Bottom line: Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the clever story by Roald Dahl, tells a mischievous tale in rustic stop-motion animation. The movie is high on cartoonish violence (mostly centered around farmers with guns trying to kill the fox), and characters cuss frequently using the word "cuss' substituted in for the actual cuss words.MPAA Rating: PG, for action, smoking and slang humor
Runtime: Approx. 87 minutes
Guide Age Recommendation: 7+
Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: November 25, 2009 (wide release)
Fantastic Mr. Fox - Overview
Mr. Fox keeps it cool. Danger is his middle name, and he can lay the charm on thick, even when he's in the thick of it. But when Mrs. Fox tells him they have a cub on the way, he promises her that he will leave his dangerous albeit exciting work of stealing birds from farmers behind.
Years later though, when his cub has grown into a self-conscious and odd sort of fellow and his work as a writer has become unbearably dull, Mr. Fox just can't take it any more. He plots the caper of all capers -- one that will surely outfox the farmers. With a little help from his friends, his son Ash, and his perfect nephew Kristofferson, Mr. Fox leads the way in a perilous plan to obtain glorious victory and all you can eat chicken. Even when things don't go his way, Mr. Fox has a way of turning it all around, but has he gone too far this time?
Fantastic Mr. Fox - Guide Review for Parents
Unique in format and style, Fantastic Mr. Fox offers moviegoers a bit of a new experience in rustic stop-motion animation. The story is based on the children's novel by Roald Dahl, but the movie adds to the story significantly. In the less kid-friendly movie version of the story, Mr. Fox is a bit more of a scoundrel, and the characters are fond of "cuss" words (using "cuss" in place of any swear word that might have been used). Among other plot differences, the movie also throws in a new conflict between Ash, Mr. Fox's odd son who is desperate to make dad proud, and Kirstofferson, the nephew who is perfect in every way.
In addition to the "cussing" and other adult-focused humor, the movie contains a significant amount of violence involving farmers and guns. Scenes involving the farmers shooting at the animals, animals fighting each other, and animals dying (mostly chickens) may be disturbing to young kids. Also, some characters in the movie smoke and/or drink.
Fantastic Mr. Fox - Content Overview*May contain spoilers.
- Violence (High): Farmers shoot at animals, and one such shot results in an animal's tail being shot off. Foxes kill chickens (we see them carrying the dead chickens in their mouths), and some animals fight with each other. One animal dies after a fight. Weapons such as guns, knives, and bombs are used in the film.
- Sex/Nudity (None)
- Drugs and Alcohol (Medium) Animals and humans in the movie drink alcoholic cider and some of them smoke.
- Language (Medium): Characters use the word "cuss" in place of profanity -- example: "What the cuss?!" -- but no actual profanity is used.
- Disrespectful/Imitative Behavior (Extreme): Mr. Fox plans a secret caper to steal from farmers and tries to hide it from his wife. Characters in the movie light things on fire, fight, bully, and scheme.
- Scary Scenes (Medium): Content listed under "violence" may be scary or suspenseful to kids. Kids may be scared for the animals as they tunnel underground trying to escape the farmers, who are trying every means possible to force the animals above ground so they can shoot them.
- Sad/Unsettling Scenes (High): Scenes listed under "violence" may be sad or unsettling for kids. Ash is jealous that his dad seems like his cousin more than him. Ash struggles socially and just wants his dad to be prod of him.
Fantastic Mr. Fox Topics to Discuss
- After seeing Fantastic Mr. Fox, kids may have questions about: animals' mental capacity, animals eating each other, family favoritism, alcoholic cider, smoking.
Fantastic Mr. Fox - Blu-ray Features
- Making Mr. Fox Fantastic: Stop-motion animation is an incredible and painstaking art form in the first place, but director Wes Anderson took it to a whole new level with his specific ideas about color, characters, and settings in Fantastic Mr. Fox. The making-of bonus features reveal some of the great lengths animators went to in order to capture the look and feel that Wes envisioned, and the process of bringing the characters to life from an idea, to sketches, to life-like models is outlined from beginning to end. This fascinating look at the work and the purpose behind the finished product gives a new perspective on and respect for the movie. Here are the different topics from the "making-of" feature:
- The Look Of Fantastic Mr. Fox
- From Script To Screen
- The Puppet Makers
- Still Life (Puppet Animation)
- The Cast
- Bill And His Badger
- A Beginner’s Guide To Whack-Bat: A short little explanation of the game that was played in the movie.
- Fantastic Mr. Fox: The World Of Roald Dahl: Filmmakers were inspired by and in fact modeled many aspects of the movie after Roald Dahl's quaint home and surroundings. This feature allows viewers to meet the late author's wife and see where he lived and worked as he wrote his fantastic children's stories.