Go on,Toon in

The hero of this enterprise is The Fantastic Mr Fox,his dear wife,his slightly off-to-one-side son and his visiting nephew.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Published: November 20, 2010 4:47:48 am

The hero of this enterprise is The Fantastic Mr Fox,his dear wife,his slightly off-to-one-side son and his visiting nephew. Having wowed to his wife that he will never steal again,that’s precisely what Mr Fox does. Of course,he gets into trouble. So do his fellow critters. The rest of the story is about how Mr Fox outwits the bad humans and gets away scot-free. Well,almost. The animators lay out Roald Dahl’s beloved story in a backdrop that looks as if the author created it. The foxhole is a marvel,with Mr Fox,voiced most appropriately by George Clooney,learning life’s lessons from his gentle but strong spouse,to whom none other than Meryl Streep lends her voice. What’s nice about the film is that it retains the spirit of its original story. Dahl was never one to sugarcoat anything: the f-word comes out as “cuss’,but you and I know exactly what that is. His work has the most full-bodied bad guys that ever graced children’s literature in English. Here too,the fat man who has the car pulled over the manhole so that the animals stay trapped is one big snarling meanie,and you really hope that everything will come out fine for the feisty Mr Fox. The special features has all the actors in the recording studio: watch George Clooney rolling in the grass,with the microphone trailing just over his mouth. And Streep,dressed in comfort clothes,cracking the whip. Great fun.The hero of this other one,How To Train Your Dragon is an off-to-one-side young Viking,who does not want to slay dragons. His large hulk of a father yells at him: but this is who we are! Vikings go off on conquests! They also kill dragons! Young Hiccup stalks off and discovers one of the rarest,most dangerous dragons,who turns out to be more lamb than lion. Hiccup dubs him Toothless on the spot,and makes other marvellous discoveries. That dragons are not the monsters they are thought to be: they are giants all right,they breathe fire,yes,but they are not after human life. Again,How To Train Your Dragon shows you just how inventive and alive good animation can be. And how,even as it tells you what is right and what is wrong,something that children love,it does so in the most non-preachy way. Hiccup not only harnesses Toothless and whizzes about,he also acquires a girlfriend and his father’s respect.One nice part of the extra features is the animators talking about the different kinds of fire they had to create: flames that stick,as opposed to flames that burn and lick and spit. Count ’em.

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