Anderson uses his distinct style of animation, that we previously only catch a glimmer of in his previous films (The Life Aquatic, etc.), to create a full length feature that is both witty and mesmerizing. George Clooney is a great fit as Mr. Fox (as is Merril Streep for Mrs. Fox), and who would not love Bill Murray as a badger? The anthropomorphism of the characters is so strong, one almost forgets they are supposed to be animals. The soundtrack sets the tone -- and is perfectly in sync with the animation -- with original composition, indie music, and, yes, a little bit of the Beach Boys. Even though the plot is about coming to terms with one's true nature, I couldn't help but think the film itself was a beautiful exercise in escapism.
It seems to have been the season of fantasy and whimsy with one "fantastical" film after another. Fox echoes the idea of an other-worldliness that could also be seen recently in Where the Wild Things Are. Both are based on best-selling children's books, are retold by renowned indie directors, and both provide a visual feast for the eyes while touching on deeper psychological themes. Although this move may be more child-friendly than WTWTA, it still has many aspects that seem tailor made for adults to enjoy. And enjoy it I did!