Fantastic Mr. Fox Soundtrack22.11.09 # Soundtrack # 6 Comments
The Fantastic Mr Fox soundtrack. Wes Anderson loves quirk. Enigmatic characters with deadpan stares, talking – and talking, and talking, and talking. With wry postmodern self-awareness. Steve Zissou. Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore. The Tenenbaums. Quirk up to the eyeballs. And whilst for some (like me) this can be tiresome in his narratives and characters, the man knows how to make a really pleasingly quirky soundtrack.
Anderson’s affection for the Fantastic Mr Fox children’s book is clear and sincere – it was the first book he ever owned, and his wry quirkiness allied with this sense of warm-hearted nostalgia has produced a gorgeous soundtrack, all plucked strings, harmonies, crooning, and The Beach Boys, and that’s a recipe for Christmassy loveliness right there. Alexandre Desplat has scored the piece, contributing twelve tracks to the album, each simple, jaunty, and utterly charming, and Burl Ives’ Fooba Wooba John (like Dean Martin with lyrics by Dr Zeuss) is the aural equivalent of sitting around a log fire with your nearest and dearest (minus the arguing and deeply buried neuroses). And The Wellingtons’ Ballad of Davy Crockett might have come straight from High Noon. In case you’re not sure, that’s a good thing.
A specially composed track by Jarvis Cocker, inspired by the cockerel minstrel in the 1973 animated Robin Hood (a classic) sounds like a great idea, but turns out to be a barely listenable hullaballoo. But it’s preceeded by Street Fighting Man, so, you know, things pretty much balance out.
In the end, the Fantastic Mr Fox soundtrack is a really, really lovely album, and whilst the film takes a children’s classic and pumps perhaps too much wry adult humour and over-baked dialogue into the mix, I suspect this is a compilation which can be enjoyed by kids and wry over-baked adults alike. Top stuff.
Fantastic Mr Fox Soundtrack (Songs) – Track-Listing
1. American Empirical Pictures – Alexandre Desplat
2. The Ballad Of Davy Crockett – The Wellingtons
3. Mr. Fox In The Fields – Alexandre Desplat
4. Heroes And Villains – The Beach Boys
5. Fooba Wooba John – Burl Ives
6. Boggis, Bunce And Bean – Alexandre Desplat
7. Jimmy Squirrel And Co. – Alexandre Desplat
8. Love – Nancy Adams
9. Buckeye Jim – Burl Ives
10. High-Speed French Train – Alexandre Desplat
11. Whack-Bat Majorette – Alexandre Desplat
12. The Grey Goose – Burl Ives
13. Bean’s Secret Cider Cellar – Alexandre Desplat
14. Une Petite Ile – Georges Delerue
15. Street Fighting Man – The Rolling Stones
16. Fantastic Mr. Fox AKA Petey’s Song – Jarvis Cocker
17. Night And Day – Art Tatum
18. Kristofferson’s Theme – Alexandre Desplat
19. Just Another Dead Rat In A Garbage Pail – Alexandre Desplat
20. Le Grand Choral – Georges Delerue
21. Great Harrowsford Square – Alexandre Desplat
22. Stunt Expo 2004 – Alexandre Desplat
23. Canis Lupus – Alexandre Desplat
24. Ol’ Man River – The Beach Boys
25. Let Her Dance – The Bobby Fuller Four
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