Trailer Tuesday: Frankenweenie

I will always remember when King of Pop Michael Jackson died (25 June), because it coincides exactly with the traumatic day that our Golden Retriever was put down. It seems only appropriate then to post the trailer for director Tim Burton's next: the stop-motion horror-comedy Frankenweenie

In this black and white homage to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, young Vincent doesn't cope with the unexpected death of his dog Sparky. So he does the unthinkable and scientifically reanimates his beloved pooch. But while Vincent and cheerful Sparky are ecstatic at being reunited, the rest of their home town is horrified by the "monstrous" creation. With the voices of Burton collaborators Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short and Martin Landau.

If the name Frankenweenie rings a bell it's because the project is actually a remake of the  1984 live-action short that helped to launch Burton's directing career - and which, for the record, you can find on the Special Edition Nightmare Before Christmas DVD and Blu-Ray.

Featuring a similar look to Burton's last animated effort - the "mehCorpse Bride - Frankenweenie is being distributed by Disney who no doubt want to repeat the success of their last "dark" animated Burton collaboration, the spectacularly successful The Nightmare Before Christmas (written and produced by former animator Burton).

Now Burton's work has always been more about style than substance. However, the trailer for Frankenweenie - which nails the trauma of losing a pet - suggests that the film may actually attempt to mine real emotion out of the premise. I know it freshened 3 year old pain for me.

Curiously, Frankenweenie is one of 3 horror-tinted animated movies out in the US Fall this year; the others being Hotel Transylvania and ParaNorman. Evidently Hollywood has realised that older audiences - more appreciative than toddlers of quirky weirdness and supernatural themes -also enjoy animated movies.

Frankenweenie opens in 3D in North America on 5 October. The film's South African release date has yet to be set.


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