Science will bring Sparky back!
Walt Disney Pictures Presents Frankenweenie (June 22, 2012) – Coming soon to theaters; Tim Burton’s animated film, Frankenweenie, in which a boy named Victor (Charlie Tahan) brings his dog Sparky back to life, using the power of science, after his unforeseen death. The film was originally a live-action short released by Burton in 1984, due to budget constraints, but the stop-motion animation concept still lingered in his mind after so many years. An astounding 200+ sets and characters were sculpted for Frankenweenie.
Fittingly, several characters in the film were assigned names inspired by famous horror films. Since the plot of this film revolves around the Frankenstein monster, a bride character had to be conceived. In this case, the bride appears in the form of Persephone, a poodle owned by Elsa Van Helsing (Winona Ryder) who takes an immediate liking to Sparky. Upon touching his neck bolts with her nose, she is electrocuted, and the signature Bride of Frankenstein hair streaks materialize in her poof of fur atop her head.
Click to enlarge images
The film is set in New Holland, and the residents are of your typical suburban fare with Victor’s parents (Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein) serving as the stereotypical perfect couple. They are deeply proud of their son, and encourage him to continue his experimentations; although, they would like to see him be more sociable and perhaps join a sports team. Victor’s parents are voiced by Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara.
Victor’s nemesis, Toshiaki (James Hiroyuki Liao), serves as the neighborhood bully. He is an overachieving child who loves to steal Victor’s ideas in order to one up him at the school’s science fair. Bob (Robert Capron), a chubby child who is dearly loyal to his mother (Conchata Ferrell), stand as Toshiaki’s right hand man. Despite this, he will rush to Victor’s aid whenever it is needed.
Elsa Van Helsing fits into the “moody girl” persona. She lives with her uncle, Mayor Burgemeister who lives next door to Victor, and offers to comfort him through the grieving process over the death of his dog.
Mayor Burgemeister (Martin Short) is the mayor of New Holland. He adores his garden a little too much, and despises Sparky because the pooch loves his prized tulips.
Edgar “E” Gore (Atticus Shaffer) is a misfit who desires more than anything to be Victor’s science partner for the upcoming science fair. In order to be accepted, “E” creates havoc and cannot keep secrets.
Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) is the brand new science teacher of the local elementary school. He is of Eastern European decent and has a unique way of describing things. While parents find him a little strange, his students adore him and he serves as a mentor to Victor.
Nassor (Martin Short) is an intense and intelligent boy with a highly pessimistic view of life. At first, he is skeptical of Victor’s achievement of resurrecting Sparky, but once verified, he is determined to learn his secrets.
Weird Girl (Catherine O’Hara) is perhaps the strangest character in New Holland. Her voice is flat and her eyes are always fixed into a blank stare. Her cat, Mr. Whiskers, also mimics his owner by staring in a similar manner. Weird Girl loves to talk about the dreams and aspirations of her cat–disturbing the other children.
Tim Burton has been really busy lately: directing Dark Shadows, as producer for the film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and writing/directing Frankenweenie. Burton has returned to stop-motion animation roots and perhaps this film will become as iconic as The Nightmare Before Christmas.
In theaters October 5, 2012!
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