Victor and his dog Sparky in the film
Those were the days before the likes of Beetlejuice, Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands helped make him one of the most strangely marketable directors in the biz. Those were also the days when animation was going through something of a market slump. Conditions which led to, well, over to Tim… “It wasn’t like, y’know, The Apprentice ‘You’re fired!’. The Alan Sugar of Disney didn’t point a finger and do that. It was more Disney friendly. It was like, ‘Let Goofy show you the nice exit with beautiful cherubs on it – the magic forest door…”
This parting of the ways is clearly not a source of contention this time round. It was Disney who approached Burton with the notion of extending his tale of a boy named Victor Frankenstein who uses science to bring his dead dog back to life. No expense or resource was spared to enable the film – in its new 87-minute incarnation – to conform to its director’s vision. As a black and white 3D stop-motion animation, it’s really a showcase for where we’re at in so many areas of the trade. To Burton these elements were vital to show off the beautiful wide-eyed puppet characters.
“It was something that’s hard to put into words but for me, it made it more emotional. When you look at these puppets you see the reality and the tactile nature of them. Everything is hand-made and the black and white and 3D process really shows you the work that the artist put into it.”
Mr Rzykruski, voiced by Landau
To make the conference feel that little bit more special, Landau then treats us to a pretty damn good impression of Alfred Hitchcock. Asked, in lieu of the recent stories regarding Tippi Hedren and unwanted approaches from Hitchcock on set, whether he had a comment to make about the director, he says in a pristine English accent. ‘Well I got along with him very nicely, thank you. He certainly did not make advances to me.”
Good to have the cleared up. Alfred Hitchcock did not crack onto Martin Landau on the set of North By Northwest. You heard it at Eye for Film.
Frankenweenie is out on general release now.