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 Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee


The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here

I feel like a kid in some kind of store.


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The Difference Between Being a Hero and an Altruist

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
Oct. 22 2014 10:37 AM Judge Upholds Puerto Rico’s Gay Marriage Ban in a Comically Inane Opinion
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
Oct. 22 2014 9:54 AM The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here I feel like a kid in some kind of store.
Oct. 22 2014 10:29 AM Apple TV Could Still Work Here’s how Apple can fix its living-room product.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 22 2014 10:30 AM Monster Sunspot Will Make Thursday’s Eclipse That Much Cooler
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.