A Halloween surprise FRANKENWEENIE, from WALT DISNEY and Tim Burton, is all treat!

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FRANKENWEENIE, from the genius of Director Tim Burton, presents a story that will awaken the dead as it tells the tale of a promising, scientist filmmaker, his dog and a love that wouldn’t die.

Produced by Allison Abbate, Burton, and Don Hahn who also produced The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, FRANKENWEENIE, was written by John August based on an original idea from Burton and an additional screenplay by Lenny Ripps and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

FRANKENWEENIE, destined to be an instant classic, stars the amazing voice talent of Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short, who in addition to voicing Victor’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein, each take on additional roles; Martin Landau voices the enthusiastic science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski , Charlie Tehan as Victor, the budding brilliant scientist, and his classmates Atticus Shaffer as Edgar “E’ Gore, James Hiroyuki Liao as Toshiaki, Robert Capron as Bob, with Conchata Ferrell as Bob’s Mom and Winona Ryder as Elsa Van Helsing, Victor’s neighbor.

FRANKENWEENIE takes the viewer on a journey to a simpler time as Director Tim Burton, one wants to believe, revisits his own childhood recreating his own first venture into the filmmaking world and facing the challenges of balance. As Victor is a good son, he does make an effort and step into unknown territory to please his Dad. It’s there, in those uncharted waters, that what should be a triumphant sweet memory turns instantly into a traumatic nightmare.

Filmed in Black and White, which may seem an odd choice, as 3-D is generally thought to enhance, with eye-popping vividness, the color palette FRANKENWEENINE’s sliding black, white and gray scale are used to evoke a simpler time, pre-colorization, before the 1960’s explosion of change made its way into every household.

As it is stop motion animation, one of the first aspects of FRANKENWEENIE that strikes the neophyte animation eye is the fluidity of motion. Stop motion makes a static object appear as if it were moving and most stop motion animation, while excellent and truly great pieces of craftsmanship, don’t lend screen time to character actions that depict a need for long fluid motion scenes.  FRANKENWEENIE does.

The second element obvious to FRANKENWEENIE is the homage to great comedic light horror classics from early Chinese exports such as GODZILLA to Steven Spielberg’s THE GREMLINS and of course, Stephen King’s PET CEMETARY.

And while it appears as if animation filming is adults playing with miniature doll sets, it entails crews of animators creating the dolls, the molds, with delicate precision, creating mold after mold, primarily for facial movement and expression and also for each and every emotion and gesture.  

Another aspect of FRANKENWEENIE that is particularly interesting is the initial scenes where Victor, a humble, whiz-kid filmmaker, shows his parents the 3-D feature short film he made. For every budding filmmaker that has a chance to see FRANKENWEENIE, watching what looks like a pre-educated film, as Tim Burton creates and captures the essence of the film within a film; it is truly amazing.

One minor slip in this otherwise flawless presentation which is noticeable as Burton creates through the print pattern and clothing, to the vehicles and their classic odometers,  to the classmates  own admission, Victor was the scientist, the smartest of all, and the mention of computer simulation from Bob as he and Toshiaki attempted bigger, better, bolder science projects, well, it just seemed that without the budding scientist and boy wonder, Victor, possessing a computer, that the less than studious would not understand the mechanics of computer simulation.

FRANKENWEENIE is a delightful film! Tim Burton has created a masterpiece, with an intriguing story and genuine emotion. A Halloween surprise, FRANKENWEENIE is full of trickery and a treat for all! Fun for the entire family!

FRANKENWEENIE opens in theaters everywhere October 5, 2012.

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