For Tim Burton, this year is 2005 all over again. In 2005, the director first released the big-budget, live-action Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the summer, followed by the stop-motion animated Corpse Bride in the fall. The latter earned Burton his first and only Oscar nomination (for animated feature film). Cut to 2012. Burton’s big-budget, live-action horror comedy Dark Shadows, his eighth collaboration with star Johnny Depp, hits theaters this weekend. But waiting in the wings is Frankenweenie, a 3-D stop-motion animated monster movie that’s very dear to Burton’s heart.
Frankenweenie is a remake of the 1984 black-and-white, live-action short of the same name, which Burton directed for Disney at the tender age of 25. At the time, Disney shelved the PG-rated short, about a suburban boy who brings his dead pooch back to life, deeming it too scary. But when Burton became a big-name director, the studio gave the short a home-video release in 1992, and it can now be found on the DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Burton originally envisioned Frankenweenie as a stop-motion animated movie, but opted for live-action due to budgetary concerns. “I’m kind of grateful that it was live-action, because if it had been animation, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into live-action,” said Burton. “It was a very lucky break in a way.” That’s because after actor Paul Reubens saw Frankenweenie, he hired Burton to direct his 1985 film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which led to Beetlejuice, which led to Batman, and so on.
Burton’s feature-length version of Frankenweenie isn’t due for another five months (Disney will release it on Oct. 5), but EW recently sat down with the filmmaker and picked his brain — hiding beneath all those famously unruly curls of hair — about the project. READ FULL STORY