It only makes sense that Wes Anderson ('Rushmore,' 'The Royal Tenebaums') would make an animated movie. For years his movies have been both complimented and critiqued for their out-of-this-world characters, surreal plots, colorful backdrops and quirky soundtracks - in an animated world, those features just make sense. You can watch the trailer here.
Fantastic Mr. Fox succeeds at walking a fine line: It is both simple filmmaking at its best (Easy-to-follow plot based on a children's book by Roald Dahl, stop-go animation) and incredibly, incredibly intelligent (Anderson gives viewers a totally seamless jump into a complete - and completely delightful - new universe with quick dialogue, clever jokes and subtle and pitch perfect voice actors.). Of the 5 Oscar contenders Trevor and I saw over the last two weeks, 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' was the best: Heart-warming without being sappy, laugh out loud funny without being pratfall-heavy or gross, smart without being pretentious.
The story is about a foxy Fox (It's true: He's voiced by George Clooney) who gave up the thieving life eleven years ago to start a family with his Meryl Streep-voiced wife. He wants to do one final job (a three-parter) because he's bored, worried about money, having a midlife-fox-crisis about who he is and needs to outsmart some mean farmers. Of course, being a smart movie, none of these reasons are explicit, you just realize them over the course of the quick 90 minutes.
Another reason it's perfect this movie was animated: Jason Schwartzman can finally play a teenager again. He's never better than when he's playing a whiny teenage-maturity-level manchild, but the facial hair can be a distraction. As Mr. & Mrs. Fox's son, jealous of his cousin's arrival, he's all sullen sass, and it's pretty near perfect.
9 Twix bars!