The first time I saw anything related to Tim Burton was when I turned my TV on one day and saw a Disney special about their new talent, I was about 7. They showed segments of a stop-motion short called “Vincent”, about a young boy who dreamed about being Vincent Price. It was uncanny looking and scared me, yes, but there was something about it that I just loved. I’m older now, but I still find Tim Burton’s take on cinema fascinating (and also spooky, in a good way).
In his new project Frankenweenie he goes back to an early live action project of his, made during the years he worked for Disney (can you imagine a Black and White short about a kid who brings his dead dog back to life “Frankenstein-Style” during the 80’s? By Disney? Exactly.) But guess what? Burton has proved to be an audience pleaser over the years.
You can tell by now I’m a Burton fan, and I’m aware is not the common denominator among film lovers. I admire the fact that he is able to mash up so many cinematic genres (German Expressionism, Pop Art, B-Movies, and others) and still his sense of aesthetics is so strong you can tell is a film of his after a few scenes have appeared on screen.
OK, enough with the “Burton Fest”, I have a main concern about this trailer and its acceptance. Besides its humor and a beautiful score by Danny Elfman, the fact that a kid is bringing his beloved dog back to life might appear unsettling to general audiences. I love the concept of the film: stop-motion, an homage to old school horror, Vincent Price, vintage Black and White films, but I really don’t think any big studio would have backed up this type of project without a big household name in animation like Burton behind it (he’s responsible of successful films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride).
I’m personally excited about this movie: it’s unique, adorably quirky, very stylish, and it’s made in an old school technique continued by few due to its high production costs.
Even if you are not a Burton fan at all, you can see it like this: here’s a director who appreciates cinema, and wants to channel his project through a vintage format in a very unique way to main stream audiences. Just because of that I think is a film worth checking out. And a dog with a big light striking Pompadour doesn’t hurt either.