Frankenweenie is a paradox for writer-director Tim Burton. Burton’s style has become a cage. His spirals, stripes, high-contrast colors, preference for Danny Elfman‘s scores, and reliance on Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter made it seem like Burton had reached the limits of his creative powers. This limitation was highlighted by using it as a catch-all for any adaptation, and he’s only done adaptations since 2005′s Corpse Bride (and that was his only non-adaptation since 1990′s Edward Scissorhands). Strangely enough, by doing a stop-motion animated adaptation of Frankenweenie—based off his 1984 short film of the same name—Burton has come back to his origins in a way that hasn’t changed his style (although there’s no Depp or Carter), but rediscovered the fun and warmth that used to be intertwined into his visuals and tone.
Director Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie is set to open in theaters on October 5th, but we have some previews to share with you today. Two new clips have gone online for Disney’s stop-motion animated film that was based on Burton’s original idea and 1984 short film. One of today’s clips shows young Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) in the process of resurrecting his deceased pet dog, Sparky (Frank Welker). The second clip reveals that Victor’s secret is out, when classmate Edgar (Atticus Shaffer) pops by to share in Victor’s success. The behind-the-scenes featurette is a bit spoilery and spotlights a good amount of plot points, but it does show some interesting puppetry work behind the camera. Hit the jump to check it all out.
Walt Disney Studios has released the official synopsis for Tim Burton’s feature-length adaptation of his own 1984 short Frankenweenie:
After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.
Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, and Atticus Shaffer will voice the characters in the 3D black-and-white stop-motion animated film, due October 5, 2012. Hit the jump to see the full production notes.