Just forget the words and sing along

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox Trailer

I'll never forget 2005, when two stop-motion animated films, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit came out at the same time. One of the animators was asked what he thought of two stop-motion animated films coming out at the same time, and his answer was, "At the very least, I hope it means we're keeping [stop motion animation] alive as a folk art."

And 2009 is getting notable in that in this year, we are getting two stop-motion animated films. The first one was Coraline, which came out at the start of the year. And now, at the end of the year, we're getting Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the class Roald Dahl book of the same name.

What really makes this one special is that it's the first animated film directed by Wes Anderson, the indie film auteur who gave the world The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and, most recently, The Darjeeling Limited.

Anderson began work on the film back in 2004. The original plan was for Anderson to be the director, with Henry Selick serving as animation director...that is, the director who is actually hands-on involved with the animation. (Anderson and Selick had previously collaborated on The Life Aquatic, where Selick and his team of animators provided all the stop-motion animated sea creatures.) But then, the studio that was originally making the film ran into problems, and Selick left the project to go direct Coraline. So, Anderson decided to direct the whole thing himself.

I haven't been able to dig up much on the actual production yet...I have heard that Anderson decided to record all the voice actors in natural settings. For example, if the characters are walking down a dirt road, Anderson actually got the actors to walk down a dirt road and recorded them reading the lines to each other. It was probably hell on the sound designers....

And the animation really does look...lower budget than Coraline. It looks kind of like one of those 15-minute long British children's shows.

This could be quite an interesting little film.


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