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Fantastic Mr. Fox Review

Movies.com Critics

5.0

Dave White Profile

Yep, fantastic. Read full review

4.5

Jen Yamato Profile

Pretty cussing fantastic. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    83

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    With its virtuoso tomfoolery, Fantastic Mr. Fox is like a homegrown Wallace and Gromit caper. To Wes Anderson: More, please!

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's an intriguing match of material and filmmaker. Dahl's distinctive, edgy storytelling seems to fit well with Anderson's idiosyncratic worldview and visuals.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    These animals aren't catering to anyone in the audience. We get the feeling they're intensely leading their own lives without slowing down for ours.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A captivating entertainment for the holiday season and well beyond.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    Anderson has created a world as stylized and inventive as anything he's done... "Fox" is a visual delight.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Fantastic Mr. Fox reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Offbeat family adventure may charm adults more than kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that director Wes Anderson's dry, offbeat adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's story Fantastic Mr. Fox is fine for most grade-schoolers but also has some themes and humor that will go over kids' head. The story features a lot of scheming and violence, as three farmers plot to kill Mr. Fox for stealing from them. There are explosions, guns, a knife-wielding rat, a rabid dog, and a secondary character's death, but none of it is graphic or too scary (just a bit startling and/or tense in spots). The farmers smoke and drink, as do the adult animals, who tend to drink with dinner. Aside from a couple of kisses between Mr. and Mrs. Fox, there's no sexuality to speak of, and the language is limited to the word "cuss" being used as a substitute for stronger words (as in "what the cuss?").

  • Families can talk about whether Mr. Fox is right to indulge in his "wild animal" instincts. Should hehave honored his promise to Mrs. Fox? What motivates Mr. Fox to stealfrom the farmers?
  • What can you learn from Kristofferson and Ash's relationship? How arethey different, and when does Ash finally become self-confident?
  • How is this movie's style different from other animated movies? What'sthe effect of stop-action animation compared to the slickercomputer-animated animation?
  • How does the movie compare to the book? Is this what you pictured when you read the story?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Kids might pick up a few of the animals' Latin names (which Mr. Fox enthusiastically uses in one scene).

  • message true2

    Messages: The animals band together, despite their many differences, to keep the malicious farmers from killing them. Father-and-son relationships are portrayed positively as Mr. Fox discovers Ash's worth, even though at first he seemed to doubt him. Mrs. Fox's attitude about what makes a person fantastic demonstrates that everyone has something that makes them extraordinary. There's a running theme about the animals' wilder instincts conflicting with their more people-like responsibilities.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Although Mr. Fox steals from the three farmers -- and lies to his wife about doing it -- he ultimately mends his ways so that his family and the other animals can settle down in peace. Mrs. Fox encourages her son by saying that it's what's different about him that makes him special; she also supports her husband, even when she's disappointed in him. Kristofferson is a model child who forgives Ash for being jealous of him and getting him into trouble. Ash matures from trying to live up to his father's expecations and envying Kristofferson doing something exceptional on his own. The farmers are thoroughly nasty (particularly Bean), but they're also clearly the bad guys.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: The farmers use all sorts of methods to try to kill Mr. Fox: guns, explosives, drowning with hard cider, kidnapping, etc.; the animals eventually fight back. Mr. Fox's tail is shot off and treated as a trophy. A bad-guy character starts a knife fight and eventually dies. The animals kill a few chickens, but nothing grisly is shown. A stand-off scene with a rabid dog is a little tense/scary, as are a few other fight/chase sequences.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Mr. and Mrs. Fox embrace and kiss, and Rat alludes to the fact that Mrs. Fox was a "tart" before she married Mr. Fox. Kristofferson and an adolescent female fox flirt and "go steady," making Ash jealous.

  • language false2

    Language: Strong language is replaced with frequent use of the word "cuss" -- as in "What the cuss are you doing?" and "cluster cuss."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The adult animals drink hard cider, wine, and champagne, but not to excess. One of the farmers makes his own hard cider (and enjoys several jugs per day). Some pipe and cigarette smoking.

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