A not so fantastic version of Roald Dahl's kids' classic

<strong>Film<br />FANTASTIC MR FOX<br /></strong>Cert: PG<br /><br />NOW that it&rsquo;s pretty much de rigeur for animated kids&rsquo; films to be 3-D, computer-generated spectaculars, a Roald Dahl adaptation made with traditional stop-motion photography seems so quaint as to be genuinely original. It may take some getting used to, but the careful characterisation of the animal heroes here and lovely autumnal colours share some of the nostalgic appeal of those old Wind in the Willows TV episodes.<br /><br />If only this film had that series&rsquo; same mischievous charm. Director Wes Anderson, known for indie comedies like The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited, has replaced Roald Dahl&rsquo;s wicked humour with his own brand of off-beat, whacky weirdness, and it&rsquo;s difficult to work out just who it should appeal to. Much of the nuance will be lost on children, and the haphazard plotting left this grown-up pretty bored by the end.<br /><br />George Clooney voices the family-guy fox who steals produce from a trio of villainous farmers, resulting in the besieging of an entire animal community. Bill Murray and Meryl Streep are among the other mammalian voices. <br /><br />It&rsquo;s unlike any other family animation, but that&rsquo;s not necessarily in its favour.<br /><br />Timothy Barber<br /><br /><strong>Theatre<br />ANNIE GET YOUR GUN</strong><br />Young Vic<br /><br />This production of Irving Berlin&rsquo;s rootin&rsquo; tootin&rsquo; musical, starring Jane Horrocks, doesn&rsquo;t quite hit the bullseye, despite its show-stopping tunes.<br /><br />There&rsquo;s the obvious obstacle of outdated concepts to overcome &ndash; the ending will makes feminists everywhere cringe, not to mention its condescending attitude to native Americans &ndash; but director Richard Jones has, for some unknown reason, also updated the story to 1940s. <br /><br />Two short film pieces convey the play&rsquo;s setting. First, two kids in cowboy outfits take a bizarre tour of the wild west, perhaps demonstrating the US&rsquo;s enthusiasm for the scene in the 1940s. Later, cowgirl Annie, who&rsquo;s off on a world tour to display her superb marksmanship, meets and greets Churchill with glee, turns her nose up at Hitler, but happily chums up with Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung. <br /><br />Horrocks makes a real impression as the gawky hick who gets her man, belting out iconic numbers There&rsquo;s No Business Like Showbusiness and Anything You Can Do, while Julian Ovenden carries real pace as swaggering rival Frank, who wants a woman &ldquo;as soft and as pink as a nursery&rdquo;. <br /><br />It&rsquo;s a tough one to sell to a modern audience, so kudos to Jones for giving it a shot, but a strong cast and a strangely-updated setting aren&rsquo;t enough to quite pull this one off. <br /><br />Lora Coventry<br />