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Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • It is the story of one Mr. Fox and his wild-ways of hen heckling, turkey taking and cider sipping, nocturnal, instinctive adventures. He has to put his wild days behind him and do what fathers do best: be responsible. He is too rebellious. He is too wild. He is going to try "just one more raid" on the three nastiest, meanest farmers that are Boggis, Bunce and Bean. It is a tale of crossing the line of family responsibilities and midnight adventure and the friendships and awakenings of this country life that is inhabited by Fantastic Mr. Fox and his friends.

  • Mr. Fox is known for stealing things. Then, when he figures out the three nastiest, toughest and most meanest farmers called Boggis, Bunce and Bean, he decides to raid them. But, it ends up in a horrible way when they know that Mr. Fox has stolen all their things, so it's up to Mr. Fox to save his family from all of the three farmer's schemes that they are plotting to kill Mr. Fox.

  • An urbane fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • "Boggis and Bunce and Bean One short, one fat, one lean. These horrible crooks, so different in looks, were nonetheless equally mean." Mr. Fox (voice: George Clooney) and his wife Felicity Fox (voice: Meryl Streep) sneak into a henhouse to steal chickens. They're caught in a cage on the way out because Mr. Fox sees the trap and can't resist the temptation to spring it. As they hear someone coming, Mrs. Fox reveals that she's pregnant and makes Mr. Fox promise that if they get away, he'll give up raiding farms.

    Cut to a few years later: the Foxes evidently escaped and now live underground with their slightly odd son, Ash (voice: Jason Schwartzman). Mr. Fox is working a safe job as a journalist. Against the advice of Badger (voice: Bill Murray), his attorney, he moves his family into a larger and finer home inside a tree on a hill. The treehouse has a good view of the nearby farms of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.

    Ash is immediately hostile when his cousin Kristofferson (voice: Eric Chase Anderson) joins the family for an extended visit because his father is sick. He makes the inoffensive Kristofferson sleep under a table in the bedroom they share. Ash feels threatened because his cousin appears to be good at everything. Kristofferson even succeeds at whackbat, a cricket-like game whose baroque rules are explained by Coach Skip (voice: Owen Wilson) -- though Kristofferson has never played it before. Meanwhile, Mr. Fox plots with Kiley (voice: Wallace Wolodarsky), the treehouse's caretaker, to raid the Boggis, Bunce and Bean farms. They take Kristofferson but not Ash along on the raids, which deepens Ash's resentment. Mr. Fox is careful to conceal these outings from Felicity, who nevertheless becomes suspicious when unexplained food appears in their larder. She warns Fox, "if what I think is happening is happening -- it better not be."

    The success of the raids leads the three angry farmers to set up a stakeout at the treehouse, where they shoot off Fox's tail before the animals run back inside. The farmers try to dig them out, but the Foxes dig faster. Eventually they find their way into the sewers, where they join forces with many other animals made homeless by the farmers' destruction of their hill. These neighbors are none too pleased with Fox for bringing this revenge down on them all.

    Mr. Fox, though penitent, is irrepressible; he marshals the animals, calling them by their Latin names and noting each one's special talent. He organizes a tunneling project to burrow under all three farms and make away with all of Boggis's chickens, all of Bunce's ducks and geese, and all of Bean's turkeys, apples, and cider. Ash and Kristofferson's relationship, meanwhile, has begun to thaw after Kristofferson defends his cousin from a bully (Bully: "Why'd you take your shoes off?" Kristofferson: "So I don't break your nose when I kick it."). The two cousins slip away from the celebration that follows the megaraid; they aim to get Fox's tail back from Bean. However, the closest they get to the tail is seeing it on TV -- Bean is wearing it as a necktie. Worse, Mrs. Bean catches Kristofferson, and Bean plans to use him to catch Mr. Fox.

    When they find that their goods have been stolen, 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 (voice: Willem Dafoe), Bean's security guard. After a struggle with Fox that leaves him mortally wounded, Rat divulges that Kristofferson is being held in an attic on Bean's farm.

    Fox sends a message to the farmers, asking for a meeting in a town near the sewer hub. Fox offers to 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 in the town and slip into Bean's farm. A much matured Ash frees Kristofferson and impresses his father and the gang by braving enemy fire to release a rabid beagle that keeps the farmers at bay while the group escapes back to the sewers. On the way, they see a dark wolf on the hillside above the road. Fox has said he's afraid of wolves, but he stops and tries to speak to this one in English and French. It doesn't respond until Fox raises his fist in a gesture of solidarity. The wolf returns the gesture and departs into the woods.

    By this time Ash and Kristofferson have settled their differences and become good friends, sharing meditation and other activities. Though the animals are still trapped in the sewers, Fox leads them to a drain in the floor of a large supermarket, which unbeknownst to them is 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.

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