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Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie to open London film fest

Tim Burton’s 3D black and white animation movie Frankenweenie is to open this year’s London Film Festival in October.

Featuring the voices of Winona Ryder and Canadian actors Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara, the film tells the story of a boy who tries to bring his beloved dog back to life.

The British Film Institute also plans to show Frankenweenie on 30 screens around the U.K. simultaneously with its European debut in London as part of an effort to extend the reach of the festival.

Frankenweenie began life 28 years ago, when Burton was a young employee at the Walt Disney Studios. At the time he filmed a live-action short about a boy and his resurrected dog starring Sofia Coppola and Shelley Duvall, but Disney thought it too scary to show to family audiences.

Burton was fired, but Disney has since revised its opinion of the filmmaker who created Corpse Bride, Mars Attacks and Alice in Wonderland. Frankenweenie was created at London’s 3 Mills Studios.

Festival director Clare Stewart calls Tim Burton “the reigning prince of outsiders” and says his film “playfully turns the Frankenstein story on its bolted-on head.

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,” she said in a statement released Thursday.

It’s the second time in recent years the LFF has chosen an animated movie as its opener – Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox opened the festival in 2009.

The festival will also host a free exhibit, The Art of Frankenweenie from Oct. 17-21. It will showcase Burton’s artistic vision with original sketches, extensive props, sets and puppets.

The London Film Festival is scheduled for Oct. 10-21. A full program is to be released Sept. 5.

According to IMDB, Frankenweenie has its Canadian release on Oct. 5.

CBC | Arts News