I ventured down to Anaheim, California this morning for the Disney event known as the D23 Expo. In addition to seeing new footage from The Avengers (which I reported on at ComingSoon.net, because I'm a comic book nut as well as a horror fan), Shock was treated to the Frankenweenie presentation.
Burton did not attend the expo, the audience was told, because he was still working on the film as well as Dark Shadows in London. Producers Allison Abbate and Don Hahn showed up, however, and gave the audience a sneak peek at the film. What they showed off was a collection of behind-the-scenes footage, completed footage and interviews. We also got a peek photos of cast members Winona Ryder, Martin Short and Martin Landau recording vocal tracks for the 3D stop-motion, black and white animated film.
Stemming from the 1984 Burton-directed live-action short film of the same name, Frankenweenie tells of a misfit young boy, Victor, and his dog (equally "misfit," we're told). When the canine is hit by a car, Victor resurrects his pooch via his experiments. From there, things go awry and the locals are put into a tizzy when they come to learn the misunderstood dog has been brought back from the dead. The producers said that the feature film allowed Burton to explore themes and ideas he wasn't able to with his short.
Abbate and Hahn stated up to 35 standing sets are being used by the animators during principal photography. They also added that Danny Elfman is, in fact, going to score the film.
The video presentation embraced the legacy of classic movie monsters, teasing the film like a gothic creature feature. As for the footage itself, Burton's aesthetic is ubiquitous. Characters looked like wide-eyed, raven-haired, ashen figures, and don't be surprised to see plenty of black-striped shirts. The design of Victor himself is very much inspired by Burton's stop-motion short Vincent. As for the town Victor lives in, it was described as "Transylvania meets Burbank." Frankenweenie was terrific. A scarred mess with a giant patch of what looks like Dalmation skin grafted to his back.
A lot of the clips we saw featured Victor in his lab, equipment whirling and crackling to life. Other snippets featured Frankenweenie himself roaming about. It all went by rather fast.
I'm really excited to see the short story fleshed out. For me, The Nightmare Before Christmas is being exploited to death and The Corpse Bride never really resonated, so I'm open to see some more Burton-directed animation coming our way.
Frankenweenie hits October 5, 2012.
Source: Ryan Turek, Managing Editor