Frankenweenie, the upcoming Tim Burton vehicle which has been a pet project for him since his inception as a filmmaker/animator almost three decades ago, first appearing as a short and now finding its way as a full length feature, had its debut today at Comic-Con.
Hosted by Chris Hardwick and first introduced by some 3D footage of the upcoming production which was akin to an old Universal Pictures trailer, replete with black and white and overblown narration, Frankenweenie is a film about a boy’s resurrection of his beloved dog.
Tim Burton came out and spoke about his comedic roots and utilizing 3D and stop-motion animation in the film, which harkens back to the old style of animated filmmaking, ala Gumby or Davey and Golilath. He spoke of a reverence to the old style of animation, mentioning that although Frankenweenie was a dark, black comedy in every sense of the word, it would still have its heart ultimately be in the vein and style of “the classic Disney film” like Pinocchio and Peter Pan.
More 3D clips were shown during the chat, in which Martin Landau voices a dead ringer character for Vincent Price, expounding an hilarious and over the top rendition on lightning to a macabre group of schoolchildren, the protagonist of the film included. Another 3D clip showed a scene in which a gold fish is attempted to be brought back to life.
All clips were done in amazing glorious black and white, rich blacks and grays, in the style of some of the great classic horror films of all time and containing the visual wonderment and panache associated with all Burton productions.
Q&A followed the clips. Highlights contained a man from Brazil who brought the house down when he asked Tim if he was tired of working with with Johnny Depp; a large contingent of folks dressed as the some of the best of Burton’s film characters — multiple Mad Hatters from Alice in Wonderland included — asking Tim how it was to work with his wife Helena Bonham Carter, to which he responded with the answer “She’s a bitch” to much laughter; how he got the “F-Bomb” to be dropped in Beetlejuice by an individual dressed decidedly very Jedi; and a weepy fan who broke down asking Tim about Frankenweenie, with Burton replied rather tongue-in-cheek and funnily that he broke down the way when his film was completed. Burton handled all questions in his usual wild eyed, light, glib, and funny demeanor.