mr. Fox mini-site, but other material suggests a straight 20th Century Fox branding. Who knows?

I have several promotiomal fox tail ties from SDCC this year. Am I daring enough to wear one to the theater?
…prolly not.

I am not a fan of Wes Anderson, and I don’t like the trailer, so I doubt I’ll ever see it.

But I am a fan of stop motion animation - I grew up watching a fair amount of it. If this movie looked as full of character as The Wombles or Wind In The Willows, I’d be excited by it. But it doesn’t; it looks worse, or perhaps a better phrase would be, it looks older than that. It’s off-putting, I think.

I don’t know that you can blame the odd look on it being stop motion instead of CGI. I used to watch plenty of stop motion stuff as a kid (and still do every year at Christmastime <3 Rudolph) but still think this looks completely bizarre.

Partly it’s the use of real fur, giving it a very “King Kong” look with the fur swirling randomly frame-by-frame.

Anyway, I grew up watching The Wombles, Rankin-Bass specials and Wind in the Willows, so that’s the aesthetic I’m used to, too. But I’m approaching this as an experimental film that is almost like Anderson’s imagination in its purest form. Like Tim Burton, his films have always seemed like live-action versions of non-existent animated features anyway.

See, I got that feeling and so did my ex, after we’d taken turns to bring our (almost) four year old to it.

I get what you saw in it, it didn’t have the slap stick or the adult humour of something like Shrek. But somehow, it worked. I would use the very word you used, whimsical, to describe it to anyone else.

raises hand As someone who thinks that Wes Anderson is a god and, like Paul Thomas Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers among others, can do no wrong, I’d be there without even reading one review.

But it is nice to know that it’s getting phenomenal reviews too.