Wes Anderson Knows He’s Made the Second Greatest Animated Fox Movie of All Time

by |
11/19/2009 4:29 PM |

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So, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is a delightful dioramarama that gets the best out of its director’s obsession with controlled play; perhaps due to its natural, sweet address to kids, his usual unresolved conflicts—chiefly, the problems of stepping out of a world of your own making and understanding the needs of others—feel less petulant than in his prior film (and less precious than in another recent film we could name).

It also features, as the background music in an early, pastoral scene, the song “Love”, an Oscar-nominated number from Disney’s 1973 film of Robin Hood, the movie your film editor watched more times than any other movie in the years before he watched The Princess Bride more than any other movie.

In Disney’s Robin Hood, of course, Robin Hood and Maid Marian are loving foxes as well. Roald Dahl’s Mr. Fox (the book was published in 1970) is himself a Robin Hood figure, a dashing, justified thief who, along with his gang of fellow-animals (badgers, rabbits, etc in both Disney and Dahl), risks life and limb to steal from comically greedy English landowners.

Is the song in question embedded after the jump? Oh gee I don’t know better click on the jump and find out.

(One of the beauties of cel animation is its sense of stillness that comes from its relatively deliberate movement against painted backdrops. It’s at least as grateful as Anderson’s minutely detailed miniatures.)

This song, incidentally, was written by Floyd Huddleston and George Bruns, and performed by Nancy Adams; much of the rest of the soundtrack, including the eminently whistleable opening theme, was written and performed by Roger “King of the Road” Miller.