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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Lily Gouin
Lily Gouin
Assistant Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Lily Gouin I am in my third year here at NMU. I am from Appleton, WI majoring in communications and double minoring in multimedia journalism and public relations. In my free time, I like...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 3
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererFebruary 26, 2024

‘Mr. Fox’ is indeed a fantastic film

When he first came upon the indie movie scene with “Bottle Rocket,” Wes Anderson was labeled as quirky and different. Martin Scorsese even claimed that Anderson would be the next Scorsese. Throughout the years, Anderson has developed an instantly recognizable and unique style. With his first animated film, “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Anderson proves that his cinematic eye is just as adept and nuanced with animation as with everything else he’s done.

Mr. Fox (Clooney) used to live a care-free life stealing chickens from three farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean, until his wife (Streep) informs him that she is pregnant. Deciding not to endanger the life of his wife or unborn child, Mr. Fox gives up his life of crime and become a newspaper columnist. Two years later, or 12 fox years, the need to steal chickens from these pernicious farmers arises again, and Mr. Fox soon finds himself in a battle of wits that may cost his family and himself more than just their tails.

The voice acting in this film is really superb. The mannerisms and vocal inflections really give the feel that they are doing what their on-screen counterparts are. This is fitting since Anderson recorded the voices on location at a farm and not just in a studio like most other animated films. Clooney and Streep complement each other nicely and Jason Schwartzman’s is able to infuse his portrayal of Mr. Fox’s son, Ash, with a real childlike sound and demeanor. With Anderson’s usual all-star cast, there’s not a person here who seems out of place.

As usual, there’s intelligence and subtlety that lurks behind Anderson’s trademark wit. What may appear to be throwaway lines contain as much humor as any comedy blockbuster out there today. “I don’t want to live in a hole anymore. It makes me feel poor,” Mr. Fox says. While the humor is somewhat sophisticated, there are still plenty of sight gags for children to enjoy. It’s safe to say, though, that this is a children’s film for adults.

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Anderson is one of the true auteurs working in Hollywood today. Although it’s animated, that hasn’t stopped Anderson from using his trademark cinematography. Everything from tracking shots, wide angles and pans back and forth while characters speak, are included here. I was afraid that an animated film would stifle Anderson’s vision, but it’s only made it more accessible to audiences across the nation.

In its themes and characters, “Fox” actually feels a lot more like “The Royal Tenenbaums,” a film many claim to be Anderson’s masterpiece. The characters here are flawed and have their own difficulties to overcome and the family itself is plagued with personal problems.
The animation of “Fox” may be considered a bit rough, but in my opinion it’s this slight imperfection that adds to the level of charm “Fox” has to offer.

This is not going to be a film for everyone. A lot of the humor will undoubtedly go over the heads of both children and adults alike, a problem that can be said for most of Anderson’s films. The pacing of the film is also a bit fast. There are scenes where it feels the camera should linger on the characters before cutting to another scene.

I didn’t think there would be another animated film this year that would give “Up” a run for it’s money at the Oscars, but “Fox” is certainly it.

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