3. FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009)
This isn’t a diss at all: In Wes Anderson’s family flick Fantastic Mr. Fox, Bill Murray isn’t that big of a factor. Yes, he gets some funny lines in a small part as the film’s badger lawyer, cleverly named Badger, but this pretty breathtaking exercise in stop-motion animation isn’t an actor’s showcase—not even the venerable pair of George Clooney or Meryl Streep (as Mr. Fox and his ball-and-chain Felicity, respectively) are able to dominate the proceedings.
The real star of Fantastic Mr. Fox is Anderson himself, who both directed and co-wrote what remains one of the more unfortunately disregarded kid’s movies of the last few years. Though, that’s probably because it plays more like one of Anderson’s grown-up and eccentric comedies that just happens to be animated.
To create the film’s pop-up book feel, Anderson and his collaborators filmed the stop-motion technology at half speed, and it’s quite the ingenious tactic. Fantastic Mr. Fox was a unique experiment that has both flown over people’s heads and coasted beneath the mainstream’s radar since its late ’09 release. It’s about time we change that.