Fantastic Mr. Fox

DVD Rating: **

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Anton Bitel's film review of Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fantastic Mr Fox

Not only does the film on this disc look and sound fantastic, but there is also a portable digital copy that can be easily transferred to your PC, iPod of iPhone. This is a welcome feature for the postmodern viewer on the move, even if it may seem to run somewhat counter to Wes Anderson's analogue spirit.

The extras, however, are few and brief. The Look Of Fantastic Mr Fox is seven-ish minutes of behind-the-scenes featurette with terse contributions from Wes Anderson, Felicity (widow of Roald) Dahl, producer Jeremy Dawson, producer designer Nelson Lowry, DP Tristan Oliver, animation director Mark Gustafson. We learn that the furnishings and environs of Gypsy House (where Dahl lived and worked) found their way into the film's visual texture, that "no green and almost no blue" feature in the film's autumnal palette, and that the stop-motion manipulation of cotton wool to resemble billowing smoke is no easy task.

Copy picture

At just over six minutes, The Cast is another soundbite-filled making-of featurette, with Felicity Dahl expressing her surprise at how well the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep suited her late husband's "very English book", co-stars Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray discussing the unconventional locations (on and around a real farm) where their voicework was recorded, and Anderson praising Streep for her happiness "to start acting crazy." Streep and Clooney are seen at work on set, but are not interviewed. The extra is short, sweet enough, but somewhat lacking in substance.

Last and least is A Beginner's Guide To Whack-Bat, a one-minute newsreel-style account of the absurdly complex game. It is funny enough, but not as funny as the equivalent sequence from the film that it pillages and recuts. Still, if regarded as an oblique teaser trailer for Fantastic Mr Fox, this would certainly whet the appetite of any viewer in search of playful absurdity.

Reviewed on: 01 Mar 2010
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Fantastic Mr. Fox packshot
Animated version of Roald Dahl's tale about a wily fox.
Amazon link

Product Code: 3939612000

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.78:1

Sound: Dolby digital 5.1

Extras: Portable Digital Copy, The Look of Fantastic Mr Fox, The Cast, A Beginner's Guide to Whack-Bat

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