AFI FEST 2009 opens with Fantastic Mr. Fox

AFI FEST 2009 announces that 20th Century Fox’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX has been selected as the Festival’s Opening Night Gala presentation. FANTASTIC MR. FOX will have its North American Premiere when it opens AFI FEST on Friday, October 30, 2009 at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The Opening Night Gala is presented by Audi of America.

Heralded as “A movie that deserves to be called groundbreaking” by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone Magazine, FANTASTIC MR. FOX is visionary director Wes Anderson’s first animated film, utilizing classic handmade stop-motion techniques to tell the story of the best-selling children’s book by Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach). The film features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Wally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, and Jarvis Cocker. The screenplay is by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, music composed and conducted by Alexadre Desplat. The film is produced by Allison Abbate, Scott Rudin, Wes Anderson and Jeremy Dawson.

Mr. and Mrs. Fox (Clooney and Streep) live an idyllic home life with their son Ash (Schwartzman) and visiting young nephew Kristofferson (Eric Anderson). But after twelve years of quiet domesticity, the bucolic existence proves too much for Mr. Fox’s wild animal instincts. Soon he slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief and in doing so, endangers not only his beloved family, but the whole animal community. Trapped underground without enough food to go around, the animals band together to fight against the evil Farmers – Boggis, Bunce and Bean – who are determined to capture the audacious, fantastic Mr. Fox at any cost. The film will be in theaters on November 13 in limited release and will open wide on November 25th for Thanksgiving weekend.

“Wes Anderson is an American original,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “It is a distinct honor for the American Film Institute to shine a proper light on his extraordinary talents by premiering his latest gift to the nation and to the world.”

“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.

Free tickets are available to all Festival screenings in advance at, at the Mann Theatres (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) beginning October 26, or on the day of scheduled screenings via rush lines. Reserved seating to all screenings can be secured by becoming a patron of the Festival and purchasing an AFI FEST Patron Pass. For more details, visit


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