Another Fantastic Fox...I'll get there eventually and then go on another tangent.

By kenny friedman on Monday, November 23, 2009

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Fair warning...this post is long and goes all over the place so here is a spoiler: I think the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, coming out Thanksgiving day, looks awesome. That being said you can stop reading and go about your day.

Two weeks ago I did a post about a cute stuffed toy called Semi-Fantastic Mr. Fox stuffed toy we got. This week the caliber of fox I'm writing about is even better.

Last week I got an email from a marketing agency that is working to promote the new animated movie Fantastic Mr. Fox. They found a bunch of bloggers and offered them the opportunity to have a conference call with Jason Schwartzman, one of the stars, to chat about the movie. I wasn't able to participate because it was during my 9ish - 5ish.

At first when I got the email about the call I was super psyched...I'm a fan of Schwartzman and I think the movie looks awesome. But the same day I got the email about the call I was bombarded with about 15 other emails about products that people felt would be "perfect fits" for my reader's interests. People wanting me to pimp their stuff sometimes for free sometimes for lucrative partnerships and sometimes for swag...I kind of felt dirty.

But let's rewind a bit. I started writing this blog four months ago on the suggestion of a friend who thought I had a unique outlook on becoming a father, and was amused when I'd say things to Staci that normal men would self edit.

I had zero expectations for the blog, had no idea what I'd write...I still have no idea where this is going or what direction it will take and that's why I like writing it. I wasn't sure if anyone would read it, I didn't know how it would be received and I didn't expect the warm response from folks like you, yes you...no seriously I'm talking about you, not the other people who are reading this.

Shortly after I started the blog emails would trickle in from people giving me a heads up on their products. Some totally didn't fit the blog...some were pure crap and some may have fit the blog but weren't my style.

Later the emails picked up...a lot more folks had awesome product that would be a perfect fit for my blog. It got to the point that when someone sent me an email saying that his friend thought I'd enjoy a video he linked to, I was weary that it was some marketing ploy...that he was selling something. But really he just wanted to share an awesome video that I will be posting later.

Last week, maybe because of the holidays, I got a lot of emails. Like I said earlier one day I got about 15. And again most were things I wasn't interested in. But a couple were cool. So I had to think about what I want this blog to be. It's really about my experience of becoming a dad...it's about that journey and will soon be about the next step of being a dad.

I do talk a bit about gear because as we started to prepare for our baby I found some cool products. I wasn't expecting to geek about about baby stuff and when I did I decided to start Gear Thursday to show the cool things I found. But that is a small part of this blog.

While I like sharing what I find I don't want to just become a shill for companies who are looking for free press. I understand companies that want to get there products out there to a targeted audience..that's cool, and if one contacts me about and I geek out on their product maybe I'll share here. But I don't want this blog to lose it's real purpose...to share my story...it's not to market products.

My whole struggle comes from the fact that I make my living in marketing. I love marketing...but I'm super cynical about it. And since I get paid to build brands during the day I don't necessarily want to do it on my off time...especially for free. Not that I'm asking folks to pay me for reviews or posts...I'd feel weird about that because I find it hard to trust paid reviews.

That being said I'm digging the new blogger rules that require disclosure of payment. I will fully disclose if I got swag or such for any posting or payment for review...in 2 reviews (this being one, the other is coming up soon) I got some swag. And I'm also not saying that I wouldn't take cash to partner on a promotion, I'm not gonna shoot myself in the foot and lose out on something good. But it would have to be good, feel like a natural fit to me and something I think you'd all care about.

So like I said earlier I got the email about Fantastic Mr. Fox. Maybe I'm looking into this too much, taking this too seriously maybe I'm being too self aggrandizing. But I'm torn because I really think this movie looks cool, and I was thinking of doing a post about it anyway because I love the choice Wes Anderson made on the style of animation, but like I said I don't want to sound like a shill...I don't want you all to think I'm writing about it because I'm getting paid, which I'm not.

But I thought about it and I really do want to talk about the movie because I love that it bucks the current trend of animation.

When I first heard that all animated movies moving forward would be in 3D I was kind of bummed. I thought all movies would have that saccharine look of Wall-E or Up...I enjoyed both those movies but I was bummed because I thought there would be no variety in the style.

It's awesome that Wes Anderson decided go the stop motion route. I think most directors would have opted for the easy route of the new 3D animation. His choice is similar to Spike Jonze's choice of using real people in costume for the Wild Things and using CGI just for the mouths. They are both fantastic directors and I love that they took a chances. Even more so I like that the movie companies gave them a chance...I know that Where the Wild Things Are was almost killed but someone at Warner Brothers got the balls to stand behind it.

I can't really write a review on the movie because I haven't seen it, and although the audio of call with Schwartzman was interesting what was said will probably be in other blogs or news articles.

So instead of talking about that I think I'll just show some behind the scenes shorts that were shared with me...because this is the stuff I really love about stop motion. I'm fascinated with the way these movies are made.

The Puppet Shop with Wes Anderson and Bill Murray


Mr. Fox's World


I also thought it was super cool, and kind of crazy that Anderson acted out all scenes by himself so the animators could know what to capture and how to create realistic movements.


I don't want to bore you with all the stuff you can read on sites that are better at movie reviews...but the cast looks awesome. I am a fan of Clooney, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray and Willem Dafoe...and Jason Schwartzman is pretty freaking cool too.

If you dig Schwartzman I suggest checking out Bored to Death on HBO...it's one of my favorite shows. I actually wanted to hate the show before even watching it...but decided to give it a chance. One reason I wanted to hate it because I want to hate Zach Galifianakis...I think because his beard makes him look like a hipster and I'm not a fan of hipsters...one on one I can handle them but as a group...meh. However his stand up is freaking hilarious...he was awesome in The Hangover and he is so good in Bored too...so good. I promise that someday I will find a reason to hate Zach...maybe I can hate him for not being hateable.

Another reason I wanted to hate Bored to Death was Ted Danson...I had my fill of Sam Malone and Becker...but he too is awesome in Bored (and he's great as himself on Curb Your Enthusiasm too.) And I suppose since I'm trying to be a total hater about this show I should hate Schwartzman too. He does look like a guy I went to high school with, but he's a friend so I don't think that's a strong reason to hate an actor. I'll figure out why I should hate Schwartzman and update later.

So that's my little review on Fantastic Mr. Fox...it's pretty freaking sad as reviews go but I hope you like the videos...you can see more here. The movie comes out Thanksgiving...I'll proabably see it 2 weeks later because I like less crowded theaters.

I did mention I'm getting a bit of swag for posting this it's a silly little foxtail tie. I was able to shed my mandatory work day tie earlier this year so this will go to my child when it's old enough.



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