More Wild Things

It can be hard to find things to do in a state that most people don’t realize is part of the US and you have cousins that are on average about 10 years younger than you.  When it was suggested by my parents that I go see a movie with my cousins (New Mexico DOES have movie theaters), I took up the offer in an instant.  It was a perfect opportunity to finally go see Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” a movie that I was interested in but would probably never go see in California.

“Fantastic Mr. Fox” is definitely not your averge kid movie. Firstly, it’s done in a simple and rugged animation style, using clay figures instead of modern computer graphics.  The characters in the movie swear a lot, using the word “cuss” instead of the usual naughty words (but it’s pretty easy to understand what they’re really saying… e.g. “cuss off” and “what the cuss are you doing?”).  There is a lot of violence, from Mr. Fox’s tail getting shot off to the psychotic and alcoholic Rat being killed by an electrical charge.  Mr. Fox, the protagonist, is an arrogant kleptomaniac who doesn’t pay attention to his troubled son and lies to his wife.  The villians, three poultry farmers who are all voiced by Brits, have perfect justification for trying to “kill Mr.Fox, hang him upside down from a signpost with his eyes gored out,” because Mr. Fox steals from their warehouses every night.  There’s not much that is childish about this movie, besides the sometimes slapstick humor and fun 60’s dance music.

Dark children’s movies seem to be the new “it” genre for edgy hollywood directors.  Spike Jones’s “Where the Wild Things Are” sparked a lot of controversy earlier this year about its appropriateness to the child audience.  Tim Burton’s release of “Alice In Wonderland” is scheduled to release this spring, and Guillermo Del Toro is rumored to be doing an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book “The Witches.”  Both “Mr. Fox” and “Where the Wild Things Are” use fantastical stories to display very realistic themes.  “Wild Things” deals with loss of innocence, forgiveness, deception, and power.  Anderson’s “Mr. Fox” also deals a similar set of intense themes: redemption, revenge, and the true nature of wild animals.

There are not many clear “good morals” at the end of the movie. The movie concludes with Mr. Fox digging another tunnel into a grocery store to steal its contents, and all the animals rejoicing at the new prospect.  Instead of learning from the lesson that stealing from humans gets their homes destroyed (The three british farmers destroyed the animal community while trying to kill Mr. Fox), the animals go right back to where they started.  Honestly, this is the way the world works.  History always repeats itself.  Wes Anderson taps into the truth with “Mr. Fox.” He doesn’t sell out to the American mom who wants their kids to learn to share and be nice, he shows the mom’s kids what the world is really like.  People/animals will always steal, because there will always be people/animals that are needy, hungry, lazy, or bored.  People/animals will always seek revenge when stolen from, because they are angry.  Wars will be fought, and the winners will win and the losers will lose.

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