Reimagining Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox (1970) in the 21st Century: Wes Anderson’s Film Adaptation (2009) (pp. 145-156)
Ángeles Jordán Soriano
Universidad de Almería
Roald Dahl’s writings are known for presenting a world where “most people are inherently greedy, selfish, ignorant and deserving of punishment” (Jordan 2015). For decades, these particular features have implied several challenges when adapting these stories into films fit for children. Although some of Dahl’s best-sellers, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) or The Witches(1983) were eventually released as films, this did not occur with Fantastic Mr Fox (1970).
It was not until 2009 when the filmmaker Wes Anderson directed the first film adaptation of this book. In his productions it is frequent to find topics such as existentialism, class or feminism. Some scholars even argue that his films “seem to be in constant discourse with the ‘real’ world outside the cinema” (Scott 2014, 76). Thus, his version of Fantastic Mr Fox provides an alternative and more updated view of Dahl’s story as it explores and deconstructs many stereotypes found in children stories, from the lack of female characters to different masculinities. For this reason, this paper aims to identify these changes and deliver an analysis of them in order to offer an insight into the ways in which the adaptation may enhance the content of the original book, approaching it to contemporary audiences, both children and adults.
Keywords: Cultural Studies; Children’s Literature, Film Studies, Comparative Literature
Ángeles Jordán Soriano obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in English Studies at the University of Almería in 2019 and earned her Master’s Degree in English Studies at the University of Almería in 2020. In 2021 she obtained the Patricia Shaw Research Award granted by The Spanish Association for Anglo-American Studies (AEDEAN). She is currently working on her Ph.D. dissertation on the influence of politics in culture during the 1960s in Great Britain. Her research focuses on the artistic production during Harold Wilson’s first government (1964-1970).
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