I saw “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and loved it.  Though many people consider Tennenbaums the holy grail of Wes Anderson-dom, before seeing Fox, I was most fond of “The Life Aquatic.”  (It’s still my favorite.  Too many wonderful moments and quotable lines to be displaced, and Seu Jorge doing David Bowie is unparalleled in the world of adaptations.  And Klaus!  I want to watch it again right now.)

Early in “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” I recognized some music that I hear often these days: Burl Ives singing “Fooba Wooba John.”  What a funny treat!

Although the adults at our house recoil at the sound of most music intended for kids, one beloved album is from my husband’s childhood–Burl Ives Sings Little White Duck and Other Children’s Favorites.  It might seem unlikely, but this morning I was actually craving that album.  Ives’ rendition of “The Little Engine That Could” made me a little misty-eyed over breakfast.  I don’t know why.  Maybe the wonder and hope of the two year old next to me, calling it the “sink I can song” or maybe just that I still believe that positive thinking is important.  (“I knew I could I knew I could I knew I could…”)

As usual, Wes Anderson chose perfect music for his latest movie.  There’s an earnest, post-cynical lens in that I love.  I see it in the Zissou saga, as I did in “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and so now I find myself tapping a foot, humming “Buckeye Jim” around the house, and now, in addition to the warmth of Burl Ives’ voice, that tune delivers me Anderson’s glorious sunset orange hues, and lovable, heroic foxes.  And I smile a silly, true smile.

2 thoughts on “Burl Ives and Wes Anderson

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