Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Fantastic Mr. Fox Movie vs. Book

The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
The Fantastic Mr. Fox with George Clooney

The book is about a fox who steals birds from three mean farmers and the attempt of those farmers to get revenge on the fox. The fox is a rather happy go lucky kind of guy who lives with his wife and four children. They are a happy family until all Mr. Fox’s years of stealing catch up to him and he has to outsmart the farmers to save the life of his family and all the creatures that live on his hill. His wife is loving and supportive and doesn’t play much of a role. Neither do his children. Or really any of the other animals for that matter.

The movie has the same basic storyline except Mr. Fox has not been stealing from these farmers for years already. But the movie adds a lot. Mr. Fox now has a nephew and an opossum friend. There is a lot more going on, with the relationships between him, his wife and his son, with his promise to give up stealing, with his worries about where he lives and all of that. All of the characters are more complex in the movie and often had bigger parts to play. Which made them more interesting. (Except for the rat in my opinion who was so ridiculous as to be annoying.) And there is more humor in the movie too.

I didn’t love either of them really. The book was quick to read and the movie enjoyable to watch once but I don’t think I’ll be going back to either. I do think I liked the movie better this time simply because there was more to it. The story and the characters have more depth. There was more character in the characters. You got to know them in a way I don’t think you did in the book. And the story wasn’t all about stealing chickens but was also about Mr. Fox and his family. All of which made the movie hold my attention better than the book.


Anonymous said...

The book was cute enough, but not Dahl's best. I've never seen the movie.

Shana said...

This is actually my favorite movie!