Roald Dahl's children's stories often make for effective films, especially when the filmmaker is willing to not treat the text as sacrosanct but make the material their own. Here, die-hard fans of the original might be disappointed, but anyone with a taste for upper-tier craftsmanship and whimsy should be immediately won over. The tactile quality of the animation knocks up interestingly against those staid framings.
3.5 - not normally a fan of Anderson, I found this delightful. I am not sure if that is pointing to his deadpan minimal style suiting itself to stop motion animation or that his often boring and sophomoric dealings with familial issues, particularly children with their flawed parents, is better suited to a medium that comes off as a movie for children.
Like all Anderson's work, it's a bit too preoccupied with homage & pastiche to develop a life outside of its own catalog of cinematic influences; too arch & ironical in its delivery to really connect on a deeper level; the work of a "smarty-pants" rather than someone genuinely smart. However, it's a tremendous amount of fun, carried along by the strength of its varied characters & the brilliance of its craft. A joy.
For me this is when Anderson's style of film making finally clicked. There's some great visual jokes that flows perfectly with the unique stop motion animation and scenery from scene to scene is gorgeous to look out. Dahl's book has a great sense of personality that comes alive with Anderson's vision and then expands it while keeping in touch with the books English roots and quirks. So yeah it's pretty fantastic!