[Screen It]

 

"FANTASTIC MR. FOX"
(2009) (voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Extreme Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None Minor Minor None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Extreme Heavy Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Animated Comedy: An anthropomorphized fox can't help but resort to his old, fowl-stealing ways, thus putting him at odds with his family as well as the human farmers from whom he steals.
PLOT:
Two years after giving up their fowl-stealing ways, Mr. Fox (voice of GEORGE CLOONEY) and Mrs. Fox (voice of MERYL STREEP) are proud vulpine parents to Ash (voice of JASON SCHWARTZMAN) a brooding adolescent. Mr. Fox works as a columnist for the local paper and, ignoring the advice of his attorney, Badger (voice of BILL MURRAY), moves his family out of their standard hole in the ground and into the base of a large tree that comes along with its own superintendent, Kylie (voice of WALLY WOLODARSKY) the possum.

They're soon joined by Ash's cousin, Kristofferson (voice of ERICE ANDERSON), whose father is in the hospital, and Ash isn't happy about his own unfavorable comparisons to his relative. But there are bigger fish to fry in that Mr. Fox simply can't shake his animal instincts and the absolute joy he gets out of hunting fowl. Accordingly, he convinces Kylie and Kristofferson -- rather than Ash -- to join him in raiding the farms of three local human farmers, Walter Boggis (voice of ROBIN HURLSTONE), Nathan Bunce (voice of HUGO GUINNESS) and Franklin Bean (voice of MICHAEL GAMBON).

The latter produces strong alcoholic cider, employs Rat (voice of WILLEM DAFOE) to protect his goods, and is decidedly less than pleased that Mr. Fox and his companions have raided his stash, a feeling shared by Mrs. Fox who isn't happy that her husband has returned to his old ways. While that creates strife between the couple, they, those in their home, Badger and other local animals must contend with Bean convincing his fellow farmers to stop at nothing to find and kill the animals who've wronged them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The stop-motion animation might look old to those weaned on computer-generated material, but it is a zany tale about talking animals, so that will certainly be of interest to some.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For action, smoking and slang humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • It's debatable whether kids view animated animal characters as role models, but here's a quick look at their major characteristics.
  • MR. FOX is an anthropomorphized fox husband and father who, despite giving up stealing fowl for being a newspaper columnist, can't escape his animal nature and the thrill of the hunt. His desire to return to his old ways means he breaks his promise to his wife while also putting them and others in danger from the human farmers who want them dead. He cusses a lot (using the term "cuss" in place of all expletives), is occasionally seen with an unlit pipe, and briefly drinks.
  • MRS. FOX is his wife who's less than pleased he's returned to his old ways, and otherwise spends her time painting landscapes.
  • ASH is their son, a brooding adolescent who isn't happy with his life and then even less so upon the arrival of his cousin, although the two eventually team up.
  • KRISTOFFERSON is that cousin who ends up being the son Mr. Fox always wanted when he ends up staying with his uncle and family while his father is ill. He doesn't intend to compete with Ash but does become part of Mr. Fox's larcenous team.
  • KYLIE is the other member, a possum who works as the superintendent of the tree where Mr. Fox has moved his family.
  • BADGER is Mr. Fox's attorney who clashes with his client/friend on several occasions, use "cuss" profanity and briefly drinks.
  • FRANLIN BEAN is the local farmer who isn't pleased that Mr. Fox and his team have raided his stash of strong alcoholic cider. Accordingly, he goes to ever-increasing extremes to try to find and kill those animals. He uses "cuss" profanity and smokes.
  • RAT is the rodent employed by Bean to protect his goods.
  • WALTER BOGGIS and NATHAN BUNCE are the other farmers who are violated by Mr. Fox's raids and go along with Bean in his quest to stop them.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this animated comedy that's been rated PG. No traditional profanity is present, but various profane phrases are where the usual expletive has been replaced by a variation of the word "cuss." There's a brief, sexually related line, while a married character twice announces she's pregnant.

    Violence consists of anthropomorphized foxes killing various fowl (off-screen), resulting in human farmers trying to kill them via various means (including lots of weaponry), while some fighting also occurs (resulting in one non-graphic death).. That and some moments of potential peril might be unsettling for some younger kids, but probably few others. Some of that action and other behavior might be enticing for kids to try to imitate, while bad attitudes are present, as is tense family material.

    Various characters drink, and a farmer is noted as producing alcoholic cider, while various characters smoke (one a lot).

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We hear that Bean lives on (and makes) strong alcoholic cider.
  • Mr. Fox has some wine.
  • Mr. Fox, Kylie and Kristofferson discover a great deal of alcoholic cider in Bunce's cellar, and then hide among that when Bunce's wife comes down and collects some.
  • Rat drinks some alcoholic cider.
  • Bean has a drink.
  • Bean drinks in another scene.
  • Badger has a drink, and we then see him and most if not all of the rest of the adult animals with wine, while Mr. Fox opens some champagne. Mr. Fox then says he's already had too much to drink as he starts to do a toast. Just then, a flood of alcoholic cider sweeps all of them away through the tunnels they previously dug.
  • Mr. Fox gives a mortally wounded Rat his last drink of alcoholic cider.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Mr. Fox and Kylie break into Boggis' chicken farm, with Mr. Fox having one in his mouth, but Kylie's teeth aren't designed properly for such a quick kill, so the bird is still alive. Mr. Fox then takes it and we hear violence and see feathers flying, following by Kylie talking about all of the blood, but we don't see any.
  • The three farmers wait in ambush by Mr. Fox's tree house and then open fire on him and Kylie with various types of guns. While we don't see the impact, we then see that they shot off Mr. Fox's tail. There's no blood on that, but there appears to be a little blood on the bandage that Mrs. Fox has put on Mr. Fox's rear.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Ash has a bad attitude toward Kristofferson until the third act or so, including twice reminding Kristofferson about how sick his father is.
  • A bully asks Kristofferson why Ash is "such a wet sandwich."
  • Mr. Fox breaks his promise from long ago to Mrs. Fox about leading an honest life and returns to his fowl-killing and thieving ways. He then lies to her about his actions, as well as where the food and such has come from.
  • Rat comments that Mrs. Fox was "the town tart" back in her day.
  • Mr. Fox lies to Mrs. Fox again about his plans.
  • Bean becomes obsessed with finding and killing Mr. Fox and the others.
  • A bully pushes a handful of mud into Ash's face, prompting Kristofferson to beat up the bully using martial arts hits and kicks.
  • Bean throws a lit cigarette at a singer-songwriter.
  • Ash is rude to Agnes (a girl fox), telling her to get lost so that he can talk to Kristofferson.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers but probably few others.
  • Mr. Fox and his family hear digging sounds coming from above toward the ceiling, so they take off digging themselves away.
  • Deep in a hole, Mr. Fox and his family hear sounds coming from behind an earthen wall and the lights go out, but it just turns out to be Badger and other animals.
  • The farmers use a flood of alcoholic cider to sweep all of the animals through the tunnels they previously dug.
  • Ash and Kristofferson go a rescue mission of Mr. Fox's severed tail, but end up hiding as Bean's wife (supposedly with bad eyesight) enters. We next see her rushing forward with a large knife, but the scene ends there (with us later seeing that Kristofferson was captured but not harmed).
  • Rat tosses Ash back to a wall, followed by Mrs. Fox flipping Rat back. We then see flash images of Rat (armed with a switchblade) fighting with Mrs. Fox, and then Mr. Fox fighting with Rat, including the latter being shocked. Later, we see the mortally wounded Rat (no blood) die.
  • Mr. Fox slowly approaches a rabid, foaming at the mouth beagle, with the dog growling but not being aggressive until right when Mr. Fox is in front of it. It then chases him around until he manages to climb up a nearby wall. It's later let loose on the humans and chases them around, seemingly biting one on the leg (all played for comedy).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Rifles/Shotguns/Bombs/Switchblade: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or attempt to kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • As Mrs. Fox and Mr. Fox are captured (a cage falling down onto them), we hear the cocking of a gun.
  • We see separate photos of all three farmers, with Boggis and Bunce holding rifles or shotguns, and Bean holding a large pistol.
  • We see Boggis and others with shotguns.
  • Rat shows that he has a switchblade, and then comes at Mr. Fox with that but misses.
  • To show his prowess with his gun, Bean shoots out various lights and such.
  • Various snipers armed with rifles surround Mr. Fox's former home.
  • We see various humans armed with guns while waiting for the animals to surface.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "The cuss you are," "The cuss I am," "Are you cussing with me?" "Why is your cousin such a wet sandwich?" "What the cuss /was that/is he burning?" "Sure as cuss," "The town tart," "Shut up," "Oh my cuss," "Shoot the cuss to smithereens," "Why the cuss didn't I listen to my lawyer?" "This is gonna be a total cluster-cuss for everybody," "You scared the cuss out of us," "I sure as cuss hope so," "...and cuss with their heads," "You're still as fine-looking as a crème brulee," "He went bananas," "It's amateur night in Dixie," "I feel like I'm losing my mind," "Get the cuss back here" and "How the cuss did you qualify for this?"
  • About the above, kids may be enticed to use the word "cuss" in place of other profanity in various common terms.
  • The action, fighting and other stunts might be enticing for some younger kids to imitate.
  • Mr. Fox's signature sound is a two-tone whistle followed by two quick click sounds.
  • Mr. Fox quickly devours his breakfast with lots of accompanying, loud eating sounds.
  • Mr. Fox and Kylie give sleeping powder spiked blueberries to various guard beagles on Boggis' farm, instantly knocking them out. Later, Boggis picks up one such blueberry, eats it, and falls unconscious.
  • A sport, whack bat, includes lighting a pine cone on fire and then hitting that with a paddle.
  • Ash spits on various occasions while upset.
  • Rat lights a match and then puts that out in his mouth.
  • To show his prowess with his gun, Bean shoots out various lights and such.
  • The animals throw burning pinecones up into the human town, catching various things on fire including the three farmers (partially).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • In the old "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," the term "Injun" is used.
  • PROFANITY
  • While no traditional profanity is present, the word "cuss" is used more than 15 times as a substitute for that in various colorful phrases.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Mrs. Fox informs Mr. Fox that she's pregnant.
  • Rat comments that Mrs. Fox was "the town tart" back in her day.
  • Mrs. Fox informs Mr. Fox that she's pregnant again.
  • SMOKING
  • Bean smokes more than 10 times, while Mr. Fox is seen with an unlit pipe several times.
  • Bean throws a lit cigarette at a singer-songwriter.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mr. Fox comments on his father dying when the fox was seven and a half years old (each fox year equals 6 human years).
  • We hear that Kristofferson's father is in the hospital with double pneumonia, so the young fox has come to stay with his relatives.
  • When Ash wants to come along on Mr. Fox and Kylie's raid, Mr. Fox tells his son that he's too little and uncoordinated to participate (and instead has Kristofferson help them).
  • Mrs. Fox swipes Mr. Fox across the face with her claws while upset with him for not upholding his promise to give up his old ways.
  • Mrs. Fox tells Mr. Fox that she loves him too, but that she shouldn't have married him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How some people can't seem to control their animal instincts.
  • Brooding adolescents.
  • Family dynamics.
  • How the animated film incorporates serious issues among its zany material.
  • How the characters use variations of the word "cuss" in place of traditional profanity.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We hear the sound of Mr. Fox and Mrs. Fox taking squabs from such a farm, and they then come out with a dead bird each in their mouths.
  • Mr. Fox and Kylie break into Boggis' chicken farm, with Mr. Fox having one in his mouth, but Kylie's teeth aren't designed properly for such a quick kill, so the bird is still alive. Mr. Fox then takes it and we hear violence and see feathers flying, following by Kylie talking about all of the blood, but we don't see any.
  • Mr. Fox and Kylie are repeatedly shocked as they scale an electric fence to escape (played for comedy).
  • Rat shows that he has a switchblade, and then comes at Mr. Fox with that but misses. Kristofferson then causes Rat to fall back into an opening in the floor, with the door to that then shut and locked.
  • To show his prowess with his gun, Bean shoots out various lights and such.
  • The three farmers wait in ambush by Mr. Fox's tree house and then open fire on him and Kylie with various types of guns. While we don't see the impact, we then see that they shot off Mr. Fox's tail. There's no blood on that, but there appears to be a little blood on the bandage that Mrs. Fox has put on Mr. Fox's rear.
  • Mrs. Fox swipes Mr. Fox across the face with her claws while upset with him for not upholding his promise to give up his old ways.
  • The three farmers use large tractors to dig after Mr. Fox and his family, and then use nitro (and what looks like dynamite) to blow open a deeper hole.
  • A bully pushes a handful of mud into Ash's face, prompting Kristofferson to beat up the bully using martial arts hits and kicks.
  • Bean throws a lit cigarette at a singer-songwriter.
  • Bean trashes the inside of a trailer out of anger and frustration of Mr. Fox besting him, and then throws a singer-songwriter's bicycle aside.
  • The farmers use a flood of alcoholic cider to sweep all of the animals through the tunnels they previously dug.
  • Rat tosses Ash back to a wall, followed by Mrs. Fox flipping Rat back. We then see flash images of Rat (armed with a switchblade) fighting with Mrs. Fox, and then Mr. Fox fighting with Rat, including the latter being shocked. Later, we see the mortally wounded Rat (no blood) die.
  • The animals throw burning pinecones up into the human town, catching various things on fire including the three farmers (partially).
  • Mr. Fox slowly approaches a rabid, foaming at the mouth beagle, with the dog growling but not being aggressive until right when Mr. Fox is in front of it. It then chases him around until he manages to climb up a nearby wall. It's later let loose on the humans and chases them around, seemingly biting one on the leg (all played for comedy).



  • Reviewed November 5, 2009 / Posted November 25, 2009

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.