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Wild Animals: Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Wild Animals: Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox"

With the recent announcement that no less than 20 films were submitted for this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar, 2009 can rightly be labeled something of a watershed year for the format. Of course, some of those entries are bland generic staples—the new Ice Age movie, the Chipmunks sequel, Battle for Terra, Monsters vs. Aliens—shiny, machine-tooled baubles designed to attract and pacify the youngest-audience quadrant for big studio profits. But considering entries like Coraline, 9, Ponyo, Up, the forthcoming A Town Called Panic, and Wes Anderson’s just-released Fantastic Mr. Fox, a strong case could be made for animation reemerging as not just a medium for displaying up-to-the minute technologies, but for personal artistic expression. This is no longer just a Pixar/Miyazaki world. Given that a director’s craft depends so fully on imagining the layout of a frame and then re-creating it before a camera, it’s surprising that more established directors haven’t tried their hands at animation—it’s a control freak’s paradise. Click here to read the rest of Jeff Reichert’s review of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

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