ParkaHALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 20 Nov. 2009
Hands up if you have not read any of Ronald Dahl's books, alright, those of you who have your hands up, you seriously need to press the "BUY" button when you see any on Amazon, like in the upcoming link.
Fantastic Mr. Fox was published in 1970, written by Ronald Dahl. The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox is for the visual companion for the stop motion animated movie based on that book, directed by Wes Anderson.
This is a 192-page hardcover book with an excellent dust jacket. The low gloss pages are filled with character sketches from the conceptualisation to the making of the models for the animated film.
A short introduction to the Dahl estate starts the book, which is then divided into several chapters which focus on the various characters of the film. Alongside the sketches and art, there are little notes that explain the consideration taken when designing the models, how each part is to be handled and the significance in the final film.
This book a treasure trove of knowledge on stop motion animation. It shows much of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the final film, how each and every character is modeled, the making of the sets - the farmhouse, the foxes' tree burrow, the town square, how the fire in the street scene is done and many more.
There are plenty of detailed photos of the models of the buildings, like how each chicken should look down to the bread in the bakery etc. Alongside these photos are notes by the artists talking about the scenes where the models are used.
I got this book a couple of weeks ago after deciding I wanted to learn more about the production of this film. I was expecting some basic information on each character, some set designs and maybe a bit of script, but this book offers so much more. Each character's fine detail is explained in one whole chapter each, and Wes' intended portrayal is reflected in the notes written alongside each initial sketch of the animals. The book also shows how the script has been developed and how it evolved into it's final form. My favourite thing about this book is it really shows just how much detail was put into the film and where all of Wes' inspiration for set design and decoration has come from, and how much of Roald Dahl he has managed to incorporate into this masterpiece. From the bunk-bed design to each vegetable in the supermarket, everything has been meticulously decorated and produced to a very high standard, and this book shows just how much work has gone into the film. The book itself is also beautifully bound and under the dust-cover is a wonderful hard-back orange cover, with gold lettering "The Making Of FANTASTIC MR FOX". Interspersed within all the pictures and notes are interviews with the cast members, ranging from Eric Anderson to Jason Schwartzman as well as Wes himself, each giving their own perspective on the characters and the film. I would recommend this to anyone who is not only interested in this film, but in animation and stop motion, as well as puppet making as it really chronicles the steps the cast have gone through to achieve an excellent final result, writing about ideas and designs that were used and also those that were scrapped from the final cut. This is a wonderful book and I would recommend it to anyone to buy.
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I bought this book for my sister's birthday, as we both love Fantastic Mr Fox [DVD] . The colour scheme, page texture, and size are all wonderful, and the book has many little treasures that you only notice when you pick it up for the third or fourth time. As a lover of production design, I especially enjoyed the images that show the designers' desks, the methods of choosing colour to enhance narrative and visually describe each character. This is doubly interesting as everything is done on such a small scale! Intricate and wonderful.
My favourite part of the film is near the end, where an explosion is created using cotton wool as smoke. It's wonderful to see exactly how the filmmakers did this. Look out for the smallest images - the miniature red-coloured post office, complete with autumn maple leaves and detailed window display, is a delight.
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