I know the movie came out last week, but I only had a chance to catch Fantastic Mr. Fox this weekend with the Madfam over Thanksgiving. With some of us voting for the redundantly named Ninja Assassin (including yours truly), and others opting for the craptacular 2012, it seemed Mr. Fox was the one flick that even moms could watch. And in the end, it was easily the best choice possible. You can slop on all the colorful superlatives you want, but this movie really is magic — pure Wes Anderson magic. I’d even argue it’s Anderson’s best film since Royal Tenenbaums, and due to the animation quite possibly his most imaginative ever. In Life Aquatic he toyed around with some animations, but in Fantastic Mr. Fox Anderson goes all out — and the results are unlike any film I’ve seen since those old Rankin/Bass Rudolph Christmas movies. Unlike most contemporary animation films where they slap any marquee celebrity with whatever character they can (e.g. Shrek being voiced by a paper-thin Mike Meyers), the actors in Mr. Fox match their anthropomorphized animals to a tailored tee. No one could’ve played the inimitable Mr. Fox with the charm and poise of George Clooney, no one. His aplomb was pitch perfect. And I never noticed before how cool and honey smooth Meryl Streep’s voice is. Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Willem Dafoe all also kill it, but really the honors go unquestionably to the brilliant writer’s mind and director’s eye of Wes Anderson, who adapted Roald Dahl’s second most famous book in a way that really only he could pull off. In a day when most animated films simply aim to wow you with effects and blind you with dazzling colors, Fantastic Mr. Fox’s visuals are at times downright sloppy — and it only adds to the charm. Really, if you have kids, or if you love Wes Anderson, this one’s a no brainer.