Frankenweenie To Open 56th LFF

Burton's magic mutt gets an opening gala

It'll be scooby snacks in the foyer on the opening night of this year's 56th BFI London Film Festival with Tim Burton's black-and-white animation Frankenweenie securing the prestigious gala opening spot on October 10.

With Fantastic Mr. Fox kicking off the 2009 festival, Frankenweenie is the second stop-motion opener in four years. It's a choice that, says BFI Head of Exhibiton Clare Stewart, reflects the festival's long-standing love of animation and honours the work of British craftsman like Manchester-based puppet makers Mackinnon and Saunders. "It's a film that revels in the magic of movies and the perfect choice of opener," she explains.

Empire spoke to Stewart, the ex-head of the Sydney Film Festival who's taken the LFF reins from departing honcho Sandra Hebron this year, and Frankenweenie producer Allison Abbate. Click below to hear their thoughts.

Frankenweenie, of course, sees Burton revisiting his 1984 short in full, feature-length glory. It's just your average story of a boy and the pet dog he brings back from the dead, and it should thrill lovers of stop-motion (us included) and reanimated zombie canines. Watch Frankenweenie's trailer here.

The BFI London Film Festival runs from October 10-21. Look out for more announcements and line-up details next Wednesday.brightcove.createExperiences();