by Naman Ramachandran
In keeping with its recent practice of opening with a film that releases in cinemas just a week later, the 56th BFI London Film Festival (October 10 – 21) will kick off with the European premiere of Tim Burton’s latest stop motion animation effort Frankenweenie. The film will show at 30 cinemas simultaneously across the UK with audiences being beamed footage of the red carpet from Leicester Square. Disney will release the film wide on October 17.
Narrated in black and white and in 3D, Frankenweenie is a about a boy and his dog where after unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life – with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new leash on life can be monstrous. The voice cast includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder.
Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Exhibition (and ex-Sydney Film Festival director) said of her first Opening Night choice as Festival Director, “Funny, dark and whimsical, this gloriously crafted stop-motion 3D animation from Tim Burton – the reigning prince of outsiders – 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. Tim Burton has chosen London as his home city and hundreds of talented British craftspeople have contributed to this production.”
Read more exclusive contents on cineuropa.org.