The North American premiere of Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox will open the AFI FEST 2009 on October 30.

Anderson’s first foray into feature animation is based on the classic Roald Dahl tale about a gang of doughty beasts of the field who defy a trio of brutal farmers.

The stop-motion film boasts the voice talents of George Clooney in the title role as well as those of Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker.

Anderson wrote the screenplay with Noah Baumbach and produced with Allison Abbate, Scott Rudin and Jeremy Dawson.

Fantastic Mr Fox gets it world premiere as the opening night film of the Times BFI London Film Festival on October 14. It launches in limited release in North America on November 13 through Twentieth Century Fox and expands wide over Thanksgiving Weekend on November 25.

“Wes Anderson is an American original,” AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale said. “It is a distinct honour 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.”

“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,” AFI FEST artistic director Rose Kuo said.

AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi will take place from October 30-November 7.