Mr Fox's Fantastic Escape

13th October 2009

The film rights may have been bought by Revolution Studios back in 2004, but it was surely written in the stars that the stop motion animation of Fantastic Mr Fox would end up having some connection with its hero’s namesake.

And the production of Roald Dahl’s story duly moved to Fox Animation Studios when Revolution folded two years later, with Wes Anderson directing and (who else?) Fox Searchlight and Twentieth Century Fox co-distributing.

And that – along with securing heavyweights including George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray to voice the main characters – should have been quite enough behind the scenes excitement for one project. By the summer of 2009, everything was, indeed, going according to plan. Post production was well under way on the DFC at De Lane Lea, with Sven Taits (a former De Lane Lea staff-member, now freelance) and Steve Browell as re-recording mixers. It all stopped going to plan on Friday July 10th, with around a week of finaling left to do, when a huge fire engulfed the next door premises. None of De Lane Lea’s staff or clients was hurt, but its building was evacuated and remained closed for several months – meaning that ongoing projects had to find a new home.

Fortunately a solution was close at hand, in the shape of Goldcrest’s newly refurbished ‘Red Room’ (formerly known as the Dean Street Theatre), which is also DFC-equipped. De Lane Lea lent studio assistant Nick Del Molino to ensure the smoothest possible handover – and, in keeping with his character, Fantastic Mr Fox pulled off another daring escape, in time for the film’s highly publicized and well-received première at the London Film Festival.