During the Thanksgiving holiday, there's almost always a movie. Maybe on Wednesday night after everyone's arrived or on Thanksgiving itself with a piece of pie. Whether your Thanksgiving is a small occasion or you have a proper brood, there comes a time when a pause in the conversation, sports, video games, and children racing through the house, is heartily welcomed.
I love Wes Anderson's films and over the years, Fantastic Mr. Fox has risen to the very top of my favorites. When Thanksgiving and relatives arrived a few years ago, we decided to watch it. That's when I realized it's the perfect Thanksgiving movie.
The movie studio must of thoughts so, too, as it was released on November 13, 2009.
In The Wes Anderson Collection, Matt Seitz described Fantastic Mr. Fox as “a fable about the tension between responsibility and freedom, and a portrait of families in repose and turmoil.” That's one of the best descriptions of Thanksgiving I've read.
Mr. and Mrs. Fox live with their son, Ash, and Kristofferson, their nephew, soon joins them. He is grudgingly welcomed by Ash and their awkward dynamic and competitive friction is familiar to anyone who's found themselves suddenly living with people who are both strangers and family.
It’s a beautiful film about the hunger for more, the dream of abundance. Eventually, that pursuit fails and success becomes simply a matter of survival. That's not possible alone, though — it requires everyone in the neighborhood and their unique talents.
When the community gathers for dinner, Fox gives a toast.
I guess we do have those three ugly, cusshole farmers to thank for one thing: reminding us to be thankful and aware of each other.
That, too, is a great description of Thanksgiving.