Fantastic Mr. Fox is a 2009 stop-motion animated film based on the Roald Dahl children's novel of the same name, released in the autumn of 2009. It was produced by Regency Enterprises and Indian Paintbrush, and features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray. It is the first animated film directed by Wes Anderson, and the first stop-motion animated film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox, also the first film by Anderson not to be rated R by the MPAA. Development on the project began in 2004 as collaboration between Anderson and Henry Selick (who worked with Anderson on the 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) under Revolution Studios. In 2007 Revolution folded, Selick left to direct Coraline, and work on the film moved to 20th Century Fox. Production began in London in 2007.
While raiding a squab farm, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) and his wife Felicity (Meryl Streep) trigger a fox trap and become caged. Felicity reveals to Fox that she is pregnant and pleads with him to find a safer job should they escape. Two years later, the Foxes and their sullen son Ash (Jason Schwartzman), are living in a hole. Fox, now a newspaper columnist, decides to move the family into a better home and buys one in the base of a tree, ignoring the warnings of his lawyer Badger (Bill Murray). The tree is located very close to the enormous facilities run by farmers Walter Boggis, Nathan Bunce, and Franklin Bean (Michael Gambon). Soon after the Foxes move in, Felicity's nephew Kristofferson (Eric Chase Anderson) comes to live with them, as his father has become very ill. Ash finds this situation intolerable considering his soft-spoken cousin is apparently superior to him in every possible aspect and seemingly everyone, including his own father, is charmed by Kristofferson at Ash's expense. Fox and the opossum building superintendent, Kylie (Wallace Wolodarsky), make plans to steal various types of produce and poultry from the three farms, one by one. After all three heists are a success, the farmers decide to camp out near the Fox family's tree and kill Fox. When he emerges, the farmers open fire, only managing to shoot off his tail before he retreats back into his home. The farmers then attempt to dig Fox out, first by hand and then with three excavators. After tearing the hill site of the tree into a massive crater, the farmers discover that the Foxes have dug an escape tunnel deep underground. Reasoning that the Foxes will eventually have to surface in search of food and water, the farmers lie in wait at the tunnel mouth. Underground, Fox encounters Badger and many of the other local animal residents whose homes have also been destroyed. As the animals begin to fear starvation, Fox leads a digging expedition to the three nearby farms, robbing them clean of Boggis' chickens, Bunce's ducks and geese, and Bean's turkeys, apples, and alcoholic cider. While the other animals feast, Ash and Kristofferson, beginning to reconcile after Kristofferson defended his cousin from a bully, return to Bean's farm, intending to reclaim Fox's tail, only to find that Bean has taken to wearing it as a necktie. When they are interrupted by the arrival of Bean's wife, Ash escapes but Kristofferson is captured. After discovering that Fox has stolen all of their produce, the farmers decide to flood the animals' tunnel network by pumping it full of cider. The animals are forced to retreat into the sewers, and Fox learns that the farmers plan to use Kristofferson as bait to lure him into an ambush. They are soon confronted by Rat (Willem Dafoe), Bean's security guard. After a struggle with Fox that leaves him mortally wounded, Rat divulges Kristofferson's location. Fox sends a message to the farmers, asking for a meeting in a town near the sewer hub wherein he will surrender in exchange for Kristofferson's freedom. The farmers set up an ambush, but Fox and the others anticipate it and launch a counterattack. Fox, Ash, and Kylie escape the scene at the town and slip into Bean's farm. In the operation, a much matured Ash frees Kristofferson and later deeply impresses his father and the gang by braving enemy fire to release a rabid beagle loose to keep the farmers at bay while the group escapes back to the sewers. The group manage to grab Fox's tail from Bean as they flee the compound. The animals become accustomed to living in the sewers, and Ash and Kristofferson have completely settled their differences and have become good friends, sharing meditation time together among other activities. Fox, now taking to wearing his tail as an pin-on, leads them to a drain opening that is built into the floor of a large supermarket, which is shown to the viewing audience to be owned by the three farmers. Celebrating their abundant new food source and the news that Felicity is pregnant again, the animals dance in the aisles.