Frankenweenie

Feb. 15, 2013 | 11:10 a.m.

Tim Burton reflects on ‘Frankenweenie’ box office, plots his next step

It was only Wednesday, but sitting at a small table in the restaurant at the Chateau Marmont, Tim Burton looked a little defeated by the week, and not simply because of the sling supporting his arm. A fall in London in December fractured his shoulder — a nasty injury that he said will likely limit his range of motion for about a year — but it was a recent bout of Hollywood glad-handing that had the filmmaker most excited to return to his home in England. Two days earlier, Burton had attended the Oscar nominees luncheon – his most recent film, “Frankenweenie,” is up for the Academy Award in the animated feature category. That evening, he’d appeared at the American Cinematheque for a screening of the movie, a black-and-white love letter to Universal horror films and his Burbank youth, along […]
Oct. 04, 2012 | 10:22 a.m.

‘Frankenweenie’: Inside the Actor’s Studio with Martin Landau

Martin Landau delivered his voice performance as science teacher Mr. Rzykruski in “Frankenweenie” long before the movie’s stop-motion animators got to work. “The thing that shocked me when I saw the film is that everything he does is what I would have done if I’d been on camera,” Landau said at a special advance showing of Tim Burton’s monster movie as part of the Hero Complex IMAX screening series. “It startled me, it was so much like what I’d envisioned.” Watch the video to see Landau discuss his idea of good and bad acting. “No one shows their feelings except bad actors,” said Landau, who is co-artistic director at the Actors Studio West in Los Angeles, a school and membership organization for actors. “No one tries to cry. You try not to cry. No one tries to laugh. You try […]
Oct. 03, 2012 | 11:41 a.m.

‘Frankenweenie’: Martin Landau is part Vincent Price, part ‘Slob’

Martin Landau
In Tim Burton’s black-and-white, stop-motion-animated monster movie “Frankenweenie,” Martin Landau supplies the voice of Mr. Rzykruski, a mysterious science teacher who sparks curiosity in the kids of the town of New Holland. But John August’s screenplay for the film simply described Mr. Rzykruski as “European,” Landau said, so the actor created a fictional country for his character. “I decided he came from the wonderful country of Slobovia, where the Slobs are from,” Landau said in an interview at a special advance showing of the film last week as part of the Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series. Watch the video to see Landau perform Mr. Rzykruski with his Slobovian accent and explain one of the character’s other inspirations — horror legend Vincent Price. Mr. Rzykruski’s sharply angled face bears a striking resemblance to Price, who was an influential figure in Burton’s life, […]
Oct. 02, 2012 | 11:02 a.m.

‘Frankenweenie’: Martin Landau praises Burton, Hitchcock, ‘goofy’ directors

“Frankenweenie” doesn’t open until Friday, but some Hero Complex readers got to see it last week thanks to the Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series. During a Q&A with Hero Complex contributor Rebecca Keegan, Martin Landau, who supplies the voice of the movie’s science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski, discussed his unique relationship with director Tim Burton. “Frankenweenie” is the third Burton film Landau has acted in — he won an Oscar for his performance as Bela Lugosi in 1994′s “Ed Wood” and delivered a cameo in “Sleepy Hollow” in 1999. The secret to Burton and Landau’s collaboration, the actor said, is a kind of nonverbal connection. “Tim and I don’t finish a sentence,” Landau said. “There’s something oddly kinesthetic about it. We kind of understand each other.” Take a look at the video above to learn more about Burton and Landau’s creative partnership, […]
Sept. 28, 2012 | 12:06 p.m.

Tim Burton’s regeneration of ‘Frankenweenie’ is a personal tale

Tim Burton (featured image)
The sound of brass and wind instruments rang out with a triumphant blast, echoing down a corridor and around a hallway where Tim Burton was seated inside a pavilion where a traveling exhibition devoted to his new movie, “Frankenweenie,” was on display. When the music was simply too loud to ignore, Burton took a moment to quip: “I hope you don’t mind, I’m rehearsing my new band. Up With People.” Such are the perils of promoting a movie at the happiest place on Earth. On a sweltering Sunday afternoon, Burton was fielding questions at Disney’s California Adventure about his latest stop-motion animated film, a feature-length revision of a short he made in 1984. The black-and-white 3-D movie, which opens in theaters Friday, keeps the same premise: A young boy from the suburbs borrows a page from Mary Shelley’s famous mad […]
Sept. 24, 2012 | 1:56 p.m.

‘Frankenweenie’ in IMAX: See it early, free, with Martin Landau

Martin Landau is the voice of Mr. Rzykruski in Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie' (Disney)
Most moviegoers will have to wait until Oct. 5 to get spooked by “Frankenweenie,” but a few hundred Hero Complex readers will get to see Tim Burton’s monster movie homage early Thursday night at our free IMAX screening in Century City. The special screening of the black-and-white, stop-motion animated film will include a Q&A with Oscar winner Martin Landau, who voices Vincent Price-inspired science teacher Mr. Rzykruski, moderated by Hero Complex contributor Rebecca Keegan. A remake of Burton’s 1984 short film of the same name, “Frankenweenie” is about a boy named Victor who loses his dog and deploys science to bring the beloved canine back to life. The film features the voices of Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Winona Ryder and Landau, in his first collaboration with Burton since 1994′s “Ed Wood.” (Check back soon for an in-depth interview with Burton about […]
July 12, 2012 | 7:06 p.m.

Comic-Con: Tim Burton relives school nightmares with ‘Frankenweenie’

Tim Burton confessed to a Hall H crowd at Comic-Con on Thursday afternoon that a little of his own life experience helped animate his upcoming 3D feature “Frankenweenie” — a full-length resurrection of a live-action short film he made in 1984 about a young boy named Victor who brings back his beloved dog from beyond the grave. Namely, it was school experiences — interactions with fellow students and “weird” teachers — during his boyhood days in Burbank that helped flesh out the sweetly creepy tale. Not that the filmmaker provided much in the way of detail about specific points of inspiration. “There are still lawsuits pending,” Burton quipped to Chris Hardwick of the Nerdist fame, who served as moderator for Disney’s Hall H panel presentation. The filmmaker brought a new trailer and two scenes from the movie for the Hall […]
June 11, 2012 | 5:01 p.m.

Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’ will come alive as touring exhibit

A scene from Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie."
 Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” won’t be in theaters until a few weeks before Halloween, but fans eager for an early look at the stop-motion animated film can get a sneak preview in San Diego in July or Anaheim in September as Disney gets set to launch a touring exhibition of  original sketches drawn by Burton, as well as extensive props, sets and puppets. The black-and-white, 3-D film centers on a boy named Victor and his live-then-dead-then-live-again dog Sparky. About 200 puppets were crafted for the film — including 16 Sparkys (eight dead, eight alive), 14 Victors and some oddball creations called E (short for Edgar) and Weird Girl, both of which are voiced by longtime Burton collaborator Catherine O’Hara.  Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder are among the other actors on the […]
Aug. 25, 2011 | 8:35 a.m.

Tim Burton’s birthday finds him looking to his past

Tim Burton
Tim Burton turns 53 today and this year also marks the 40th anniversary of his creepy film “The Island of Doctor Agor” — yes, Burton made the H.G. Wells-inspired short at the tender age of 13. The past is moving front and center for Burton these days. A few weeks before Halloween 2012 he’ll be in theaters with “Frankenweenie,” a stop-motion, black-and-white, feature-length movie based on his breakthrough 1984 short film of the same title. The story is about a boy and his dog — the boy has considerable mad-science savvy and the dog happens to be dead, at least until his grieving owner hatches a plan to revive his beloved pet. Footage from the film, aired at Disney’s D23 Expo this month, showed Burton’s trademark blend of the whimsical and grotesque. Right now Burton is at Pinewood Studios outside London […]
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