I think Frankenweenie is going to be huge hit from what I have seen and heard. I was able to see a short preview of the film back in June and coming from someone who has never watched a Tim Burton movie, I thought it looked pretty good! It is about a young boy, named Victor who suddenly loses his beloved dog Sparky. Young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring back his friend with a few minor adjustments, and is unexpected faced with unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.
Frankenweenie was created using stop-motion, which means that an animator actually stops and positions the puppet throughout the movie.
Here are some fun facts about the making of Frankenweenie:
- Can you believe “Frankenweenie” is the first animated film that Tim Burton has directed for Disney?
- Stop-motion animation is one of the oldest animation styles. There are 24 frames per second in the stop motion for “Frankenweenie.” This means that the animator must stop and position the puppet 24 times to get one second of filmed action. On average, one animator can only produce 5 seconds of animation per week. Multiple puppets of the same character allowed animators to work on more than one scene at once. There were as many as 18 animators working independently of each other at one time
- All of the characters in “Frankenweenie” are based on Tim Burton’s drawings. He did some of the drawings in 1984 when the original live-action short of “Frankenweenie” was done and the others he drew especially for this new, feature-length animated version.
- The talented voice cast includes four actors who worked with Burton on previous films: Winona Ryder (“Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands”), Catherine O’Hara (“Beetlejuice,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”), Martin Short (“Mars Attacks!”) and Martin Landau (“Ed Wood,” Sleepy Hollow”).
- Over 200 puppets and sets were created for the film; there were 17 Victors and 12 Sparkys. Since each animator worked independently on different scenes, multiples were needed. They also needed backup in case a puppet required repair.
- The Puppet Hospital on the “Frankenweenie” set was always full. These highly trained model makers spent months repairing limbs, fixing hair and skin issues and mending costumes that were ripped or dirty. This team even found time to create all of the generic background puppets as well as a few of the main characters from scratch.
- The first puppet designed for the show was Sparky and the scale that they established with him set the standard for the whole rest of the film. Tim Burton had a very specific vision for Sparky’s character and really wanted him to act and move like a real dog. The armature needed to be very intricate and 4 inches is literally the smallest they could make him and still have him display all the behavior and personality that was required. Once they had his size fixed, the puppet makers were able to scale the rest of the characters and sets properly.
- The sets for the film were built on tabletops. The vast majority of the miniature props for the sets were made by hand and hand-painted and detailed.
To get a glimpse of the movie, the actual puppets and Stop-Action in motion play the clip below.
I plan on getting a babysitter on October 5th and having a date night to go watch Frankenweenie, how about you?
Frankenweenie opens in theaters October 5, 2012
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