Comic Con 2012: Frankenweenie

The Mouse House brought three of their upcoming releases to Comic Con this year, including this new family/geek friendly flick!

Not only is this a return to stop motion for Tim Burton, but it also sees the director revisiting one of his earliest creations. Based on his 1984 short film of the same name, FRANKENWEENIE tells the story of a young boy scientist who goes a little Mary Shelley with his recently deceased dog and the consequences that follows. Even if Johnny Depp isn’t in it, it still has Burton’s trademark gothic atmosphere and dark humor and if you’ve ever lost a pet, it’s probably something you can connect with.

The panel featured an interview with the director himself, who isn’t known for being the nicest guy (at least if you believe Kevin Smith), but he actually had a really good sense of humor throughout, making light of his childhood, career and even some of the audience members. He also brought three new glimpses of the movie:

CLIP #1: A new trailer in the style of those old school horror previews with the patented overdramatic narration and music. Most of the footage was stuff we’d seen before, though it did hint at other potential monsters and villains who want to bring “bigger” things back to life. There’s also a funny cat.

See it for yourself here!

CLIP #2: A quick scene at a school, which Burton says was based on classmates and teachers that gave him horrible memories. The teacher Mr. Rzykruski, voiced by Martin Landau and looking exactly like Vincent Price, passionately explains to the children how lightning works and in particular how people get struck by lightning. Not the most exciting footage but it did showcase some zany humor and characters (an Igor-like student, a heavily accented Chinese kid, a creepy girl that sounds like Zelda Rubinstein from POLTERGEIST) and a girl that looks just like Winona Ryder from BEETLEJUICE.

CLIP #3: The most interesting clip sees Vincent at a chalkboard trying to figure out how exactly he brought his dog back to life. He explains it to Igor, who immediately goes out to buy a dead fish and try it for himself. However, once it gets struck by lightning, the fish ends up turning invisible in addition to the reanimation. Vincent makes Igor promise not to tell anyone, but Igor crosses his fingers behind his back.

  • Burton admitted this is a special and personal project for him, based on his experiences dealing with the death of his dog, which is why he wanted to revisit it
  • The original short film was one of the first things he did at Disney and being live action, it forced him to deal with other humans after years of doing animation.
  • Regarding the darker elements in the film (and all of his films) Burton reminded audiences that Disney was founded on movies with heart and scares (citing PINOCCHIO), so he considers FRANKENWEENIE  the “perfect Disney movie.”
  • The only interesting question from the audience came from a Jedi who asked how Burton got a PG rating on BEETLEJUICE when it has the F-Word in it. His one chance to pick the mind of Tim Burton and that’s what he came up with.



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