Earlier this evening at the San Diego Comic-Con I attended “The Art Of Frankenweenie Exhibition”. Hosted by Disney, this was an in-depth look at the materials that acclaimed director Tim Burton used for his latest stop-motion animated feature film. The exhibition premiered in Barcelona before making its U.S. debut today. When the tour is complete it will have visited seven countries including Spain, France, England, Japan, Mexico, Canada and the U.S.A.
Producer Allison Abbate was onhand at the gallery and guided me through the pieces. We’re not just talking sketches (which were of course present), but actual sets used in the stop-motion rendering for the film. And whether or not you’re growing tired of Burton’s signature themes, there’s no denying his talent as a visual artist. Seeing his work rendered in three dimensional, intricately detailed miniatures (amongst backgrounds that provide them with depth) is pretty captivating.
Abbate explained to me that principal photography – which is always lengthy on these types of films – took about two and a half years. She also spoke about how personal the project is for Burton. Not only is it based on his very first short, but it deals with the grief he felt when losing his first pet. The classroom scene in particular (as seen below) contains a number of references to Burton’s influences with some of he children representing the “Frankenstein” and “Igor” iconography quite accurately. And every director has his signature. Concerning the kitchen scene depicted she remarked, “and of course this is the Tim Burton take on domesticity that we all know so well.”
Frankenweenie was filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D. The talented voice cast includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder. Directed by Burton from a screenplay by John August, the film hits U.S. theaters on October 5th, 2012.
Head inside for an in depth look at the exhibition.