The Ultimate Wes Anderson Quiz


By: William J. Wright

6 Min Quiz

Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures, American Empirical Pictures, Indian Paintbrush, Studio Babelsberg, Scott Rudin Productions and TSG Entertainment

About This Quiz

With his unique vision, eccentric characters and bittersweet stories, Wes Anderson's films are practically a genre unto themselves. In a cinematic landscape marked by homogenous event movies, lackluster sequels and endless comic book adaptations, the Texas-born filmmaker has carved out a career that bucks all trends. He is one of the last of the true auteurs. Entering his third decade in movies, Wes Anderson remains uncompromising in delivering films that speak solely to his unique obsessions.

Wes Anderson broke out as an indie filmmaker with his first feature-length picture in 1996. Although he didn't immediately take the box office by storm, he did catch the eye of the critics and legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. With his second film, 1998's quirky, coming-of-age story, "Rushmore," Anderson's tragicomic style — the hallmark of his whole body of work — completely crystallized. With "Rushmore," the filmmaker also began assembling the loose ensemble of loyal actors including Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman who have followed him on his singular artistic journey.

From his use of spatial symmetry, color and set design to his complex approach to characterization and storytelling, you need not see his name in the credits to know you're watching a Wes Anderson film. Simultaneously whimsical and deceptively dark, Anderson fuses style and substances as few filmmakers can.

Without further ado, here's a challenge to all you cinephiles, misfits, hipsters and other assorted outsiders: how well do you know the work and life Wes Anderson?

Wes Anderson directed which film based on a children's book by Roald Dahl?

2009's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" was Wes Anderson's first foray into animated film. Based on Roald Dahl's book of the same name, the film features George Clooney as the eponymous Mr. Fox.


In the film, "The Royal Tenenbaums," what sport did Richie Tenenbaum play professionally?

Before his infamous meltdown, Richie "The Baumer" Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson), was a tennis prodigy who turned pro at 17. Despite having won the U.S. Nationals three years in a row, the sight of his adopted sister, Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow), with her new husband sent him into a downward spiral.


Can you name the painting that's central to the plot of "The Grand Budapest Hotel"?

Philandering concierge Gustave H., portrayed by Ralph Fiennes, finds himself embroiled in intrigue when an elderly, wealthy countess bequeaths him a priceless painting. Titled "Boy With Apple," it's the work of Johannes Van Hoytl the Younger, an artist of the Czech Mannerist school.


What method of animation does Wes Anderson often employ in his films?

Wes Anderson often uses stop-motion animation as part of his unique style. The technique involves the frame-by-frame filming of small models to produce an illusion of movement. Largely displaced by computer animation, the time-consuming technique is a dying art.


What species of man-eating sea life devoured Steve Zissou's partner, Esteban?

"The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" is filled with colorful sea creatures brought to life through stop-motion animation. The most memorable of these is the massive Jaguar shark responsible for the death of Steve's partner Estaban (Seymour Cassel) who was chewed, not swallowed whole, by the fish.


Only one of Wes Anderson's films has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture so far. Can you name it?

So far, the only Wes Anderson film that has earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture is 2014's "The Grand Budapest Hotel." That film also earned Anderson his first nomination for Best Director. With the nominations piling up, there's little doubt that an Academy Award win is in Anderson's future.


In which Wes Anderson movie does Bill Murray NOT appear?

Beloved comic actor Bill Murray has appeared in every Wes Anderson feature to date with the exception of 1994's "Bottle Rocket." Murray has become such an element of the filmmaker's unique cinematic vision it's difficult to imagine a Wes Anderson film without him.


In "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou," Belafonte crewman Pelé sings Portuguese versions of songs by which iconic rocker?

Wes Anderson is a master of using music to evoke mood. Some of the most poignant scenes in "The Life Aquatic" feature Brazilian musician Seu Jorge as Belafonte crewman Pelé dos Santos singing the songs of David Bowie in Portuguese while strumming along on acoustic guitar.


Can you name the animated film in which Wes Anderson provides the voice of a singing giraffe?

Wes Anderson voices Daniel the giraffe in the 2016 film "Sing." In the animated, musical comedy about animals in an "American Idol" style singing competition, Anderson's Daniel performs Michael Jackson's 1972 hit "Ben."


What kind of bird is Suzy dressed as when she meets Sam in "Moonrise Kingdom"?

Sam (Jared Gilman) first meets Suzy (Kara Hayward) when he walks into the girls' dressing room at a church performance of "Noye's Fludde," a short opera recounting the Old Testament story of Noah's Ark. Suzy, clad in black with dramatic eye makeup, is a raven.


Where did Wes Anderson meet his frequent collaborator and star Owen Wilson?

Wes Anderson and actor Owen Wilson have been virtually inseparable as a creative force since they met as roommates at the University of Texas at Austin. Interestingly, neither majored in a field directly related to filmmaking. Anderson was a philosophy major while Wilson studied English.


What disturbing bit of reading material did 12-year-old Suzy find on top of the refrigerator in "Moonrise Kingdom"?

After running away with Sam (Jared Gilman), Suzy (Kara Hayward) shows the AWOL Khaki Scout a pamphlet titled "Coping With the Very Troubled Child" that her parents have hidden from her. As a child, Wes Anderson found a similar pamphlet under much the same circumstances.


After shooting off Mr. Fox's tail, what does farmer Franklin Bean do with it?

Described by attorney Badger (Bill Murray) as "possibly the scariest man currently living," farmer Franklin Bean, voiced by Michael Gambon, manages to shoot off Mr. Fox's tail. Bean keeps the tail as a trophy, fashioning it into a necktie.


Can you name the short film Wes Anderson shot as a prologue to "The Darjeeling Limited"?

"Hotel Chevalier" is a 13-minute short film by Wes Anderson starring Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman. Originally intended as a separate work from 2007's "Darjeeling Limited," Anderson folded the narrative of the short into the feature film as a prologue.


Can you identify the "Gilmore Girls" star who appears as an uncredited extra in 1998's "Rushmore"?

Two years before being cast in her signature role as Rory Gilmore on the popular and long-running WB series "The Gilmore Girls," Alexis Bledel appeared in 1998's "Rushmore." Appearing uncredited in a classroom scene as a Grover Cleveland High student, you may miss her if you blink.


Which characteristic qualifies Bob Mapplethorpe to be the team's getaway driver in "Bottle Rocket"?

Despite wannabe criminal mastermind Dignan's (Owen Wilson) somewhat complicated interview process, Bob Mapplethorpe (Robert Musgrave) really doesn't have to try too hard to win the position of getaway driver. He's a shoo-in simply because he has a car.


What is the title of the book penned by Tenenbaum matriarch Etheline about her extraordinary children?

As seen in the film "The Royal Tenenbaums," Tenenbaum matriarch Etheline, as portrayed by Anjelica Huston, is the author of a book about her extraordinary children. Its title, appropriately enough, is "Family of Geniuses."


In Wes Anderson's second feature, "Rushmore," what's the final act of revenge on Herman Blume that gets Max arrested?

When 15-year-old Max (Jason Schwartzman) learns of his friend Herman Blume's (Bill Murray) relationship with his crush, teacher Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams), he embarks on an elaborate campaign of revenge. However, his last act, dismantling the breaks of Blume's car, lands him jail.


In "Rushmore," which of the following is NOT one of Max Fischer's extracurricular activities?

What Rushmore Academy student Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) lacks in scholarly diligence, he more than makes up for in extracurricular pursuits. He's not, however, involved in a robotics club, but imagine the possibilities.


Wes Anderson frequently collaborates with the son of which renowned filmmaker?

Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, son of legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, are frequent creative partners. Anderson has co-written several films with the younger Coppola including "The Darjeeling Limited" and "Moonrise Kingdom."


In "The Royal Tenenbaums," how did adopted Tenenbaum sister Margot lose part of her finger?

When adopted Tenenbaum sister Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) ran away from home at the age of 14 to find her birth family, she returned missing part of her right ring finger. It was severed in a woodchopping accident by her real father. She didn't have it sewn back on because "it wasn't worth it."


When the Whitman brothers finally confront their mother in "The Darjeeling Limited" what's her reason for not coming to their father's funeral?

When the Whitman brothers finally find their mother (Anjelica Huston), they find there are no easy answers to account for their long estrangement. Her reply to son Jack's (Jason Schwartzman) query about her not showing up at their dad's funeral is, "Because I didn't want to."


How did Francis injure his face in "The Darjeeling Limited"?

Francis (Owen Wilson) spends much of "The Darjeeling Limited" with his face and head heavily bandaged. He suffered these injuries when he crashed his motorcycle into a hill "on purpose."


Let's look back at his roots for this one. Which movie was Wes Anderson's first feature film?

1996's "Bottle Rocket" was Wes Anderson's first feature film. Co-written by Anderson and star Owen Wilson, the film was based on a 13 minute short the director had made with the same core cast in 1994. Although it didn't do well at the box office, it was a hit among critics.


Can you name the country that's home to the Grand Budapest Hotel?

Sadly, booking a stay at the Grand Budapest Hotel is impossible. Aside from the exterior of the lavish hotel itself being an intricate and detailed miniature, it also exists in a fictional Eastern European country known as the Republic of Zubrowka.


Can you name the fashion label that financed Wes Anderson's 2013 short film "Castello Cavalcanti"?

Wes Anderson's critically acclaimed 2013 short "Castello Cavalcanti" was financed by fashion house Prada. Influenced by classic Italian cinema, this eight-minute film stars Jason Schwartzman as a Formula One race car driver stranded in a small Italian Village.


Entrepreneurial wunderkind Chas Tenenbaum went into business as an animal breeder in the sixth grade. What kind of animals did he raise?

Chas, portrayed by Ben Stiller, is the oldest of the Tenenbaum children and a born businessman. In the sixth grade, the young entrepreneur went into business selling Dalmatian mice to a pet shop in Little Tokyo.


Can you name the actor who voices Duke, the gossip-loving dog from 2018's "Isle of Dogs"?

Jeff Goldblum lends his voice and unmistakable deadpan delivery to the role of Duke, the Siberian Husky in Wes Anderson's animated 2018 film "Isle of Dogs." A lover of gossip, Duke is always at the ready with a bit of useful info prefaced with "You heard the rumor, right?"


In "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou," what's the name of famed oceanographer Steve Zissou's boat?

Steve Zissou's (Bill Murray) boat, The Belafonte, began its life as a long-range sub hunter in World War II. It was purchased from the US Navy for $900,000. Among its many amenities are a sauna originally designed for the Chinese space program and an on-staff masseuse.


What span of time does Dignan's criminal career plan cover in "Bottle Rocket"?

In Wes Anderson's 1996 feature film debut "Bottle Rocket," Dignan, portrayed by Owen Wilson, is long on preparation but short on execution. After "rescuing" pal Anthony (Luke Wilson), he reveals a meticulous 75-year criminal career plan kept in a red, spiral-bound notebook.


In the opening scene of "Fantastic Mr. Fox," Mr. Fox and his wife Felicity are captured while attempting to steal what kind of birds?

In the opening scene of "Fantastic Mr. Fox," Mr. Fox (George Clooney) and his wife Felicity (Meryl Streep) are caught in a trap while attempting to score a quick meal from Berk's Squab Farm. While captured, Felicity reveals that she's pregnant.


Can you name the malady that the Author is suffering from that instigates his 1968 stay at "The Grand Budapest Hotel"?

Tom Wilkinson plays the Author, the character who draws us into the plot of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and Zero's (Tony Revolori) story. In August of 1968, he traveled to the hotel suffering from a case of Scribe's fever: "a form of neurasthenia common among the intelligentsia of that time."


What's the name of the island that's the setting for "Moonrise Kingdom"?

2012's "Moonrise Kingdom" is set on a fictional island named New Penzance located just off the coast of New England. According to the film, it's 16 miles long and has no paved roads. In 1965, the island was struck by a fierce hurricane.


Bill Murray voices Boss, one of the dogs exiled to Trash Island in 2018's "Isle of Dogs." What was Boss' job before the outbreak of dog flu?

Bill Murray lends his voice to Boss in the 2018 animated film "Isle of Dogs." Before being exiled to Trash Island, Boss was the lead mascot for an undefeated high school baseball team. According to Boss, life on the island has caused him to lose all his spirit.


Who narrates Wes Anderson's 2001 film "The Royal Tenenbaums"?

Alec Baldwin who's best known for his dramatic roles in film such as "Glengarry Glen Ross" and "The Hunt For Red October" provides the narration for "The Royal Tenenbaums." Although he does not appear onscreen, Baldwin's presence via his sonorous voice is an integral part of the film.


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