"2012" is getting all the hype this weekend, but if you take a look at Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic you'll find another new release with much better reviews, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." Wes Anderson's stop motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's book has a stellar 90% on RT and an 88 on Meta which certainly equals that site's designation as "universal acclaim." Of course, "Fox" is only opening in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, the rest of that nation will have to wait until Thanksgiving.
Featuring some, um, fantastic vocal performances by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman just to name a few, "Fox" centers on its title character's plan to steal from under the noses of three farmers and the consequences of his action on his friends and family. Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach ("The Squid and the Whale") wrote the screenplay, but it's the visual style of the movie that makes it really feel like an Anderson flick.
Much has been written about how Anderson didn't visit the set often during the long grueling stop motion animation process (a ridiculous expectation), but Fox Searchlight has provided HitFix with an exclusive look at just how involved he was in the production. This behind-the-scenes footage shows Anderson deliberately acting out numerous scenes from the picture. It's almost unheard of for a director in an animated film and in the long run, quite impressive. You can watch the embed below or for a larger version, click here.
Last month, Awards Campaign also had the pleasure of sitting down with Jason Schwartman and discussing his impressive vocal work in "Fox" at the Roald Dahl Museum in Buckinghamshire, England. In fact, the chat took place in a replica of Dahl's quirky private office where he wrote such classics as "Fox," "James and the Giant Peach" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." The video also includes a great look at Clooney, Murray and the rest of the cast working out their vocals during a weekend recording session on an upstate New York farm. Check out our chat below or for a larger version click here.
"The Fantastic Mr. Fox" is now playing in Los Angeles and New York. It opens nationwide on Thanksgiving day.
For constant updates on awards season and entertainment news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter at Twitter.com/HitFixGregory