Disney proudly shows off Frankenweenie at D23, based on the short that originally got Tim Burton fired
In the early 1980s, Tim Burton was a promising young animator at Disney, who frequently butted heads with the company, because Disney had their Disney way of doing things and Burton wanted films that were darker and more meaningful. And in 1984, he made a short film called “Frankenweenie” as an example of his vision.
And in 1984, Disney fired him for “wasting company resources on something that wouldn’t be profitable”. So it’s with no loss of irony that now in 2011, now that Tim Burton is a highly successful director who has made plenty of money for Disney with his version of Alice in Wonderland, that now Disney is all excited about producing a full length version of the short film that got him canned all those years ago.
Here’s a description of the short presentation from D23:
Stemming from the 1984 Burton-directed live-action short film of the same name, Frankenweenie tells of a misfit young boy, Victor, and his dog (equally “misfit,” we’re told). When the canine is hit by a car, Victor resurrects his pooch via his experiments. From there, things go awry and the locals are put into a tizzy when they come to learn the misunderstood dog has been brought back from the dead. The producers said that the feature film allowed Burton to explore themes and ideas he wasn’t able to with his short.
Abbate and Hahn stated up to 35 standing sets are being used by the animators during principal photography. They also added that Danny Elfman is, in fact, going to score the film.
The video presentation embraced the legacy of classic movie monsters, teasing the film like a gothic creature feature. As for the footage itself, Burton’s aesthetic is ubiquitous. Characters looked like wide-eyed, raven-haired, ashen figures, and don’t be surprised to see plenty of black-striped shirts. The design of Victor himself is very much inspired by Burton’s stop-motion short Vincent. As for the town Victor lives in, it was described as “Transylvania meets Burbank.” Frankenweenie was terrific. A scarred mess with a giant patch of what looks like Dalmation skin grafted to his back.
A lot of the clips shown featured Victor in his lab, equipment whirling and crackling to life. Other snippets featured Frankenweenie himself roaming about. It all went by rather fast.
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