Fantastic Mr. Fox

Featured In Issue 148, May/June 2010

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Action, smoking and slang humor
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Wes Anderson
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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This animated adventure is the re-imagined classic family tale based on the book by Roald Dahl. Mr. and Mrs. Fox (Clooney and Streep) live a happy home life with their eccentric son Ash (Schwartzman) and visiting nephew Kristofferson (Anderson). That is until Mr. Fox slips into his sneaky old ways and plots the greatest heist the animal world has ever seen. When mean old farmers Boggis (Hurlstone), Bunce (Guinness) and Bean (Gambon) join forces to surround Mr. Fox and his family, they don't realize they are not dealing with any old fox—it's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and he has a fantastic master plan to save the day! (Gary Reber)

Special features include three featurettes: "Making Mr. Fox Fantastic" in six segments (HD 44:48), "A Beginner's Guide To Whack-Bat" (HD 01:12), and "The World Of Roald Dahl" (HD 03:00); the theatrical trailer; a DVD of the movie and a digital copy; and up-front previews.

The 1080p 1.85:1 AVC picture is terrific, with absolutely mesmerizing puppet animation. This is uniquely unusual animation that is visually fascinating. Resolution is excellent and revealing of every detail and nuance. Animal fur, whiskers, and clothing is incredibly revealing, as is object and background textures. The color scheme exhibits warm hues throughout, with an emphasis on browns. Blacks are deep and solid. Shadow delineation is nicely rendered and shaded. At times bright colors pop and provide excellent contrast. This is particularly applicable to the underground scenes, which are rendered in earth tones. This is a wonderful picture that is reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack exhibits excellent fidelity and perfectly intelligible dialogue. However, the ADR dialogue is completely dislocated and bothersomely non-integrated spatially. The sound is forward for the most part, but there are instances in which the dialogue sounds spatially workable. Sound effects are nicely recorded and presented, though quite frontal focused. Deep bass extension is limited, though, the sound is full and perfectly natural. The music, as with the other elements, is recorded well and is the single surround element. At times the low-end response is impressive in a perfectly natural way. The recording quality is superb, but numerous opportunities are neglected to provide spatial dimensionality. As such, this is pretty much a stereo presentation for the most part. (Gary Reber)