Cast: Winona Ryder, Christopher Lee, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Atticus Shaffer, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Robert Capron, Tom Kenny, James Hiroyuki Liao
Synopsis: Tim Burton’s 1984 Short Film, Frankenweenie, is being brought back to life on the big screen.
Frankenweenie tells the story of a young boy named Victor and the relationship between him and his dog Sparky. After Sparky is hit by a car and put to rest, Victor performs a science experiment to bring Sparky back to life. When the experiment is a success, the monster version of Sparky begins to wreak havoc in Victor’s neighborhood, leading him to convince everybody that Sparky is still the good dog he’s always been.
Why It Could Succeed:
Tim Burton is a visual mastermind, and he’s always had an imaginative eerie touch to animation and has somehow made those movies cult classics audiences love to obsess over. So the odd look for Frankenweenie could inspire a whole new line of popular pillows and lunchboxes.
80’s and 90’s Burton is the best Burton. Burton came up with the idea and directed the short before he became a name, so you know that he’s put a lot of heart into this film. The black & white, stop motion animation looks incredible, almost reminding me of another amazing Burton film; The Nightmare before Christmas, maybe you’ve heard of it. On top of that, he’s had two decades to perfect this film and I don’t see him pulling a Glenn Close and releasing something messy.
The story itself is touching and intriguing. We all know the feeling of losing a pet, they’re our best friend and the idea that you could bring your pet to back to life in the same manner Frankenstein is created is incredible. He’s made the story of Frankenstein suitable for all ages. Wait, I take that back, The Nightmare Before Christmas did push the violent factor and knowing Burton, this may not be suitable for the really young kids who enjoy watching Finding Nemo. In addition, the film will be released in October and with all the crappy horror movies coming out during that month, Frankenweenie will be the film to see.
It’s animated, so Johnny Depp’s streak of overacting and Helena Bonham Carter won’t be anywhere near the film. Success indeed.
With Danny Elfman conducting the score we know it will be wonderfully fantastical.
I personally feel that the film will be fantastic just based on the sole fact that it’s old Tim Burton. I love Tim Burton, but since Big Fish, he has failed to put out a decent film. Some may have enjoyed Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland, but while he kept his visual styling the consistent, the quality of those films were poor. None of them were as strong as films like Ed Wood, Beetlejuice, Batman or Edward Sissorhands. I believe the film will be great because it won’t compare to anything he’s put out in the recent years.
Why It Could Fail:
It could get type casted as “just another Tim Burton film”. It’s obvious the guy has a certain style, but could people be tired of it and expect it to be just another dark film instead of seeing it for its originality?
The original short was thirty minutes long and what we see in the trailer is pretty much what the short contains, what will expanding the film do the story?
With Dark Shadows also in theaters this year, audiences could lose hope in his vision and filmmaking. We’ve seen throughout Burton’s career that he can be a hit and miss with remakes, Batman being a hit and Planet of the Apes being a big miss. Assuming Dark Shadows doesn’t do well and is a complete failure, audiences may wonder if remaking a film, despite care that it’s his own creation, is horrible idea.
Frankenweenie opens in theaters October 5th, 2012 and will be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
Best Animated Feature
Best Original Score
Best Visual Effects