I watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox on Wednesday afternoon while trying to prepare for a short message to Junior Highers.  I think more than the studying and education and years of public speaking, the movie was better preparation.  However, it wasn’t the world’s greatest movie.  Just pretty good.  Entertaining?  Oh, sure.  I like stop motion.  Or animation.  Or computer sto-mation.  Whatever this movie was, I usually enjoy it.  But for some reason, I guess I just didn’t get sucked into it.  The author of the original book, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” is also the author of “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory,” which I truly enjoy, even though it’s not claymated at all in either of it’s film forms.  Because clay and fake fur and computer graphics and pencil dust don’t have voices, the movie people used voices of a large list of big stars.  A big list of large stars?  Several people whom you may remember from other things those people may have done in the past.  I think part of the reason I enjoy movies where the characters are not human or beast in real life, but instead are clay or whatever weird putty and glue and sticks and stones they used in this film, is that I have always wanted to do voice acting.  I’m on the radio, for goodness sake.  One would think that I could do voices for cartoons.  Or claytoons.  After almost two hours of film about a clay fox, I guess I could recommend that you see the movie if you feel strongly about foxes or against them.  See it if you enjoy clay or animation.  Or if you really just want to unplug your brain for a really nice zone-out.  Outside of those parameters, I’d say don’t worry if you haven’t seen this film.  You may not hear about it much.  Then again, maybe it’ll come back to be wildly popular when Tim Burton sees it, decides it should be darker and more cynical, then redesigns the whole thing and makes a newer, more expensive and creepy version of it.

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