Roald Dahl books have a history of successfully being adapted for the big screen. This has a lot to do with the fact that Dahl’s writing style is so vivid and imaginative that film is the perfect medium to bring his colorful worlds to life. “Willy Wonka and the Chocoalte Factory” provides a perfect example.  This trend continues with Wes Anderson’s adaptation of “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

Based off Dahl’s 1970 novel, the movie follows the adventures of Mr. Fox, voiced by George Clooney, as he attempts to pull off the ultimate heist by robbing three of the most notorious farmers in the English countryside. Fox is also a father and a husband, and the struggles at home are just as big a theme throughout the course of the film as his master plan. His wife, played by Meryl Streep, wants nothing more than for him to give up his animal instincts and remain a family man, while his son Ash has feelings of inadequacy next to his cousin Kristofferson. The farmers ultimately catch on to Fox’s plans, and a battle of wits ensues between man and animal.

One of the most notable things about this film is that the animation is unlike almost anything you will see nowadays. While Anderson could have easily way deferred to computer animation, the puppets and stop action motion of his characters give the film a unique feel to it. While it may seem childish, it feels more natural to see Fox and friends presented in this fashion.

What makes “Fantastic Mr. Fox” a standout, however, is that this adaptation chooses to focus on the personal and family aspects of Mr. Foxes actions. For example, the desire to embrace himself as a wild animal rather than a domesticated being acts as a driving force for Mr. Fox to get back into the world of thieving. This acts as a sort of midlife crisis for him, and the audience is made aware of this very subtly. Additionally, Fox has to use all his resources to keep his family safe from the threat of the increasingly angry farmers, something that was his own doing. However, the film never takes itself too seriously, and there are many moments that bring can bring a smile to your face.

Despite it’s playfulness and lighthearted feel, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a movie with depth and a lot of heart. I highly recommend it.