Hey Film Fans!
In 1984, a young animator working at Walt Disney Studios made a 30-minute live-action short film about 10-year-old Victor Frankenstein and the trouble that ensues after he manages to resurrect his beloved dead dog Sparky in his makeshift attic laboratory. Early test screenings went so badly that Disney shelved the film and the animator was fired. That novice animator was Tim Burton, and considering the incredible career he’s had since, one could say there is some merit in failure.Decades later, that very same studio is fully behind Burton’s return to that same pet project, this time as a full-length, black-and-white, 3D stop-motion animated film. And thank goodness for that, because here’s how good 2012’s Frankenweenie is: It is more Beetlejuice than Alice In Wonderland, more Ed Wood than Sweeney Todd, and infinitely more Edward Scissorhands than Planet Of The Apes. Hoorah!
Burton has said that Sparky was inspired by the dog he had as a child, and his emotional connection to the material shows. It feels personal, from the characters and the plot, to the lovingly detailed stop-motion animation. What makes this movie extra special is the story: A cleverly simple tale of a touching relationship between a boy and his dog, all wrapped up in kook, funny and fright.
“I’m really bad at games!” he blurted out during our interview. “That’s why people who know me never ask me to play games at parties!” He smiles sheepishly at me and starts to laugh. And I forgive him — for not being able to give me a quick-fire answer when we try and play word-association with his oeuvre of films. And for making Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd and Planet Of The Apes.
Because this is the inimitable visionary who’s also given us Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Batman Returns (1992), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Mars Attacks!(1996) and Big Fish (2003), forever leaving his unique stamp on film history. How can you stay mad at resume like that?
Welcome back, Mr Burton. He’s alive!!!
Let me know what you think of the inimitable Tim Burton and his “pet” (pun fully intended) project?
Always remember to Snap, Crackle and POPcorn!
Your Flick Chick