Frankenweenie is an unusual film, which is the sort of thing that people always used to say about Tim Burton movies. In this case it is unusual because unlike Burton films such as Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, which seemed like uncontrollable explosions of the director’s own childhood impulses, Frankenweenie feels like a very calculated trip back down memory lane. It’s less a meander than a guided Star Tour.

To an extent, the calculated feel is pretty typical of Burton’s recent output. It is also an unavoidable byproduct of the stop-motion animation employed to recreate Burton’s early story of a boy who reanimates his fallen dog, Frankenstein-style. Stop-motion, particularly when using models and sets as intricately detailed as those in this film, requires meticulous planning, and while it can create stories that feel spontaneous and uncontrollable (see A Town Called Panic), Frankenweenie simply isn’t that sort of film.

Instead, this is a movie about gaining control. As a return to the story idea that famously saw Burton fired from Disney, Frankenweenie is more than ever a movie about doing things right the second time, whatever the consequences may be. In Burton’s case, the consequences are likely pretty good, as this is his first movie in some time that points directly to what people liked in his films in the first place. Frankenweenie is a pleasing, endearing movie, even when it fails to follow through on some of its own best ideas. Read More »

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You can’t fault studios for wanting to give audiences a peek at the goods, if that’s what it takes to get dollars to the ticket counter. But with some overhyped pictures, it seems like they’re not bothering to leave anything at all for the actual theatergoing experience. In the worst cases, not even the ending is kept under wraps.

Now theatergoers’ complaints about too-revealing trailers have finally gotten loud enough that marketers are doing something about it. Movie lovers in France have recently noticed placards before some trailers that promise not to spoil the films they’re advertising. You can see one such card above — for those who don’t understand French, it translates to “In order to ensure that its various plot elements and surprises remain unrevealed, this trailer is only based on the first half of the film.”

Sadly, those placards have only popped up in France so far. But keep airing your grievances, and with some luck maybe they’ll catch on in the U.S. soon. [FSR]

After the jump, check out two cute anti-cell phone PSAs featuring the characters of Frankenweenie and Finding Nemo 3D.

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Apparently, something about stop-motion animation and family-oriented horror comedy just goes hand-in-hand. Over the next few months, we’ll be getting not one but two such movies. The offbeat ParaNorman, from Coraline studio Laika, will hit first in August, while Tim Burton‘s 3D black-and-white feature Frankenweenie will hit a few weeks before Halloween.

Each production has just released a video offering a closer look at just how films get made, whether it’s clothing the characters or building the sets. Hit the jump for more.

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Now that Dark Shadows has come and gone, Tim Burton fans have another film to look forward to later this year. It’s called Frankenweenie. The 3D black and white stop motion animated film version of one of Burton’s early short films will be released October 5, right in time for Halloween. And, if you’re heading to Fantastic Fest 2012 in Austin, Texas, you can see it there as it has just been officially announced as the opening night film of the awesome festival taking place from September 20-27.

Last month, I was lucky enough to see a large selection of footage from the film and it really impressed. You can click here to read a bit about that and watch a video blog. I also had the pleasure to speak to Burton himself at the event and, along with a handful of other journalists, we discussed the making of this film, his personal connection to it, casting, various types of animation, a slew of rumored upcoming projects (Pinocchio, Beetlejuice 2, Big Eyes, etc.) and more.

With the film appearing at San DiegoComic-Con in a few weeks, a new trailer just released, and the Fantastic Fest opening night screening, now seemed like the perfect time to run our interview.  Read More »

Tim Burton has been in something of a slump these past couple of years. Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows both received mixed to negative reviews, although the former went on to make tons of money anyway. And his latest producing efforts haven’t fared much better: 9 proved a forgettable flop, while this past weekend’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter left audiences rolling their eyes.

But there is one Burton movie on the horizon that could turn things around. Frankenweenie, a black-and-white stop-motion animated feature based on Burton’s own short film from 1984, looks like a return to the weird but warm Burton of old. The early promos focused mainly on young Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) and his attempt to bring his deceased dog Sparky back to life, but Germain revealed after watching a 26-minute preview that the story actually becomes much bigger than that. The newest trailer gives us a better idea of what exactly happens next. Watch it after the jump.

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With Tim Burton in press mode promoting Dark Shadows, Disney took the opportunity to show a bunch of journalists scenes from his other 2012 release: Frankenweenie. Burton’s 3D black and white return to stop motion animation (after producing The Nightmare Before Christmas and co-directing Corpse Bride) is a re-telling of one of his earliest films, the story of a young boy who brings his dog back to life a la Frankenstein.

Burton specially edited together 26 minutes of footage from the movie to give an idea of the tone, humor and scope of what audiences will see come October 5. Not surprisingly, Frankenweenie is decidedly dark, but with a quirky, fun tone that escalates into something much bigger than the early trailers have suggested. After the jump, check out a video blog I recorded about the footage as well as some new photos from the movie. Read More »

Two films we’ve been looking forward to will be making an even bigger splash than we had anticipated. The IMAX Corporation has announced that Tim Burton‘s Frankenweenie and Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus will each be getting IMAX 3D releases, starting on the same day as their regular theatrical runs. Though neither film was shot in IMAX, they’re both being digitally re-mastered into the IMAX format. More details after the jump.

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‘Frankenweenie’ Trailer

Tim Burton‘s Frankenweenie is a great example of how tastes and trends change. When the young director made the first live-action black and white version of the story for Disney in the early ’80s, the company fired him, saying the film was too scary for a family audience.

Now, almost thirty years later, strange and macabre stories are more powerful in popular culture than ever, thanks in part to the ground laid by the features Burton directed after Frankenweenie. And Disney enjoyed one of its greatest successes of recent years in Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. So Frankenweenie became the Burton/Disney mulligan, as the director has now overseen a feature-length retelling of the comic remake/parody of Frankenstein, this time rendered in black and white stop motion animation. The first trailer is available now, and you can see it below. Read More »

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