Frankenweenie Debuts

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Frankenweenie debuts on October 5, 2012 and is a 2012 3D stop motion sci-fi family film directed by Tim Burton. It is a remake of Burton's 1984 short film of the same name and is a parody of and an homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein based on Mary Shelley's book of the same name. Like both those films, Frankenweenie is in black and white. It is also the fourth stop-motion film produced by Burton and the first of those four that isn't a musical. In the film, a boy named Victor loses his dog, named Sparky, and uses the power of science to resurrect him.

Frankenweenie, the first black-and-white feature film and the first stop-motion film to be released in IMAX 3D, was released by Walt Disney Pictures on October 5, 2012 and met with positive reviews and moderate box office sales. The film won a Saturn Award for Best Animated Film is nominated for a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and an Academy Award for Best Film in each respective animated category.

Although Tim Burton signed with Disney to direct two films in Disney Digital 3D, including Alice in Wonderland and his remake of Frankenweenie, development for its full-length stop motion version dates as far back as November 2005, when scripts had been written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott. John August was approached for a rewrite in 2006, but was not hired until January 2009. Like the original, the feature version is shot in black and white. Many of the animation artists and crew from Corpse Bride are involved. In addition to remaking his earlier project, Burton is also borrowing heavily from his design from the titular character of Family Dog for Sparky.

Filming began at Three Mills Studios in July 2010. The crew created three giant sound stages, including Victor's cluttered family attic, a cemetery exterior, and a high school interior. The sound stages were then divided into 30 separate areas to deal with the handcrafted, frame-by-frame style of film-making. Compared to other stop-motion animation sets, Frankenweenie's set is much larger. As IGN notes, the main character Sparky had to be “'dog-size' compared to the other human characters, but also large enough to house all the elements of the mechanical skeleton secreted within his various foam and silicon-based incarnation”. On the other hand, the mechanics are small and delicate, and in some instances they had to have Swiss watchmakers create the tiny nuts and bolts. Around 200 separate puppets were used, with roughly 18 different versions of Victor. The puppets also have human hair, with 40–45 joints for the human characters and about 300 parts for Sparky.

 

 

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