Stop-motion animation is exacting, exhausting work: building puppets, placing them on a miniature stage and moving them one frame at a time — tens of thousands of times. Harder still is bringing insouciant life to this arduous process. That’s what director Wes Anderson and animation director Mark Gustafson managed in this delightful version of the Roald Dahl children’s classic about a dapper, larcenous fox (voiced by George Clooney) who aims to pull off one last, impossible heist. The vibe of Fox and his wife (Meryl Streep) and rebellious son (Jason Schwartzman) is as comically tense as it is in families from earlier films by Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums) and co-writer Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale). But the brood soon bonds, revealing its humor and humanity, its intrinsic and intoxicating foxiness.
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