Director Tim Burton said he hoped audiences would feel the "emotion" of his film Frankenweenie, inspired by the death of his beloved childhood pet.
The filmmaker's 3D animation is a gothic but heart-warming tale about a young boy who tries to use science to bring his dead dog back to life, and was selected to open the BFI London Film Festival 2012.
He said: "I hope people enjoy it and feel the emotion of it."
The US director, 54, who was joined at the opening gala by partner Helena Bonham Carter, was proudly wearing a gold Blue Peter badge on his lapel.
He said he was honoured to receive the TV accolade, having been filled in on its significance by partner Helena. He said: "I know enough about the show to know what a great thing this badge is. Helena's told me about it."
Tim, who along with Helena is being given the British Film Institute's Fellowship during the festival, added that he had heard about the benefits of owning such a badge."It can get you into restaurants, right?" he joked.
Also walking the red carpet were Martin Short, Martin Landau and Catherine O'Hara who all voice characters in the stop motion animation, which also features the voices of Winona Ryder and Sir Christopher Lee, with many of the cast having worked with Tim before.
American Express sponsors the 56th BFI London Film Festival. Information on the 2012 American Express Preferred Seating programme is available at amex.co.uk/potential