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Tim Burton Brings Frankenweenie Back To Life

It's Aliiiiiiiiiiiive!

Frankenweenie was not appreciated by Walt Disney Pictures when director Tim Burton created it in 1984. In fact, he was fired for it. The Frankenstein parody was deemed too scary for young audiences at the time and faded into history until Burton hit it big directing Edward Scissorhands and by producing The Nightmare Before Christmas and goth kids everyone fell in love with him. He’s since had much broader success which he’s been able to turn into studios giving him carte blanche and he’s using that to re-create the black and white classic in his well-love stop-motion animation style. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new Frankenweenie follows the original’s plot which focuses on “a little boy named Victor, who loves his pet dog Sparky more than anything in the world. Naturally — or rather, unnaturally — Victor decides to use his science kit to bring the pup back from the grave after an accident claims the pooch’s life.”

The original Frankenweenie was live action and starred Shelley Duvall, Daniel Stern and Barret Oliver (Bastian from The Neverending Story). The new take will star Charlie Tahan, Martin Landau, Martin Short and see the director teaming up with Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara again.

“[Frankenweenie] just tries to keep that idea of a very, simple pure relationship,” said Burton. “Mix that with the Frankenstein myth and it causes problems.”

He also said one of his old dogs was the inspiration for the film. “His name was Pepe — we lived in a Spanish neighborhood. Our dog had this thing called distemper, and wasn’t supposed to live more than a couple of years. He lived much longer than that, which kind of fed into this Frankenstein mythology as well.”

As for what happened in 1984?  Burton told EW, “I don’t know, they got freaked out or something, but they still allowed me to make the film. Even though I was frustrated about the release — or not release of it — it was still a great experience, and did a lot for me, so I couldn’t really complain.”

Burton fans will notice a resemblance of the pre-Frankensteined dog to the pup from his Family Dog animated series (and the Amazing Stories TV show) from 1992.

If you want a look at the original Frankenweenie, check out YouTube, otherwise the film hits theaters next October.

(via Entertainment Weekly)

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."