Burton's "Frankenweenie" opens London film festival

LONDON Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:41am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie", a black-and-white animated tale of a boy and his dog, will be the opening picture at this year's London film festival, organizers announced on Thursday.

Disney's stop-motion animated 3D movie will feature the voices of Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau and Winona Ryder, and will hit theatres in Britain on October 17, a week after its film festival debut.

This year's British Film Institute (BFI) London film festival runs from October 10-21, and the full lineup will be announced on September 5.

"Frankenweenie is a perfect choice of opener - it's a film that revels in the magic of movies from one of cinema's great visionaries," the BFI's head of exhibition and incoming festival director Clare Stewart said.

"Tim Burton has chosen London as his home city and hundreds of talented British craftspeople have contributed to this production."

The London red carpet will be the movie's European premiere, but according to the IMDb movie database website it comes five days after the North American cinema release, stealing some of the publicity thunder from the festival.

Three years ago London opened with the world premiere of another stop-motion animation movie, "Fantastic Mr. Fox", and George Clooney was among the stars who attended the launch.

This year, Frankenweenie will be screened in 30 cinemas across Britain at the same time as the premiere itself.

Burton directed a short version of Frankenweenie in 1984, and the feature-length version, which follows his similarly animated "Corpse Bride" released in 2005, is in part a homage to Mary Shelley's Gothic novel "Frankenstein".

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Steve Addison)

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