Film to open fest on Oct. 30

The AFI Fest 2009 has announced Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” as its opening night gala screening. Anderson’s first animated pic will have its North American premiere on the fest’s opening night, Oct. 30, at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

The stop-motion toon adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel features voices by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson, with a screenplay by Anderson and Noah Baumbach.

Fox opens the film Nov. 13 in limited release and wide on Nov. 25.

“We are delighted to present this uniquely creative work that will launch the film festival with absolute fun and style. The combination of Anderson’s signature take on Roald Dahl’s world with the note perfect voice performances make it destined to be one of the key films of the year,” said Rose Kuo, AFI Fest artistic director.

The AFI fest runs Oct. 30-Nov. 7, with free tickets to all festival screenings available at

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