Fantastic Mr. Fox and Bell Free Weekend
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Fantastic Mr. Fox and Bell Free Weekend

Maybe it’s just us, but for a film featuring an adorable fox-cub puppet wearing a tube sock on its head, the original theatrical run of Fantastic Mr. Fox seemed to pass with relatively little fanfare. Perhaps it was a tricky proposition for marketers. It was animated, but not specifically kid-focused, and in plain ol’ 2D to boot. Whatever the reason, if you’ve yet to experience the suffocating charms of Mr. Fox and co., there’s no better opportunity to do so than at the Lightbox on Saturday morning, where the film will kick off a Bell-sponsored programme of free Family Day weekend screenings.

Adapted from Roald Dahl’s children’s fable, Wes Anderson’s woodland adventure is the director’s warmest, most exuberant, and least precious film to date. George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Bill Murray lead an A-list voice cast in imbuing the loveable critters with wit, charisma, and plenty of Anderson’s signature quirk. But the true stars of the show are the astonishing stop-motion miniatures, brought to life in painstakingly old-school fashion. Technically, Fantastic Mr. Fox may be a far cry from the slick CGI offerings that have come to dominate family entertainment, but it’s no less visually dazzling—and is a cuss of a lot cuter, any day of the week.

Other notable offerings available to Lightbox-goers this weekend include Monsieur Lazhar, Canada’s Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee; Pina, the Oscar-nominated 3D dance extravaganza; programmes featuring this year’s Oscar-nominated live-action and animated shorts; and, for when the kids have gone to bed, 1997’s Nick Cage, prisoners-on-a-plane blockbuster, Con Air (for the record, also an Oscar nominee).

For a complete selection of Bell Free Weekend programming, see TIFF’s daily schedules for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.