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The Making of Fantastic Mr Fox Hardcover – 25 Oct 2009
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The official companion to the upcoming major motion picture based on the beloved classic by Roald Dahl.
About the Author
Oscar(c)-nominee Wes Anderson is the writer and director of such films as Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Darjeeling Limited.
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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.
Each character has its own chapter. You can see how the director's interpretation the characters' look, traits and behaviours, are all reflected in the creation of the models. There are concept art from the initial character design to the final selected design, and the different expressions, their clothings, textures -- hair, fur, wrinkly skin, etc.
In the later parts of the book, alongside the pictures of the models for the settings and locations, there are interviews with Wes Anderson, Liccy Dahl (Roald Dahl's wife) and various production staff.
Fans of stop motion animation would enjoy this book and through it, appreciate this way of movie making.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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.
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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