Director Wes Anderson directs movie by email?

To be clear, Wes Anderson did not set out to direct his new movie via e-mail.

Even if that's precisely how the writer-director's stop-motion animation version of Roald Dahl's beloved children's book "Fantastic Mr. Fox" -- a jaunty visual joy ride that features voice characterizations by George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Jason Schwartzman -- ultimately came to be, Anderson never intended to become an in-box auteur.

That choice was made all but inevitable, however, by the Oscar nominee's unorthodox decision to hole up in Paris for most of the shoot's one-year duration while principal photography commenced across the English Channel at London's venerable Three Mills Studios. He wasn't working on another project, and nothing Paris-centric demanded he be there; Anderson simply "didn't want to be at Three Mills Studios for two years."

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