It Takes Two: Humberto and Wes Anderson Talk Fantastic Mr. Fox
I went to view Fantastic Mr. Fox
at the opening on Friday night, and if you’ve already watched it then you know what I mean when I say that the movie is an awesome must see. Actually, it may even be a must see twice just to be sure to catch all the incredible details that make Wes Anderson films what they are. I loved the film so much that I had to ask Wes some questions about the making of the film, and get to know a bit about some of his favorite movies.
Humberto Leon: I noticed in the beginning scene, when Mrs. Fox tells Mr. Fox she is pregnant, that she has a 60's vibe to her outfit. Does the film take place in 1970 when the book was first published, or is it present time?
Humberto, I suppose it is the present, but that opening scene is a sort of a flashback before we have established the present. Technically, I think it is 3 years ago, but maybe the suggestion is that fashion styles perhaps change more rapidly among the animals?
HL: Making Fanstastic Mr. Fox must have been so fun, how did you start the process?
I started by approaching the Dahl family about the book. They are very careful with these stories.
HL: The visuals in your films are always dynamic and fully thought out. Was it difficult to detail at this scale?
In fact, it was very fun to work at this scale. You rarely get the chance to design your own trees and rivers!
HL: The outfits for each character were so fitting. Were you inspired by real people when you were outfitting each character? Anybody in particular?
They tended not to be based on anyone else's outfits. They were sort of thrown together as we went along.
HL: I'm obsessed with miniatures. Did you collect any before this? What was the most exciting miniature to come back from production (I loved the duck with an apple in its mouth)?
Yes, the miniature foods are especially great. Also, there is a wonderful banjo. My personal favorite is the miniature wheat.
HL: My favorite details in the film were the foxes on their tippy toes, and the movement of the fur. Were there any limitations working in stop motion?
The limitations were with our budget! We had to be economical.
HL: Were there any scenes that were omitted that you really liked, but just didn't have room for? And if so, will they make it onto the DVD?
We had a narrator who is played by Jarvis Cocker -- he still sings the song in the movie, but in fact it wasn't really necessary to have a narrator at all. He will surely be on the DVD.
HL: Stop motion animations seem so fun to make. Did the actors get to interact with each other when you were recording the voices?
Yes, we recorded them on a farm together in Connecticut; however, we often met again in various little rooms and booths around the world to record new lines and scenes.
HL: Which character was your favorite to make and were there any "extras" that you were really excited about?
I especially liked Farmer Boggis. He was very suited to being animated.
HL: Can you remember the first movie you watched?
An early one was The Apple Dumpling Gang
HL: What's the last movie you saw in the theater?
WA: A Serious Man
HL: Where's your favorite place to see a movie?
I went to one for a few minutes this summer in a place called Cortona. The theatre was converted from a small opera house. They were showing the latest Harry Potter
HL: Where do you like to eat in New York?
HL: This is the perfect movie to watch during Thanksgiving break. What's your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas, I think?
HL: Do you have 3 films that you would recommend?
How about Night of the Iguana
and The Tenant
HL: Your films are always set to the best soundtracks. If you could shoot a music video with any band or any song in any time period, who would it be?
Coconut Records, "Any Fun".
Check out these behind the scene images and drawings from Wes, and be sure to catch the film when it hits theatres nationwide on November 20th (November 13 in New York and LA)!
fantastic mr. fox
behind the scenes