Fantastic-Mr.-Fox-Criterion-Collection-Cover-sliceUndeniably something of a divisive director, Wes Anderson’s work has been honoured by The Criterion Collection more than most filmmakers, and certainly more than the vast majority of those still alive and making movies today. With five of his past films already given the Criterion treatment, the distributors are about to release the special edition of Anderson’s stop-motion animated comedy, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Despite the film’s success amongst critics, earning a slew of awards and nominations, including two Oscar nods, it didn’t quite translate into box office success. But its appeal amongst fans of the writer-director’s work of course still lives on years later, and fans across the Atlantic should certainly be looking forward to its release later this month.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is the story of a clever, quick, nimble, and exceptionally well-dressed wild animal. A compulsive chicken thief turned newspaper reporter, Mr. Fox settles down with his family in a new foxhole in a beautiful tree—directly adjacent to three enormous poultry farms owned by three ferociously vicious farmers: Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. Mr. Fox simply cannot resist. Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel is a meticulous work of stop-motion animation featuring vibrant performances by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, and Bill Murray.

Anderson co-wrote the script with frequent collaborator Noah Baumbach, adapting Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel of the same name, with George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, and Bill Murray leading the stellar voice cast.

Anderson of course is riding very high on the success of his latest feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which has just debuted out in Berlin – you can read our review here. That film will be released in the UK and US on March 7th, which is certainly a date you should commit to memory if you haven’t already.

As ever, the new release of Fantastic Mr. Fox, spine #700 in The Criterion Collection, includes a treasure-trove of special features, perfect for any fan of the renowned filmmaker’s work, which are detailed beneath the trailer. This latest edition sits nicely alongside the distributor’s previous releases, in their chronological order rather than Anderson’s: Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Bottle Rocket, and The Darjeeling Limited.

The Criterion Collection’s Fantastic Mr. Fox will be released on Blu-ray/DVD in the US on February 18th, and you can pre-order your copy from Amazon here.

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  • Digital master, approved by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Anderson
  • Storyboard animatic for the entire film
  • Footage of the actors voicing their characters, puppet construction, stop-motion setups, and the recording of the score
  • Interviews with cast and crew
  • Puppet animation tests
  • Photo gallery of puppets, props, and sets
  • Animated awards acceptance speeches
  • Audio recording of author Roald Dahl reading the book on which the film is based
  • Fantastic Mr. Dahl, an hour-long 2005 documentary about the author
  • Gallery of Dahl’s original manuscripts
  • Discussion and analysis of the film
  • Stop-motion Sony robot commercial by Anderson
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Erica Wagner; a 2002 article on Dahl’s Gipsy House by Anderson; White Cape, a comic book used as a prop in the film; and drawings, original paintings, and other ephemera

New cover by Turlo Griffin, with F. Ron Miller