WATCH: Death, Zombie-Making, and Other Childhood Concerns Abound in Frankenweenie Trailer
Leave it to Tim Burton to make even the gruesomest scenarios utterly heart-wrenching; I started welling up during the first 30 seconds of the new trailer for Frankenweenie, the black and white stop-motion animation adaptation of Burton's well-loved short of the same name. Watch it and shed a tear for the childhood pets you once loved.
Frankenweenie is the tale of young Victor Frankenstein, who loses his beloved dog and best friend, Sparky, and then brings him back to life with science. The feature-length animation is adapted from Burton's original Frankenweenie featurette, one of his early works and a live-action short that starred The NeverEnding Story's Barret Oliver, Shelley Duvall, Daniel Stern, and a young Sofia Coppola.
As lore tells it, Burton's overlords at Disney were initially displeased with the 1984 Frankenweenie and fired him for making a movie that was too scary for kids; Burton went on to make his feature directorial debut on Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and subsequently made his name with the same macabre-yet-sweet sensibility that earned him the boot from Disney in the first place.
Almost three decades later, Burton comes full circle with Frankenweenie and Disney, who hitched themselves to Burton with The Nightmare Before Christmas (released by Touchstone) and most recently enjoyed a megahit with his Alice in Wonderland. In a way, Burton himself prepped audiences to accept the kind of dark children's storytelling in Frankenweenie with his previous films, so it all feels like poetic justice.
Verdict: Frankenweenie looks like the perfect melding of Nightmare/Corpse Bride-style stop motion and Burton's original short, down to the Poodle Bride of Frankenweenie. Sold!
Frankenweenie hits theaters October 5.