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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In 1984 Tim Burton made a short called Frankenweenie, about a kid who uses Frankenstein-like science to bring his deceased pet back to life. Deemed too dark and family-unfriendly to release, the black and white short cost Burton his job at Disney, but ultimately turned into a sort of demo reel that helped him make Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. In the quarter-century that followed the ’84 short, we’ve seen Burton’s friendly-goth style become hugely popular, and now Disney is bankrolling a feature-length remake of Frankenweenie. This new film is in 3D, but animated with stop-motion, and it is still shot in black and white.

Check out the first stills from the film below. Read More »

Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’ Details Revealed

Walt Disney Pictures have released the official plot synopsis for Tim Burton‘s big screen adaptation of his earlier short film Frankenweenie.

In Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences. A stop-motion animated film, “Frankenweenie” will be filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D, which will elevate the classic style to a whole new experience. From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. 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.

They have also released a set of facts about the production. For example, over 200 puppets and sets were created for the film. Read the complete one-pager after the jump.

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Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie 3D Gets a Voice Cast

frankenweenie_cast

Fitting for a film that finds Tim Burton returning to where his career first began, the Hot Topic-favorite director has a voice cast in place for Frankenweenie 3D that will reunite him with some familiar faces. To recap: the film is a stop-motion Disney animated feature, based on his ’80s black-and-white short about a boy named Victor who reanimates his dog after its hit by a car.

So who has Burton lined up for the film? Well, in case you can’t put the names to the faces in the pic above: Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara. More details on the casting after the break. Read More »

de-niro-bellucci

Why should Robert De Niro be this lucky? He’s signed on to be in Manual of Love 3, the third chapter in an Italian romantic drama/comedy series. That’s odd enough, but he’ll be playing an American professor who is the love interest of Monica Bellucci. If there’s a stranger pairing I’m not sure I can think of it right now. I doubt De Niro is complaining.  [Variety]

After the break, Barry Levinson’s son hires Thomas Haden Church and Martin Landau, and Charisma Carpenter books an indie thriller. Read More »

9 Movie Trailer

9 is a computer animated film produced by Tim Burton (The Corpse Bride) and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Nightwatch), directed by former WETA Digital artist Shane Acker, and featuring the music of Danny Elfman. Based on Acker’s Academy Award-nominated 2005 film festival short (watch it on YouTube), 9 is a post-apocalyptic nightmare in which all of humanity is threatened. The official plot synopsis follows:

“When 9 (Wood) first comes to life, he finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world. All humans are gone, and it is only by chance that he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam the earth intent on their extinction. Despite being the neophyte of the group, 9 convinces the others that hiding will do them no good. They must take the offensive if they are to survive, and they must discover why the machines want to destroy them in the first place. As they’ll soon come to learn, the very future of civilization may depend on them.”

The group includes 1 (Christopher Plummer), a domineering war veteran; 2 (Martin Landau), an aged inventor; 5 (John C. Reilly), a stalwart mechanic; 6 (Crispin Glover), a visionary and artist; and 7 (Jennifer Connelly), a brave warrior. I like Acker’s unique art style which could be described as a darker/post apocalyptic version of what Tim Burton use to do, with a touch of LittleBigPlanet. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/9trailer.flv 470 248]

Watch the trailer in High Definition on Apple. 9 hits theaters on 9.9.09.

City of Ember Movie Trailer

City of Ember

The latest fantasy novel adaption from Fox Walden is City of Ember. Based on the 2003 novel by Jeanne Duprau, Ember follows two kids, Lina and Doon, who live in the City of Ember, where the sky is always dark. As Ember’s power source begins to fail and the lamps start to flicker, they search for clues that will unlock ancient mysteries about the city and save the people of Ember. The film stars Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Saoirse Ronan, Harry Treadaway, Toby Jones, Martin Landau, Mackenzie Crook, Mary Kay Place, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste.

I’ve been waiting for a really long time for a good children’s fantasy film like the stuff from my childhood (Henson’s Labyrinth anyone?). My theory is that most of the recent films, Narnia and the recent Potter films included, have forgotten the ingredient that makes these type of stories worth watching – that being the fun. But the whole point of being in a fantasy world is to enjoy some of it’s magic and wonder. And while story is very important, too much story can lead to too few of these fun and wondrous moments I’m talking about. And while this teaser trailer is only a minute and a half in length, not nearly enough to give a full indication of the film, I can see that the almost steam-punkish production design could easily lend itself to the fun and wonder that I was previously referring to. But tell me what you think in the comments after watching the trailer below.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/cityofemberteaser.flv 470 270]

City of Ember hits theaters on October 10th 2008.

Discuss: What do you think of the City of Ember movie trailer?

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