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Netflix Daily Pick: Whistles and Clicks in ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ (2009)

Today's pick is a stop-motion classic about a wily little fox.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a 2009 stop-motion animated comedy about an urbane fox who cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers’ retaliation.

Today’s Netflix Pick is a sublime bit of whimsy that is a refreshing break from the standards and another creative masterpiece from a director we’ve already recommended once before. Starring the voices of George ClooneyMeryl Streep, and Bill Murray to name a few, it’s a clever and often very funny fairy tale with talking animals and biting social commentary. It’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.

THE STORY: Directed by Wes Anderson, the story centers on Fox (Clooney), a family guy and well-to-do fox who can’t stop his old habits of raiding the nearby Berk’s Squab Farm. His wife Felicity (Streep) is desperate for him to stop and so he does. A few years later, he is a newspaper columnist and has moved them and their son Ash (Jason Schwartzman) to a new home in the stump of a tree, though it is dangerously close to three farms, of which secretly, Fox and his friend Kylie (Wallace Wolodarsky), an opossum, take to raiding, missing the old days. Meanwhile, Ash’s cousin Kristofferson (Eric Anderson) comes to live with them and causes a number of problems, being better at everything than Ash. But now that the farmers have rallied to try and kill Fox, things take a turn and the whole lot needs to come together to save the day.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2009 © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: There’s something really fun about stop-motion animation, whether it’s the time and patience of the artist creating them or the overall style of the medium. Either way, Anderson’s approach to adapting Roald Dahl‘s classic children’s story is a good one, with animation director Henry Selick, the man who brought A Nightmare Before Christmas to life, going the extra mile here with some truly eye-popping visuals. A smart and funny script and some really great voice acting tie it all together though with Clooney and Murray especially delivering. Full of little surprises and tons of spectacular details, this is a clever and imaginative world to escape to. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.

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