Frankenweenie (1984 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Burton|
|Produced by||Julie Hickson|
|Screenplay by||Lenny Ripps|
|Story by||Tim Burton|
|Music by||Michael Convertino|
|Cinematography||Thomas E. Ackerman|
|Edited by||Ernest Milano|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
|December 14, 1984|
|Box office||$11.4 million|
Frankenweenie is a 1984 Tim Burton-directed short film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and co-written by Burton with Leonard Ripps. It is both a parody and homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein based on Mary Shelley's novel of the same name. Burton later directed a feature-length stop-motion animated remake, released in 2012.
Victor Frankenstein (played by Barret Oliver) is a young boy who creates movies starring his dog, Sparky (a Bull Terrier, whose name is a reference to the use of electricity in the film). After Sparky is hit by a car and killed, Victor learns at school about electrical impulses in muscles and is inspired to bring his pet back to life. He creates elaborate machines which bring down a bolt of lightning that revives the dog. Victor is pleased, but when the Frankensteins decide to introduce the revitalized Sparky to his neighbors, they become angry and terrified.
Sparky runs away, with Victor in pursuit. They find themselves at a local miniature golf course and hide in its flagship windmill. The Frankensteins' neighbors, now an angry mob, arrive on the scene, and when they attempt to use a cigarette lighter to try to see in the windmill, it is accidentally set on fire. Victor falls and is knocked out, but Sparky rescues him from the flames, only to be crushed by the windmill. The mob of neighbors, realizing their error, use their cars and jumper cables to "recharge" Sparky. He is revived, and all celebrate. Sparky falls in love with a poodle whose fur bears a strong resemblance to the hairdo of the Bride of Frankenstein and the film ends with Sparky's electricity making the words, "The End" and it becomes still.
- Barret Oliver as Victor Frankenstein: a young boy expert in science who is sad after his dog's death.
- Shelley Duvall as Susan Frankenstein: Victor's mother.
- Daniel Stern: as Ben Frankenstein: Victor's father.
- Joseph Maher as Mr. Chambers
- Roz Braverman as Mrs. Epstein
- Paul Bartel as Mr. Walsh
- Sofia Coppola as Anne Chambers
- Jason Hervey as Frank Dale
- Paul C. Scott as Mike Anderson
- Helen Boll as Mrs. Curtis
- Rusty James as Raymond
- Sparky as Himself: Victor's dog. He dies and gets reanimated by Victor.
Burton was fired by Disney after the film was completed; the studio claimed that he had been wasting company resources, and felt the film was not suitable for the target young audiences. The short was originally planned to be released alongside the summer re-release of The Jungle Book, its release was rescheduled with the Christmas re-release of Pinocchio on December 21, 1984. Although the film was subsequently shelved, the film played in UK cinemas in 1985 in front of Touchstone Films' Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend. Following the success of Burton's later films Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman and Edward Scissorhands, the film was given a home video release in 1992. It was released as an extra, along with Vincent, on The Nightmare Before Christmas DVD; Blu-ray; and UMDl.
Disney and Tim Burton produced a full-length remake using stop motion animation, which was released on October 5, 2012 in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D. The original film is included as a bonus feature on the Blu-ray home video release.
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- "'Frankenweenie' Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D Dated and Detailed". High-Def Digest. December 3, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
- "Tim Burton: How Disney fired me". yahoo.com. Archived from the original on September 14, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- Mayo, Michael (February 1985). "Frankenweenie". Cinefantastique. 15 (2): 61. Retrieved September 13, 2017.