On the eve of its nationwide theatrical release, director Tim Burton and Walt Disney Pictures want to give fans a taste of their new 3D stop-motion horror/comedy “Frankenweenie” through a featurette showcasing the so called ‘Puppet Hospital.’ The featurette includes interviews with Tim Burton and actress Winona Ryder and gives a very brief tour of where the figures are sculpted, painted, repaired, dressed, and have their hair styled. It’s truly amazing how Disney and Burton have created a film which uses stop-motion animation. This process has been rapidly replaced by CGI due to budget costs and time, and is considered to be a dwindling, but much loved and respected form of film expression. Beautiful to look at, many moviegoers and film buffs recall the painstaking work done by stop-motion masters Willis H. O’Brien (1933’s “King Kong,”) and Ray Harryhausen (1981’s “Clash of the Titans.”) Check the featurette out for yourself.
If you’ve been out of the loop, here’s the storyline for the film.
When young Victor’s pet dog Sparky (who stars in Victor’s home-made monster movies) is hit by a car, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked “monster” wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor’s neighbors, he has to convince them (and his parents) that despite his appearance, Sparky’s still the good loyal friend he’s always been.
* Note: The ‘Puppet Hospital’ is an obscure reference made in Burton’s 2005 “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” film. While Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) is giving a tour of his factory, he mentions, “This is the puppet hospital and burn center. It’s relatively new.” This of course follows the disastrous introduction and first impression Wonka makes to the “Golden Ticket” winners when his singing puppet show goes up in flames.
The animated horror/comedy “Frankenweenie” will open in theaters on October 5th. The film showcases the vocal talents of Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Christopher Lee, Robert Capron, Atticus Shaffer, James Hiroyuki Liao, and Tom Kenny. John August wrote the screenplay based on the story by Tim Burton and Leonard Ripps. Tim Burton directs.
Sources: Red Carpet Crash, inadepptrance, IMDb