One-Question Q&A

1QA: Wes Anderson on Fantastic Mr. Fox

Alex Moore :: Monday, November 16th, 2009 1:30 pm

Whether it’s his use of The Who in Rushmore, Nico in The Royal Tenenbaums or Sigur Ros in The Life Aquatic, you hear it time and again about Wes Anderson’s movies: “Such great music!” His latest Fantastic Mr. Fox is no exception, but this time there’s a twist:

I know music is important to you in shaping the foundation of your films — you once told me that Nico’s “These Days” was the nucleus that inspired The Royal Tenenbaums. What was the first song you knew you wanted to use in Fantastic Mr. Fox, and how did it shape your vision for the film as it unfolded?

Our first song for Fantastic Mr. Fox was one Noah Baumbach and I wrote ourselves, in fact — the song that Jarvis Cocker sings which is kind of an English hill-billy number. This more or less started the ball rolling, and we gathered the rest of our music around that over the course of a year and a half or so. We decided Mr. Fox would be the banjo in the story, and we did a little bit of a Peter and the Wolf-type arrangement where we gave the young foxes the recorder and the farmer-villains various horns etc. We also ended up with a pretty strong Burl Ives presence on our soundtrack — and we end with Bobby Fuller’s “Let Her Dance,” which Randall Poster and I have been hoping to include in a film for many years.

Note: The song Anderson refers to is interrupted in the movie by the villain, famer Bean, who declares, “That is a bad song.”