This weekend on Sunday, the first test screenings for Wes Anderson's animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" took place in Paramus, New Jersey. Update: And the film now has a logo, thanks to Twitter (and to JoBlo for tweeting it).
Normally, the usual suspects like /Film or AICN would have an early report emailed into them from some fan, but it's mostly crickets out there. What gives? No word? We're just intensely curious.
The only "report" we've read so far comes from the always unreliable IMDB message boards (that seriously contain some of the world's thickest people and most ludicrous arguments... we digress).
I'm a big Wes Anderson fan as it is, and Fantastic Mr Fox is such a great story that it would be very hard to screw it up, but from what I've seen so far, he's really done an incredible job. The film itself isn't out until the end of this year, and, at the moment, is only half finished. The version that I saw was as part of a viewer survery group, and only about 50% of it had been animated by that point, with the rest filled in with animatics and the odd inclusion of Wes Andersons voice popping up every now and again for a line that hadn't been recorded yet.So who's the ultra-secretive voice behind Farmer Boggis? Someone not announced yet? George Clooney and Cate Blanchett are playing Mr. And Mrs. Fox, yes? (Jason Schwartzman, Meryl Streep and Anjelica Huston also do voice work in the film; Wallace Wolodarsky, Michael Gambon and Helen McCrory are also reportedly in the film). What about the music? We know that Alexandre Desplat is composing the score and Jarvis Cocker from Pulp has been writing some of the songs. No reports/word there?
Regardless of that, the film was very good. Even on an ungraded film reel, it still looked absolutely fantastic. I've had a quick scout about on Google, but I couldn't find one solitary screenshot of the film, so I'll do my best to describe the characters. It's done using stop-motion animation, and all of the models and backgrounds are intricately detailed. You can see the individual hairs on the foxes faces move about in the wind on close ups, and the action scenes that they had completed were both good to look at and fun to watch.
The plot itself doesn't deviate from the book that much. At the moment they've changed the ending slightly from the book, but from the feedback we gave in the discussion at the end, it wasn't particularly popular (although I personally thought it was quite good), so they may do something completely different with it. Other than that, there's not too much I can say. The forms they got us all to scene was pretty strict with regards to what we could talk about, but if you've read the book, and watched a Wes Anderson film, you can easily put together what it's probably going to be like. I can say that I laughed a lot though. It's a funny film. Bill Murray is his usual brilliant self as Badger, and somebody who's name I can't say is brilliant as Farmer Boggis. Or is it Bunce? The one who makes the awesome cider.
That's all we have for now. Hopefully more informative reports will surface soon. "Fantastic Mr. Fox," is scheduled to open in theaters on November 6.