Friday, January 21, 2011

Fantastic Mr. Fox: The Book (1/5)

Now that Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) finally showed up on a few Swiss cinema screens (on Bluray, as there are no digital or 35mm prints available) I’ve been heavily digging into the works of Wes Anderson lately.

Since I don’t know too much about my readers, I’m curious how many of you have actually seen Fantastic Mr. Fox and if you liked what you saw. Please take a minute to answer the two questions on the right.

Roald Dahl’s children’s book “Fantastic Mr. Fox” came out in 1970 with Illustrations by Donald Chaffin. Nowadays most editions are illustrated by Quentin Blake (see picture on the left) whose style is rather different from Chaffin’s.

But Wes Anderson – claiming that “Fox” was the first book he owned – is very fond of Chaffin’s original illustrations and thus invited him to work on the production design.

As you can see in these 1970 illustrations, Chaffin and Anderson share a lot of stylistic preferences such as made-to-measure suits, central perspective, axially symmetrical compositions and cross-section views:

According to Wikipedia, this is the first edition cover (but it might as well be the one from 1978). Does somebody know about this?

The original cover illustration according to the film makers

Chaffin's concept art for the film
The actual title in the film
The tree and Mr. Fox in the beginning

Axially symmetrical and cross-section through Mr. Fox's hole
Cross-section through Mr. Fox's bedroom in the basement of the tree
Digging in cross-sectio
Central perspective
Chaffin's version of the farmers
On the left: the three farmers as puppets by Mackinnon and Saunders.

Concept art for the film...
...and actual framegrab.
Coming Soon: Inspiration from different sources

1 comment:

Arianne said...

I hadn't known anyone other than Quentin Blake illustrated the Dahl books. Thanks for this. I'm enjoying the feature on Mr Fantastic Mr Fox. My favourite film for 2009.