Thanksgiving doesn’t really have a movie staple, not for most people at least. I know some like to sit down with Home for the Holidays or Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Other use Thanksgiving as the launching point for all things Christmas movie; watching the Macy’s Day Parade and then morphing that into the beginning of Miracle on 34th Street.
A newer film has taken the mantle of the Thanksgiving go to in my home, even to the extent that watching it any other time of year feels slightly wrong. That movie is Wes Anderson’s 2009 animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox. Adapted from the Roald Dahl novel, Anderson’s picture feels like Thanksgiving, with its rich oranges, deep yellows and the sense of community and family building up one’s character. It earns that last bit via Mr. Fox himself, wonderfully voiced by George Clooney at his most overconfident, a trait that makes him lovable. It also can be troubling, leading to a number of instances where he thinks his way is best, ignoring the advice or wishes of friends, kids or loving wife.
Anderson’s vibrant amber colors accent the action of our anthropomorphic gang of foxes, badgers and rats. Each one of amusingly human until those animalistic urges take over, leading to classic moments like when Mr. Fox and his dear friend and badger Badger debate home buying options. It begins with mild disagreements about costs and safety of the neighborhood, before voices rise and it’s all snarling and flailing claws. Kind of like a lot of Thanksgiving dinners.
If you haven’t watched Fantastic Mr. Fox with your family on the big Thursday, do it. If you have before, let us voice the joys of this tradition together.