Which director earned an Oscar nomination for his work on the 2009 film “Fantastic Mr. Fox”?
And the answer: Wes Anderson.
Based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name, Fantastic Mr. Fox tells the story of a sly fox who steals food from his greedy, human neighbors. The film used over 535 claymation puppets, and is comprised of around 56,000 individual shots.
Fantastic Mr. Fox represents a major turning point in director Wes Anderson's career. After the critical snub of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) and the lukewarm response to The Darjeeling Limited (2007), the enthusiastic reception of Fantastic Mr. Fox indicated the start of upward curve for the director. Although the film was not so much of a financial success — grossing just $46 million on a $40 million budget — it was perhaps Anderson's most warmly-received film to date upon its release in 2009. Critics lauded Anderson's use of stop motion and claymation as a perfect fit for his style, which Anderson then capitalized on in later films. By combining live action and miniature models in films such as The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012), Anderson cemented his surreal yet playful signature atmosphere.
Anderson is also known for his innovative plot formulations. The director claims that he doesn't conceive his films as distinct "narratives," but rather an amalgamation of characters and information, arguing against any single or "correct" interpretation of his films. Anderson states:
"Every movie I've done is just an accumulation of information about these characters — who they are, what their world is — and slowly figuring out what's going to happen to them."
Learn more about Anderson's work, style and legacy here.