Earlier this summer, Dark Shadows demonstrated that occasionally, Burton getting Burton-y can pay diminishing returns, as his strange gothic comedy didn't quite connect and mostly served to remind audiences just how great Beetlejuice was.
With Frankenweenie, the director going back to the well might just work out nicely. Before he got his first movie with Pee-wee's Big Adventure, young animator Burton fell out of Disney's good graces with his 1984 Frankenweenie short film starring Daniel Stern and Shelley Duvall. To expand that short film into a feature film, Burton teamed up with his Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory writer John August.
The cast of characters all recall bygone horror icons, as Burton explained during Comic-Con. “These were characters that I just sort of have," the director said. "I just never know what they’ll fit into. There were always some characters that I was playing around with. This goes back to school and I remembered some of the kids I went to school with and the teachers. Growing up with those Universal horror films, like House of Dracula, House of Frankenstein, a lot of it had to do with things I wanted to work with that I love.”
A very loose appropriation of the basics of Mary Shelley's durable novel Frankenstein, Frankenweenie follows Victor Frankenstein, a bright young boy in a generic American suburb. When his beloved pet dog Sparky dies, Victor uses all his scientific acumen to resurrect the canine, but things get out of control when various townspeople use Victor's technology to create out of control horrors.
Charlie Tahan voices Victor Frankenstein, and the cast of voices also includes Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Christopher Lee, Martin Short, Tom Kenny, and Atticus Schaffer.
Frankenweenie hits conventional 3D, and IMAX 3D on October 5th.