Welcome to the Dollhouse: A Glimpse Inside the Making of The Fantastic Mr. Fox


Just how painstaking was production on The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson's stop-motion adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic about a vulpine family man facing a minor midlife crisis? Perhaps it would be easier to show, not tell, and this official featurette does just that. Narrated by Jason Schwartzman, who voices young Fox family member Ash, the mini-doc features Anderson holding court over his miniature sets with the same giddy and particular authority he displayed marching through the grounds of an English manor house in that amazing American Express ad.

"Half the process of making the movie was figuring out how to make the movie without going nuts," Schwartzman explains as the camera glides over a flipbook's worth of dizzying storyboards. As if there were any question, we're informed that every fox hair, tiny toothbrush, and dapper little peacoat was constructed from scratch. And if the finished product lacks the polish and fluidity of movement of a Henry Selick production, that's entirely intentional: "Everything looks and feels homemade, which is exactly what Wes wanted."

Perhaps most endearing is Anderson's insistence that all dialogue be captured on location. Forget solitary A-listers sipping on lattes from the comfort of a foam-padded soundbooth: George, Meryl, Owen and the rest were recorded speaking their lines while mimicking the actions of their furry orange counterparts "outdoors, and on the farm!" Is there a way to market a movie based on Clooney's cute ability to whistle and click his lips before holding one epiphanous finger to the air?