Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl

(hb; 1970)

From the back cover:

"Every evening as soon as it got dark, Mr. Fox would say to Mrs. Fox, 'Well, my darling, what shall it be this time? A plump chicken from Boggis? A duck or a goose from Bunce? Or a nice turkey from Bean?' And when Mrs. Fox told him what she wanted, Mr. Fox would creep down into the valley in the darkness of the night and help himself.

"Boggis and Bunce and Bean knew very well what was going on, and it made them wild with rage. They were not men who liked to give anything away. Less still did they like anything to be stolen from them. So every night each of them would take his shotgun and hide on his own farm, hoping to catch the robber.

"But Mr. Fox was too clever for them."

Review:

Charming children's book from Dahl, whose gentle, slightly dark-humored sensibilities highlight this short tale about three dumb farmers who wait outside the Foxes' hole with shotguns, hoping to starve out, or shoot, the elusive Mr. Fox, who's determined to make bigger fools of Boggis, Bunce and Bean.

There's fast mention of certain animals being killed -- it's never shown: parents might want to note that.

Fast read, worth your time: of course, it's a Dahl book!

This is scheduled to be released as a stop-motion/animated film on November 13, 2009.

George Clooney voices Mr. Fox. Meryl Streep voices Mrs. Fox. Bill Murray voices Badger. Michael Gambon voices Franklin Bean. Jason Schwartzman voices Ash. Brian Cox voices Boggis. Willem Dafoe voices Rat. Owen Wilson voices Coach Skip. Adrien Brody voices Rickity. Anjelica Huston has an unnamed voice part. Wes Anderson, who voices Weasel, also directs and co-scripted; Noam Baumbach co-scripted.

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