Wes Anderson Explains Why He Actually Likes Making Commercials

Interviews with people who shape our culture.
May 15 2012 1:10 PM

Life in Stop-Motion

Wes Anderson loves stop-motion animation, but will he ever make another animated feature film again?

A still from Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Fantastic Mr. Fox

Photograph © 2009 20th Century Fox. All rights reserved.

Fans of director Wes Anderson like a good argument over which of his meticulously crafted, slightly off-kilter feature films is their favorite. 

Best known for Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson has also garnered attention for directing TV commercials in his signature style, including a recent Sony ad that uses stop-motion animation.

In advance of the premiere of his latest feature, Moonrise Kingdom, at the Cannes Film Festival, Anderson sat down with Slate’s Jacob Weisberg for a wide-ranging interview about everything from how he approaches directing commercials to why he is drawn to stop-motion animation.  While the handmade textures of stop-motion in Fantastic Mr. Fox helped earn him an Oscar nomination, Anderson says the movie probably would have been far more successful at the box office if DreamWorks had produced it using CGI.


You can watch Part 1 of Anderson’s interview, in which he talks about the challenges of casting and working with child actors in Moonrise Kingdom.  In the days ahead, look for more of our interview, including why he loves working with Bill Murray and his answers to Slate reader questions.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 8:51 AM The Male-Dominated Culture of Business in Tech Is Not Great for Women
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 9:00 AM Exclusive Premiere: Key & Peele Imagines the Dark Side of the Make-A-Wish Program
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.