I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. I basically grew up on Roald Dahl and was therefore dreading an awful Americanised film adaptation. And while it’s true that this film strays from the original story, it builds on, rather than discards, its roots.
It’s a fast-paced, and at times incredibly weird film: the stop animation is very rough around the edges, but that in itself adds to the charm. Thankfully, the story still revolves around Mr Fox’s big heist on Boggis, Bunce and Bean (one fat, one short, one lean, respectively), and this acts as an anchor to my childhood in an otherwise manic film. And for the amusement of the adults in the audience, the scriptwriters have replaced every available opportunity for a swear word with just the word “cuss”, e.g. “What the cuss are you talking about?”, “If you’re gonna cuss with somebody, you’re not gonna cuss with me, you little cuss!”, etc.
It’s not perfect (my own bug bears lie with the question of where the film is actually set – why do the animals have American accents whilst the farmers are British? It looks to be set in England… so where the hell is the opossum from?) – but it is funny, and cute, and has morals, and, given that you don’t take it TOO seriously, it is a really good film.