Disney announced at the D23 Expo that Tim Burton's first live-action short, Frankenweenie, was going to get a feature-length stop motion film! Since then several details about the project have been reveled.
In the original short film, a boy brings his dead dog back to life by re-animating it. After he does this the dog is rejected and persecuted by an angry mob. Seeing this brought to life on the big screen will be a great treat. This is something I've wanted to see happen since I saw the short film.
Here are some details for the film that was revealed by producer Don Hahn.
The film will be black and white just like the original short was. This is going to be a kids animated film in black and white! No color. That must have been a tough sell. But it's one I am glad they are moving forward with. Hahn says:
It was and it wasn't. I think now, with Tim working at the top of his craft, the top of his game, on movies like Alice in Wonderland, I think Dick Cook really felt like if you're going to take a risk on anybody, why can't it be Tim Burton? A Tim Burton movie in black and white based on Frankenstein, how cool is that? Dick was very supportive of it.
As you may have heard this Dick Cook guy was recently fired from Disney, so who knows if this black and white animated film will stick now that he's gone. I really hope they stick with it though.
The new script for the film has more Frankensien and more dog. The original film was only 30 minutes long, now they can go in there and tell more of the story, show more of the re-animation and mob elements and expand more on the Frankenstien legend.
It's Frankenstein mixed with a boy-and-his-dog story, very much like the original one. What's great is Tim grew up in Southern California, in Burbank, and the movie itself kind of takes that California suburban look at a monster movie story. I think that's what we're trying to do.
Sounds great to me! And hey! I grew up in Burbank CA as well!
More characters have been added to the story. When you take a film to feature length, it's only normal to introduce the audience to some new characters to help move the story along. The original short starred Barret Oliver as Victor Frankenstein and Daniel Stern and Shelley Duvall as his parents, Ben and Susan. Paul Bartel, Sofia Coppola and Jason Hervey played some of the neighbors.
There are a lot of great new characters in it, really great new characters. It's the ensemble. It's the Tim Burton ensemble. The neat thing about Tim is he can pretty much call up anybody he needs and they'll be happy to work with him.
So does this mean he will get the original actors to reprise and voice their roles? I am pretty certain Johnny Depp comes in to lend his voice to a character as well. I would be shocked if he didn't.
Tim Burton has full control, and can do what he wants. Did you know that Burton actually got fired from Disney for making the original Franenweenie? He did, because the studio thought it was too scary for kids. Now that he has become an incredibly successful director, and people love his stuff, Disney obviously wants to work with him now. They just recently relized there is a market out there for his work.
Unlike Tim's recent stop-motion movies, he's designing the characters himself. So you really get kind of the hand of the artist in it and get to see Tim's work itself. It's Tim Burton at his best. I think that's why he leapt at it, because when he started out making movies, it was his first choice for a live-action movie. I think he felt like, 'Gee, I wish I could've made a feature back then.' So now to come back and revisit the material is pretty fun for him, I think.
I love the fact that Burton is is designing the characters himself, that will give this film a little special touch that we haven't seen in a long time.
The film is in production! A 2011 release date was announced for the film. It takes quite a long time to animated a feature length film frame by frame and it looks like they have already built maquettes.
I'm not sure it's a 90-minute film. We're underway on it, and I think the most important thing is it has to be a good movie, so if it's not ready for 2011, then we'll let it drift into the next year, but we're up and running already.
Production is underway in London, where Burton did The Corpse Bride.
The primary reason to go there is Tim lives there, and there's a great group of talent over there also that is really into stop-motion animation.
I'm really excited that we are going to get to see this movie finally made! I love the direction they are taking it and I'm sure it will end up being a classic! I can't wat to see this story brought to life on the big screen as a full length feature! What do you all think!?
Click Here to watch the original Film!