ANIMATION; 1hr 27min
VOICES BY: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray
Fox and friends: Mr Fox (right)
Foxes by way of writer Roald Dahl are crafty and feisty, and they’re coming at you in painterly stop-motion animation courtesy of director Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums). In Anderson’s zesty adaptation of Dahl’s 1970 book, reformed poultry thief Mr Fox (voiced with brisk fervour by Clooney) gets the trouble-and-strife ball rolling when he reverts to his old ways. Mrs Fox (a motherly Streep) is ticked off and the three churlish farmers whose birds and cider Mr F pilfers are enraged. They dig under his home tree to catch him, which doesn’t go over well with anyone, with local animals (Schwartzman, Murray and Co) forced to burrow down deep to escape. For a minute there, it looks as though they’ve pulled it off — then the humans up the ante.
Since Anderson’s wild creatures are also lawyers, teachers, realtors and the like, they combine feral instinct with first-rate strategising skills. The contrast is a tart riot and the bristly crew cries out to be cuddled. But be careful: they bite!