I'll admit that I am a bit baffled by the general response to Wes Anderson in the first place and by the way film fans turned on him as quickly as they did.

Yes, Wes has a very distinct style.  You can tell right away that you're looking at a Wes Anderson film.  Aside from "Bottle Rocket," his first and still loosest movie, all of his film share particulars in terms of set design, composition, camera movement, and theme.  He is absolutely building a very personal filmography, and for some reason, that angers many film fans.  "Rushmore" may have been beloved, and "Tenenbaums" slightly less so, but the baffling hostility towards "The Life Aquatic" or "The Darjeeling Limited" is very vocal, most of hinged on the fact that he has such a recognizable voice each time now.

Making a stop-motion animated film seemed at first like a way for him to sidestep that and make something completely different, but now that we're seeing more of the work, it looks like he's taken Roald Dahl's classic book and absolutely bent it to his own comic sensibility.

In particular, I'm entertained by the new behind-the-scenes featurette that Fox Searchlight just released, and if you watch it, you'll see what I mean.

[more after the jump]

Here's the featurette:

 

 

I love the way Wes is approaching the movie, and in particular, the recording of the voices.  I know there are technical reasons why we typically record voices for animated films in very controlled and sterile environments, but doing it like this may result in a different style to the performances, and I'm excited to hear how it pays off.

I just love it when a major filmmaker decides to shake things up, and ends up revealing themselves even more as an artist.  Wes Anderson doesn't have anything to prove to anyone at this point, but this diversion may turn out to be just as important a piece of his filmography as any of the "real" movies he's made.

Can't wait to find out.

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