RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

The books of British writer Roald Dahl seem made for the movies with their chocolate factories and giant peaches. This weekend theres a new movie based on one of his stories, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Film critic Kenneth Turan has our review.

KENNETH TURAN: Fantastic Mr. Fox goes to your head like too much champagne which is what you'd expect with George Clooney and Meryl Streep voicing Mr. and Mrs. Fox, the ultra-sophisticated Nick and Nora Charles of the forest world.

The film follows the plot of the Roald Dahl book, which is a battle of wits between the larcenous title character and the combined forces of Boggis, Bunce and Bean. They're not a law firm, but three of the meanest, nastiest, ugliest farmers in Mr. Fox's part of the world. And the richest.

Mr. Fox swore off robbing these three once he and Mrs. Fox became parents, but he still has the yen. Working with Kylie the Possum, an old partner in crime, Mr. Fox plans that film noir movie staple, one last job that will set him up for life. Mrs. Fox, not surprisingly, is not amused when she catches them in the act.

Ms. MERYL STREEP (Actress): (As Mrs. Fox) Another block party?

Mr. GEORGE CLOONEY (Actor): (As Mr. Fox) Oh, oh, I didnt see you sitting in the dark over there. Yeah. No, actually, theres a fire. I just got the call. They said maybe its arson. Ive got to interview the marshal and see whats

Ms. STREEP: (As Fox) Kylie, is he telling the truth? If what I think is happening is happening, it better not be.

TURAN: As written by director Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, Fantastic Mr. Fox has been made in the painstaking process known as stop-motion animation that has brought all kinds of things to life. Stop-motion allowed Anderson to create his own very specific environment, complete with animal puppets that had real fur and an autumnal palette that had no use for the color green. Im a wild animal and a husband and father, our hero declares, and this movie succeeds because of its ability to strike the right balance between those poles

MONTAGNE: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.