Fantastic Mr. Fox

Release date: Nov. 13

Distrib: Fox Searchlight

For director Wes Anderson, it’s all been leading up to this. The divisive director — beloved by some, derided by others and only once nominated for an Academy Award (for co-writing “The Royal Tenenbaums”) — had wanted to adapt Roald Dahl’s novel for years, but couldn’t crack the stop-motion aspect of his plan.

To see the result is to realize what a natural fit the medium is for Anderson, who tends to make little dollhouse movies anyway, dressing his live-action cast in custom-tailored duds and moving them back and forth through meticulously detailed sets.

Switching to animal characters allows him to play on a different scale (technically smaller, but also more epic) and could earn him Oscar attention not just in the animation category, but eventually in the main race as well.

Adding to “Fantastic Mr. Fox’s” pedigree have been high-profile opening-night bookings at the London and AFI film fests, not to mention voice work by man-of-the-moment George Clooney and perennial Oscar favorite Meryl Streep.

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