If I were to make a list of my favorite movies, Fantastic Mr. Fox would come in somewhere near the top. If you haven’t seen it I suggest you find a copy and watch it, soon.
Here is why I love it:
Its a great story. It’s based on the book, Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl. You know, he’s the guy who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach. This is one of his shorter stories, but still really good.
The movie was directed by Wes Anderson. He makes great movies. Period.
But, the biggest reason that I love it is because it’s a stop animation movie, which completely mesmerizes me. That means that each character is basically a little puppet that is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames. When the series of frames is played in a continuous sequence it creates the illusion of movement. So, there are no human actors, no crazy special effects, just all these little handmade characters in little miniature movies sets.
The other day I picked up this book, and it completely blew me away. Completely. If you have ever been curious about how a movie like this happens, how many people it takes, what type of work goes into it, go find this book. It’s all here. Storyboards, notes, sketches, construction of the puppets and the sets. It’s basically an explanation of Anderson’s whole creative process, and how his vision was executed. It’s kind of unbelievable, really, and inspiring.