As I decribed in our podcast on the films of Tim Burton, I’m growing just a little tired of Burton’s work – and I know I’m not alone. In recent years, Burton’s films have become way less risky, oversaturated in bright colours and whimsy, far too commercial, and always seem to star Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. While I like both actors, it just doesn’t seem like Burton knows how to use their talents. Anyway, Frankenweenie has got me intrigued, simply because it doesn’t appear to feature either of those actors, it’s in black and white, and it’s returning to Burton’s roots, combining the protagonist from his short film Vincent and the plot of his early live action short also called Frankenweenie. There’s the potential here for a long-awaited return to form from Burton…but I’m hoping there will be more to this movie than we see in the trailers. One of the weaknesses of Burton’s original Frankenweenie was that it was literally nothing more than a retelling of Frankenstein, but with a boy and his dog instead of the doctor and the monster. The plot was exactly the same as Mary Shelley’s story, and the gag wore a bit thin by the end of Frankenweenie‘s original 30-minute running time. Can Burton sustain the same premise over 90 minutes with some help from his trademark stop-motion artistry? Time will tell, I suppose.
Frankenweenie comes out October 5, 2012.