Frankenweenie: Final Preview - Undead Monday

Posted by Grey Monday, October 8, 2012

This Undead Monday, we take one last look at Tim Burton's second take at his legendary 1984 short film that got the now iconic film-maker fired by Disney, Frankenweenie. Just in time for this Hallowed season, The Daily Zombies give our Final Preview on the unsurprisingly awesome-looking stop-motion animated film

Earlier this year, we have already witnessed an awesome display of stunning stop-motion animation with some nifty undead element in ParaNorman, the stop-motion feature film from the talented folks from LAIKA, Inc. While we here at The Daily Zombies definitely have more rooms in our Undead hearts for more zombie-themed animated goodness, when it comes to Tim Burton's latest stop-motion animated film, Frankenweenie, one can't help but to consider if the world really need yet another Burton-esque cinematic vision with his signature high-contrast visual style and black humour, Danny Elfman's music score and a film that is in fact a second take on an otherwise unknown original licence? 

Making its world première at the Fantastic Fest last month to generally positive reviews, Frankenweenie is in fact a stop-motion animated remake of Tim Burton's 1984 live-action short film of the same name. Starring Shelley Duvall, the light-hearted though somewhat unconventionally-themed film was an obvious parody and homage to the classic 1931 film, Frankenstein, that made actor Boris Karloff famous. Originally scheduled to debut theatrically before a re-release of Pinocchio in 1984, the execs at the studio were so frustrated at Burton's efforts that the plan to screen the film was indefinitely shelved, claiming that Burton had wasted company resources on a film deemed too scary for young audiences. Following the mainstream success of Burton's later feature films such as Beetleuice and Batman, the 1984 Frankenweenie was given a home video release in 1994 as an extra on The Nightmare Before Christmas DVD. And here we are with a reboot of the old short film with a tried-and-true winning formula of a boy and his dog (albeit an undead reanimated one). Yes, Burton is now even adapting himself.

With that history lesson in mind, there are bound to be some speculations on whether if the stop-motion animation take on the original film is really an vanity project of Burton's to right some wrongs that fell on him in his formative years or if it is something fans really wanted. 

As always, we here at The Daily Zombies don't just go around bringing up questions without our undead views in line. While LAIKA, Inc.'s ParaNorman is a no doubt a much-needed jab in the vein for the zombie genre which has by now become a rapidly run-of-the-mill cash cow, Frankenweenie serves a purpose all its own: The good old throwback at the old-fashion horror films we have come to known and loved, in a unmistakeably style that only Tim Burton can deliver. The original 1984 film has its heart in the right place but is perhaps a little too far out of its time, indicative of Burton's talent for dark materials. 

We are delighted with what we have seen thus far from the abundant materials that Disney have showered upon the media and are glad to see Burton striking that delicate balance between his burgeoning status as a blockbuster film-maker (can't help but notice that "From the Director of Alice in Wonderland") and an eccentric one with the film being the first-ever black-and-white feature film and the first stop-motion film to be released in IMAX 3D. Yes, yes, we do know that Liam Neeson's Taken 2 has officially taken down the poor undead poodle in last weekend's box office war. But we urge any fans of the quirky undead and a little black humour to check out the film not to only lend some much-needed support for the film-maker that we have come to love and loathe and love again, but to also quench that thirst for some oddball tale delivered in stunning stop-motion the likes that only Burton can provide.

For those who remained doubtful over this one, we implore you to check out these trailers and clips from the film.

The "homage" trailer.

The full-length trailer.


 The first trailer.


Clips from the film. 

 Frankenweenie Clip - LIGHTNING!


Frankenweenie Clip - BIGGER PROBLEMS!

Frankenweenie Clip - EDGAR KNOWS

 Featurette from the film. 

 Frankenweenie - A Look Inside The Puppet Hospital

Frankenweenie - Meet Sparky

A clip showcasing the art of the film that will be featured in the "Frankenweenie - The Art of Frankenweenie Exhibition."


Here are the character poster set.

The set of posters inspired by classic monster films to commemorate the release.

The other posters, including overseas edition as well.

Here are the official character images with bios. 

VICTOR (voiced by Charlie Tahan) 

Victor Frankenstein is a clever and industrious 10-year-old boy who is inspired by science. He lives with his parents and dog, Sparky, in the town of New Holland. Victor immerses himself in making films and inventing in his attic workshop. When Sparky dies in a car accident, Victor uses scientific ingenuity to bring him back to life. 


Sparky is a devoted and playful bull terrier whose sense of curiosity is matched only by his beloved owner, Victor. Sparky enjoys chasing after balls and being the star of Victor’s homemade movies. He exudes tons of energy and enthusiasm, which even his untimely death doesn’t diminish.

MR. & MRS. FRANKENSTEIN (Voiced by Catherine O’Hara & Martin Short )

Mr. Frankenstein is a travel agent, friendly and social, who likes to dispense roundabout advice to his son. He is proud of Victor’s accomplishments, but is concerned he doesn’t have any friends other than Sparky. He would prefer his son be more social and encourages him to join the baseball team. Mr. Frankenstein has a playful and loving relationship with his wife, Victor’s mom.

Mrs. Frankenstein is a loving and supportive mother who encourages her son’s scientific pursuits, even when her kitchen appliances end up in his attic lab. She is an avid reader and loves to watch movies with her husband and enjoys the company of her family and her books.

ELSA VAN HELSING (voiced by Winona Ryder) 

Elsa Van Helsing is a soulful and somber classmate of Victor. She lives next door to him with her tyrant uncle, Mayor Burgemeister, who forces her to be this year’s “Little Dutch Girl” at the town’s celebration of Dutch Day. Elsa also has a beloved pet, her poodle Persephone, and truly empathizes with Victor when he loses Sparky.


Persephone is a perfectly groomed black poodle with an enormously large poof of hair on her head. She is curious and flirtatious with Sparky and fiercely loyal to Elsa, her owner. When Persephone and Sparky first meet in the backyard, the attraction is instantaneous and electrifying.

TOSHIAKI (voiced by James Hiroyuki Liao)

Toshiaki is over-achieving and mega-competitive. He delights in beating Victor at his own game and like a power-hungry, mad scientist, Toshiaki will stop at nothing to win the top prize in the school’s science fair, even if it means stealing Victor’s ideas to do it.

BOB (voiced by Robert Capron) 

Bob is a momma’s boy who is the brawn to Toshiaki’s brains. He is agreeable and never mean-spirited, but on the flip side he’s easily led and gullible. Bob follows Toshiaki everywhere, but is the first one to run to Victor for help when he gets in over his head.

BOB’S MOM (voiced by Conchata Ferrell)

Bob’s Mom is a plump, suburban housewife who is prone to panic and hysteria when things go awry. She has very simple, stereotypical views on life, which she isn’t shy about sharing with the community. She dotes on her son Bob and believes her actions, though often misguided, are in his best interest.

And here are some of the official images from the film.

Over at the soundtrack department, Tim Burton has assembled an interesting line-up headlined by Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs with an original track entitled "Strange Love," with artists such as Robert Smith (of The Cure) and others. Hit the jump for a clip of "Strange Love" and head back to check out the complete press release.

BURBANK-CA — August 10, 2012 – Karen O has written an original song which will be featured in the end credits to Disney’s highly anticipated movie, Frankenweenie, directed by Tim Burton. “Strange Love” is included on Frankenweenie Unleashed!, a 14-track compilation of music from and inspired by the film. Frankenweenie Unleashed! will be released on September 25, 2012. 

As singer/songwriter/composer and the lead singer for the rock band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O has collaborated with artists in music and film over the past ten years, including Spike Jonze, Trent Reznor, David Lynch, Flaming Lips, Barnaby Clay, Carter Burwell and many others. Karen composed the score for the acclaimed 2009 film Where The Wild Things Are (with Carter Burwell,) and she co-wrote the song All is Love (with Nick Zinner) which was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song for a Motion Picture. Most recently, Karen contributed vocals to the Trent Reznor produced cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” for David Fincher’s feature The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Karen O told Rolling Stone, “Tim [Burton] wanted an unconventional unconditional love song. My music inspiration came out of the same era of B movie fright film references sprinkled throughout the film. I went in the direction of exotica and calypso stylistically because it’s quirky, good vibes music of that era and when you throw in a theramin solo it’s a marriage made in heaven. I remember Beetlejuiceintroducing me to the genius of Harry Belafonte’s calypso record so I wanted to give a nod to that too. We ended up with a love song for the end of the film to the film! Frankenweenie is so special, it’s an unbelievable honor to be involved with it.” 

The Frankenweenie original motion picture soundtrack, with score by Oscar®-nominated and GRAMMY®-winning composer Danny Elfman will also be available on September 25, 2012. Elfman has established himself as one of Hollywood’s leading film composers and has written close to 50 film scores featuring his unique sound including Dark Shadows, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Milk, Chicago, Batman, Spiderman, Men in Black trilogy, Edward Scissorhands and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. 

From creative genius Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas) comes Frankenweenie, a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

A stop-motion animated film, Frankenweenie was filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D, which will elevate the classic style to a whole new experience. Presented by Disney, Frankenweenie is directed by Tim Burton, produced by Tim Burton and Allison Abbate, from a screenplay by John August, based on an original idea by Tim Burton. Frankenweenie releases in U.S. theaters on October 5, 2012.

In addition to Karen O’s “Strange Love,” the Frankenweenie Unleashed! collection features original songs and one cover inspired by the stop-motion film event. The diverse range of artists includes Neon Trees, Mark Foster, Plain White Ts and Kimbra.

The Frankenweenie Unleashed! track list follows: 

“Strange Love” – Karen O 
“Electric Heart (Stay Forever)” – Neon Trees 
“Polartropic (You Don’t Understand Me)” – Mark Foster 
“Almost There” – Passion Pit 
“Pet Sematary” – Plain White T’s 
“With My Hands – Kimbra 
“Everybody’s Got a Secret” – AWOLNATION 
“Immortal” – Kerli 
“My Mechanical Friend” – Grace Potter featuring The Flaming Lips 
“Lost Cause” – Imagine Dragons 
“Underground” – Grouplove 
“Building a Monster” – Skylar Grey 
“Witchcraft” – Robert Smith 
“Praise Be New Holland” – Winona Ryder 

The Frankenweenie Unleashed! track list was revealed this morning on the official Frankenweenie Facebook page at:

Frankenweenie Unleashed! and the Frankenweenie original motion picture soundtrack will be available September 25, 2012 wherever music is sold. The album is available for pre-order at

 For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, please visit, become a fan at or follow us at

Here’s the official synopsis for Frankenweenie: 

From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

Featuring the voice talent of Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Winona Ryder, Martin Short, and Martin Landau, Frankenweenie has been released on October 5, 2012.


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