Release date: February 25th
Based on Tim Burton’s original short film from 1984, the feature-length version of Frankenweenie released at the BFI festival in 2012 further elaborates on the modern-day retelling of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’. The film returns Burton to the techniques of stop-motion animation, carrying on his tradition initiated in his work by short films like Vincent and continued with the features The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride. However, this time the expressive features of Burton’s characters and world are rendered even more distinctive through the 3D literally pulling audiences into the black and white atmosphere of the film.
At this stage of the awards’ season Frankenweenie has scored a series of wins. It has already been awarded the “Best Animated Film of 2012” awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle and the Boston Society of Film Critics. Although its nomination for a Golden Globe was not successful, its other nominations include “Best Animated Feature Film” by the Academy and “Animated Film” at the BAFTAs.
The film tells the story of Victor, who lives in the sleepy suburban town of New Holland, reminiscent of the background for some of Burton’s previous films most notably Edward Scissorhands. He is quite lonely, his only friend being his dog Sparky. However, after his father’s attempt to integrate Victor among his peers, the boy loses Sparky in a heart-breaking moment. After a period of depression, Victor is inspired by his science teacher Mr Rsykruski to attempt to bring his best friend back. What follows are the ominous attempts of the rest of the children of the town to discover Victor’s secret, bringing havoc to New Holland. Although the plot of the film seems fairly straightforward, the characters are well-developed and the interactions between them are sincere and touching. As is usual for a Tim Burton film, the characters are eccentric (and slightly disturbing at times) but lovable.
The release of the DVD, 3D Blu-Ray and 2D Blu-Ray versions of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie allows for a repeated viewing of the stop-motion movie of the year. The film is being released on a number of formats and includes a number of extras, providing insight into the world the filmmakers created for the characters of Frankenweenie. The 3D and 2D Blu-Ray editions both include the short film that is partially shown in the feature under the title “All-New Feature Original Short: ‘Captain Sparky vs. The Flying Saucers’”. Furthermore, among the extras of the two Blu-ray editions are “Miniatures in Motion: Brining Frankenweenie to Life”, the “Frankenweenie Touring Exhibit”, the “Original Live-Action Frankenweenie Short” (this is the original 1984 Tim Burton short film) and Plain White T’s music video of “Pet Sematary” from the original soundtrack. All of these give the audience the opportunity to learn more about the making of the film and observe the detailed artistry of the character puppets.
In addition, Frankenweenie features the voices of the likes of Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Charlie Tahan, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder and Conchata Ferrel. As per usual Danny Elfman composes the original score to the movie, marking yet another film in the long-standing collaboration between the composer and Tim Burton.