Tim Burton Reveals New Trailer and Spots for Frankenweenie at Comic-Con
07.13.12 by Ryan
During Thursday's Disney Panel at the 2012 Comic-Con, the studio and director Tim Burton revealed a couple clips from the upcoming 3-D stop-motion animated Frankenweenie, but not before opening the panel with a new, retro homage trailer for the movie. Thankfully for all that could not attend, the studio has made the trailer available online. The panel was moderated by The Nerdist's Chris Hardwick.
Originally a short Burton made in 1984 (that fared so poorly it got Burton fired as an animator from Disney), Burton discussed the genesis of the movie, which follows a young boy named Victor who, after losing his pet dog Sparky, finds a way to bring him back.
It was actually one of the first shorts when I first started working at Disney. I got to do it in live-action — because I was a really bad animator — so they let me try live-action, which was great because I had to learn how to talk to people for the first time and deal with actors, so it was very, very special for me. It stemmed from having a dead dog when I was a child, and that special first relationship you have with a pet. And then [you add] monster movies and Frankenstein and so it just seemed like a good connection.
It was originally designed to go out with an animated film [the re-release of Pinnochio] and when we showed the short, everybody all freaked out, and then when we watched Pinnochio, and half the audience of kids were screaming and leaving. People forget that Disney films were founded on stuff that's got heart and stuff that's a bit scary and all that sort of thing, so, to me, it's the perfect Disney movie.
The two clips showed the young protagonist Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan) in class with his new science teacher Mr. Rzykruski (voiced by Martin Landau), who is replacing a previous teacher who was struck by lightning. As Mr. Rzykruski explains, lightning doesn't strike, it's just energy, a lesson that young Victor will surely bring back to his attic laboratory later in the movie. The class is filled with trademark Burton eccentrics, and are apparently based on Burton's schoolmates from his childhood in Burbank, Calif. "I went back and remembered kids that I went to school with, how most kids, myself included, everybody really felt really strange in school," Burton explained. "Kids and teachers. In fact, even when I walk into a school I start to freak out. It reminds me of these horrible memories."
The second clip sees Victor with a reanimated Sparky being forced to bring a goldfish back to life so that his hunchback friend won't reveal his secret. Once Victor succeeds, his hunchback friend promises to hold up his end of the secret, but with his fingers crossed behind his back.
The footage looked like vintage Burton, perhaps even a return to form he had with movies like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. Either way, Burton expressed that he was happier with his animated version of Frankenweenie. "Like I said, I was happy to do it live action, it was great, it was a lot of fun, it was a new experience for me, but this is the more pure version of it."
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