Visually, the movie is a wonder, with its profusion of detail and exquisitely focussed "performances" by the figurines, whom Anderson frames in images as precisely composed as those in his live-action work.
Anderson injects such charm and wit, such personality and nostalgia -- evident in the old-school animation, storybook settings and pitch-perfect use of Burl Ives -- that it's easy to forgive his self-conscious touches.
Children, especially, will find things they don't understand, and things that scare them. Excellent. A good story for children should suggest a hidden dimension, and that dimension of course is the lifetime still ahead of them.
Cool, clever, crafty and delirious amounts of fun, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is full of brilliant visual invention and silly slapstick while also having hip humor and sly smarts -- it's pure movie-going joy and a rare kind of pleasure.
The additions are okay; but it's the look that keeps you buoyed up, your eyes roaming the frames, laughing in surprise at the visual jokes and flourishes and textures. It's a dandy's movie, but that adds to the fun.
The push and pull between the tame life and the wild one is the unifying theme. It's all very transatlantic - the setting and baddies are English; the animals are hip Americans. This is one crafty fox - in every sense.