Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie: 5 Things You Should Know
Tim Burton’s latest film, stop-motion animated Frankenweenie in 3D comes out to theaters today. It is a beautiful film for both adults and children alike loosely based on the Frankenstein story. The film was originally a live action short Burton made back in 1984 and is now being released as he always intended it to be.
But before you rush out to see the movie, here are some fun facts the voice cast (including Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Charlie Tahan and Atticus Shaffer), producers (including Allison Abbate and Don Hahn), writer John August, animation director Trey Thomas and Burton himself shared during a press day.
The Death of a Dog
Sparky’s (the dog) death in the film is at the heart of the film and there was a lot of talk about how a child’s first experience of death will be through a pet passing. Burton had to deal with his own dog loss as a child and he explained that a child’s relationship with his dog is the first pure relationship they have, and with Frankenweenie, he shared that “it was a positive way to explore those themes.”
Coming Up With Characters
According to the actors voicing the characters in the film, it can be a process to come up with the character voices, especially if those voices are completely different from your own voice.
Atticus Shaffer who does the voice of ‘E’ Gore talked about renting a few movies to study Egor-like characters and finding the correct voice for his character.
Catherine O’Hara explained her approach to finding Weird Girl’s voice as someone who had to be soft because “those kinds of people have to sneak up on you.”
As for Charlie Tahan, the voice of main character Victor, Burton told him to be a normal kid.
Martin Landau also shared that when he saw the movie, he was overjoyed at how the character Mr. Rzykruski acted because he would have played him the exact same way if he had been on camera.
Where Does The Title Come From?
Why Frankenweenie? Well, turns out there isn’t any big explanation to it other than “weenie” makes you think of something small and Tim Burton thought it was cute.
Woking With Tim Burton
When asked about working with Tim Burton the cast and producer had nothing but praise for him.
Martin Landau expressed how thrilled he was to be in the movie. He recounted that when he saw Beetlejuice for the first time, he said “I want to work with that guy. I don’t know who he is but he’s amazing.”
Winona Ryder said it was a big honor to be asked to be part of something so personal to Burton. He is one of her favorite people to be around. “He’s the same guy that I met 20 years ago,” she shared. She later added, “It’s about the moment that you’re in and you really get that with Tim.”
Martin Short shared, “You’re working with Tim Burton, so you’re excited.”
As for producer Allison Abbate, who had worked with Tim Burton previously, she acknowledged that she does her best work when she works with him. She added that it’s a satisfying experience working with him and that of course she also loves his films.
When asked what the biggest misconception people have about stop-motion, the consensus was that most people think it’s computer animated, which is not the case. The truth is animators have to physically move each puppet and everything else in the scene for each frame of the film.
To give you an idea, there are 24 frames per second of film, which means that the animator must stop and position the puppet 24 times to get one second of filmed action. On average, one animator can only produce 5 seconds of animation per week. Talk about impressive!
The only computer animation used was that they needed a set extension sometimes.
Frankenweenie is out in theaters starting today, October 5th, 2012.
Oh and in case you havent’ seen it yet, you should check out our coverage for the Frankenweenie exhibit that was a Comic-Con but is now at Disney’s California Adventure.
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