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Tim Burton on Dogs and His New Film Frankenweenie

By Michele C. Hollow of  Pet News and Views

In the upcoming stop-motion 3D animated film Frankenweenie, director Tim Burton shares a tale about a boy and his dog. From what I can tell from the trailer, Sparky dies and Victor brings him back to life.

Tim Burton holds one of the Sparky puppets from the film “Frankenweenie.” “On this film we have the opportunity to shoot black and white, which is part of the feeling of what it’s about,” he says.

Frankenweennie, written by John August, is based on an original idea by Burton.   When he was a child, Burton loved watching classic horror films; one of his favorites was Frankenstein.  In Frankenweenie, what was so compelling to Burton was the story of a boy and his dog. “The reason I originally wanted to make Frankenweenie was based on growing up and loving horror movies,” he says. “But it was also the relationship I had when I was a child with a certain dog that I had.  It’s a special relationship that you have in your life.  Dogs obviously don’t usually live as long as people, so therefore you experience the end of that relationship. So that, in combination with the Frankenstein story, just seemed to be a very powerful thing to me—a very personal kind of remembrance.”

Seventeen Victors and twelve Sparkys were made for the film “Frankenweenie.”

More than 200 puppets and sets were created for Frankenweenie.  The first puppet designed for the movie was Sparky and the scale that they established with him set the standard for the rest of the film. Burton had a very specific vision for Sparky’s character and really wanted him to act and move like a real dog.  A dozen Sparkys were made for the film, and there was a puppet hospital on the set, which was always full.

Frankenweenie opens October 5.  I am planning on going to a screening, and will report back on how the film handles pet loss and the relationship between a boy and his dog. Click here to see the trailer.

24 comments to Tim Burton on Dogs and His New Film Frankenweenie

  • dog crates

    I am looking forward to seeing this film.

  • Harris

    I want to see the film too. Interesting angle on this film Michele. Good job as always.

  • Inez

    My kids are asking to see it when it opens. We’ve seen the trailer, and it looks like a lot of fun.

  • Sophie

    I’m taking the kids to see this too. I love Tim Burton’s work. Coraline is one of my favorite movies.

  • Heidi

    This looks like a good movie. I’m also curious as to how the “losing a dog” story line will be treated.

  • Deborah

    Tim Burton is one of the greatest film directors of our time. I’m looking forward to seeing this.

  • Robert

    What fun. I am also taking the kids to see this movie. Maybe we will hug our dog even more after seeing it.

  • Mary

    And I love that it will be in Black and White. My kids just don’t watch Black and White movies. I am hoping this will open up their minds to seeing other black and white films.

  • Trish

    Sounds like a fun film with a moving story arc. I am looking forward to seeing it.

  • Justin

    I see that pets and humans aren’t the only ones with stunt doubles–17 Victors and 12 Sparkys!

  • Caitlin

    I’m new here, and will come back again. This is such a diverse site. I love how you cover such a wide range of animal topics–like this movie, which I am going to see when it opens.

  • Sandra

    Tim Burton is a great director, and it seems like he has a good heart covering a topic like the loss of a pet. I wonder if this film will teach us something.

  • Mike

    I heard that Catherine O’Hara is one of the voices. I love her.

  • Charlene

    The film stars the voices of Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, and Winona Ryder. We are going to see it. Thanks for the preview, and we look forward to your review of this film.

  • Lynn

    We love 3D and will opt to see it in 3D. It looks like a fun movie.

  • Jim

    That is great that you are going to a preview. It looks like a wonderful movie. I look forward to reading your review of it.

  • Molly

    I’m a longtime reader, and I love Pet News and Views. I am going to share this post. I am also going to see this movie when it comes out.

  • Royce

    Fun facts about the puppet hospital. I love stop-action films. Coraline is one of my favorite movies. I have a good feeling about this one too.

  • Laura

    Glad this is in B&W, which will add a sharpness and creepiness to the film.

  • Dawn

    I am studying animation, and I want to see this film. We can learn a lot about movie making by watching different styles. This sounds like a good idea for a movie.

  • Wanda

    I like that Frankenweenie will cover pet loss and letting go. It is a hard topic–especially for kids. As a pet parent and a parent to two small children, it is so hard for all of us when a pet dies.

  • That’s a wonderful concept. I am looking forward to watching it!

  • Martin Schiele

    Haha, Michele C. Hollow sounds like an appropriately Burton-esque name – awesome!

    Interesting post. I might plan on seeing Frankenweenie too.

    Martin Schiele | Anicura

  • Chris

    Wow! So impressed you spoke to Tim Burton. Sounds like an interesting film. Since this one is about a dog, I just might see it!