Fantastic Mr. Fox adds new songs to its soundtrack
The ball is rolling on Wes Anderson’s first attempt at a children’s movie, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Not much has been leaked so far about the ongoing project, and even this news was found pretty indirectly; In an interview with Timeout Chicago, Pulp lead singer Jarvis Crocker began talking about how he’s trying to reach out to a new generation, specifically through songs in kids’ movies. And it just so happens that Crocker has apparently been enlisted to pen a few songs for “Mr. Fox.” Although it seems odd he would spill this now, especially considering how tight-lipped the project has been otherwise, I think you can accept it as true. I mean, it came directly from Crocker himself:
TOC: Yet you wrote songs for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, appearing in the film as the frontman of the Weird Sisters. Do kids recognize you?
Jarvis Cocker: I had a very specific look going on in that film—giant fur jacket, snakeskin trousers—that I wouldn’t normally wear down the street. That would get me attention, but probably the wrong kind of attention. I’ve been doing some stuff for a children’s film Wes Anderson is doing, an animated feature.
TOC: The stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox?
Jarvis Cocker: I’ve written three, four songs, and some of that might become bits of the score.
Yes. Anderson always, always has a great soundtrack (although I don’t recall anyone writing music specifically for one of his movies), and I’m sure if this is true, “Mr. Fox” will be no different. “Royal Tenenbaums” has one of my favorite soundtracks of all time — I dare you to not be moved during Elliot Smith’s “Needle in the Hay” in that flick — and “Darjeeling Limited” is no different. It’ll be interesting to see how Wes Anderson incorporates his musical preferences into a movie for kids.
I’m really excited for this project for two reasons in particular:
1. Anderson’s stop-motion animation style.
We haven’t seen any screen or test shots from “Mr. Fox” yet, but I’d be willing to bet that the style used for the animation will closely resemble what was used in “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” like the above video. In that flick, just a few of the scene, namely the shark encounter at the end, were created using stop-motion animation, and while they weren’t really realistic-looking, they were visually creative and interesting. I think “Mr. Fox,” regardless of story, characters and whatever else, will be a worth-while viewing experience just for the visuals it presents. I’m really glad Anderson is wiling to think outside the animated-movie box for this, and not just pump out another CGI-based film. Although stop-motion animation will inevitably be a more strenuous and painstaking process, the end result will be more than worth it.
2. The influx of good directors taking on kids’ movies.
Anderson’s “Mr. Fox” and Spike Jonze’s “Where the Wild Things Are” (if that every gets out of Development Purgatory) are a huge step in the right direction for thoughtful, intelligent and good kids’ movies, instead of just a lot of bright colors, poop jokes and merchandising opportunities. I think it’s a great idea that Anderson wants to reach an audience he’s never played to before, especially with a stop-motion animation (most kids nowadays really haven’t been exposed to anything like that. The last one I can think of is Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride,” which was several years ago.