I'm a big fan of mainstream stop-frame animation - I have the complete Harryhausen (excluding Earth vs The Flying Saucers, but including all the Puppetoons etc.) On my DVD shelves, and I'm a big fan of Willis O'Brien, Jim Danforth, and Phil Tippett. I don't much care for the middle European stuff from the 50s and 60s though.
And that's pretty similar to the style adopted here, and I have to say I don't care for it. There were times when I greatly admired the way some effects were achieved, but I really didn't like the way this film looked (from a character and set design point of view) or moved. In fact, populating an essentially rustic English setting with distinctly American animals didn't really work. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the idea, it was simply that the execution meant that there was, to me, an irreconcilable disharmony between the two.
The voice talent was, on the whole, very good, with Clooney, Streep, and Gambon not unexpectedly taking the honours.
The script was, I thought, awful. Wes Anderson joins the Coen brothers and Darren Aronofsky in that select group of writer/directors who make films which display, with utter confidence, a belief in how clever they are, a belief which a) I don't necessarily share and b) irritates me intensely with its arrogant disregard of me as an audience member.
Finally, this film has no idea - and doesn't care - who its audience is. In many ways it is clearly pitched at adults, but then it is tweaked downwards for tinies: the script contains a number of instances where the word "cuss" is substituted for the F-bomb, for instance.