It’s such a funny, strange movie – if you looked at the movie superficially, the characters find and execute plans and solutions with remarkable ease, and there isn’t much realism or logic to be found in what happens. That being said, it’s not really a film that should be examined with the logic glasses on, and there was enough quirkiness to ensure that viewers begrudgingly put on their suspension of disbelief goggles. There was this droll sense of humour to the movie and a quirky, off-beat sort of script filled – like the animation – with stilted jumps of logic and randomness but charming in its own way and very self aware and self deprecating.
I’m sort of amazed that they managed to introduce more conflict into the plotline and fill the movie up to the length it is, because the original Dahl book was a children’s book through and through and comparatively short. There is also a layer of removal to the emotions in the movie, probably enhanced by the primarily deadpan delivery by almost all the characters apart from Ash and Kylie, so it was hard to feel truly invested in any of the emotional arcs of the series – except I’m not sure if that was the point, to be honest (to be really emotionally engaged or to take the movie extremely seriously). Personally, I didn’t find it a particularly gripping movie, simply because everything was rather ridiculous; it was the type you sort of watch in intermittent moments between doing other things, and I found myself skipping parts. No doubt younger children would find it very engaging though.
The visuals of the movie are amazing, though. Knowing most of the characters and props are actually physically created gives the shots an organic quality and texture that can’t be imitated by digital animation, and it’s good to see some movies still utilising the technique. I would totally recommend watching the movie just for the beautiful screencaps you can make (sharpening the images in photo-editor brings out amazing details instead of graininess, which surprised me).
It’s a movie that works on both children and adult levels. I feel like adults will find the deadpan nature of the film and subtle humour a little easier to understand than younger children. At the same time, the children are probably being too engrossed by the daring escapades of Mr Fox to really care.