'Fantastic Mr. Fox' Is a Foodie Movie
"Even the last scene takes place in a grocery store aisle where juice boxes play a key role."
Over the weekend I saw Fantastic Mr. Fox, the stop-motion animation by Wes Anderson based on the kiddie-lit classic by Roald Dahl. While the book has some simple pencil sketches by Quentin Blake, the film is filled with lavish food scenes that may actually make you hungry, even if the cakes and roasted meats are made of clay.
Without giving too much away, the story's whole premise revolves around Mr. Fox 's obsessive mission to steal from three bad guy farmers—Boggis, Bunce and Bean—each of whom fixates on a single type of food or drink.
Boggis eats chicken prepared three or four ways for every meal. Bunce is crazy for pâté-filled doughnuts (and even has a contraption that infuses each bun with the meat paste). Bean guzzles down jugs of cider and has somehow engineered an apple that naturally grows with whimsical star designs.
There are many feast scenes—the kind with long tables, bottles of bubbly, and other intricacy that only critters who wear corduroy jackets, buy real estate, and ride motorcycles could appreciate. Behind the scenes, a white-haired bunny chef in orange Crocs (voiced by Mario Batali) is always chopping vegetables or whipping up something in a bowl.
Roald Dahl didn't seem as concerned with the culinary minutiae in his book. I never remember Mr. Fox chowing down on canned squab and gosling jam with toast, or the apples on Mrs. Fox's dress. But Anderson's cinematic trademark is his fixation on every centimeter of every nuance, and in this movie, food is central to the plot.
Even the last scene takes place in a grocery store aisle where juice boxes play a key role. If you were curious whether forest creatures get juice mustaches, they do.
Author's note: I'm not a big fan of the term "foodie" but couldn't think of a more efficient, semi-rhyming term that would fit in the headline.