Update: Better photos are now available, click here.

Well, this isn’t what I expected to see at all. For some time, Wes Anderson has been working on his animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl book Fantastic Mr. Fox, using stop motion animation. Now JoBlo has the exclusive first still, and Mr. Fox really has the look of some of the weird semi-animatronic TV shows of the late ’70s. Which makes sense, really, given Anderson’s general sensibility.

The story follows Mr. Fox and his conflict with three mean, greedy farmers from whom he’s been stealing food. Henry Selick was originally set to direct with Anderson after he contributed animated undersea creatures to Life Aquatic. But Selick moved on to Coraline after original producers Revolution Studios folded (hard to argue with that move, having seen the final result of Coraline) and Anderson teamed up instead with Mark Gustafson. He hired George Clooney to voice the title character, Bill Murray to voice his friend Mr. Badger and originally picked Cate Blanchett to voice Mrs. Fox, but she was replaced at some point by Meryl Streep. Anderson recorded the voice actors outside a traditional studio, hoping to get an unusual spontaneity from doing sessions in a forest and stable.

Meanwhile, when will we get a trailer? There was a lot of speculation that one would be attached to Ice Age 3 or 500 Days of Summer, but our sources now say we won’t see anything until August. But attached to what? Fox only has Post Grad that month, and Fox Searchlight isn’t pushing anything at all. Disney’s got Ponyo, which is certainly the closest in spirit, so could we see the trailer mid-month as audiences are paying attention to Miyazaki’s new movie? Regardless, that’s not so long to wait, after reading about this movie for the past five years.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is set for release on November 13, but there is speculation that the world premiere will be at the Venice Film Festival, which begins on September 2. The film also seems a likely pick for the Toronto Film Fest, which begins a week later.

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