Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Frankenweenie (2013) 3D

Frankenweenie / Frankenweenie. US © 2012 Disney Enterprises, Inc. P: Allison Abbate, Tim Burton. D: Tim Burton. SC: John August - based on the 1984 screenplay by Leonard Ripps - original idea: Tim Burton. DP: Peter Sorg - black and white - DI: Company 3 London - D colorist: Rob Pizzey. Puppet characters designed and created by: Mackinnon and Saunders - a huge team. AN dept: big. PD: Rick Heinrichs. AD: Tim Browning, Alexandra Walker. VFX: Nvizible. VFX P: Jonny ffinch. VFX 3D stereo services: Prime Focus World. VFX team: huge. M: Danny Elfman. End credit song: "Strange Love" written by and performed by Karen O (an original song for Frankenweenie). S: Oliver Tarney. ED: Chris Lebenzon, Mark Solomon. Casting: Ronna Kress. Film clip: Dracula (Hammer Film Productions, starring Christopher Lee, GB 1958). 87 min. Released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Finland with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Marko Hartama / Ulrika Lindfors-Davis. 2K DCP in Dolby 3D at Tennispalatsi 10, Helsinki, 20 Feb 2013.

VOICE TALENT (as edited in Wikipedia):
Charlie Tahan as Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who brings his dog (and best friend) Sparky back to life.
Catherine O'Hara as Susan Frankenstein, Victor's Mother / Gym Teacher / Weird Girl, an eccentric girl who is one of Victor's classmates and obsessed with the psychic predictions of her cat, Mr. Whiskers
Martin Short as Edward Frankenstein, Victor's father / Nassor, Toshiaki's partner and Victor's other rival-like former enemy, who has a flat head inspired by Frankenstein's monster and whose voice and face resemble that of Boris Karloff / Mr. Bergermeister, the grumpy Mayor of New Holland, the Frankensteins' next-door neighbor and Elsa's uncle; a homage to the villainous Burgermeister Meisterburger from the Rankin/Bass film Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town.
Martin Landau as Mr. Rzykruski, the eccentric but wise science teacher at Victor's school who speaks in a thick Eastern European accent. His teachings inspire Victor's effort to resurrect Sparky, and he acts as a mentor to Victor. The character was inspired by Burton's childhood icon, Vincent Price.
Winona Ryder as Elsa van Helsing, Victor's crush, kind next-door neighbor, and one of his classmates.
Atticus Shaffer as Edgar "E" Gore, a hunch-backed child (inspired by Igor) and one of Victor's classmates. He's the first to know of Victor's success in bringing Sparky back to life.
Robert Capron as Bob, an obese boy who is one of Victor's classmates.
Christopher Lee as Dracula (in stock footage from the 1958 Dracula).
Conchata Ferrell as Bob's mother, an obese and stereotypical suburban housewife who dotes upon her son. She believes in the status quo, and that her misguided actions are in Bob's best interest.
James Hiroyuki Liao as Toshiaki, Victor's rival-like former enemy and one of his classmates.
Tom Kenny as Fire Chief / Soldier / Townsfolk

TECHNICAL SPECS (IMDb): - Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II - Laboratory: Company 3, London, UK (digital intermediate), Deluxe Digital Cinema (DDC) (DCP mastering) - Source format: Digital - Cinematographic process: Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Digital Stills (5K) (source format) - Printed film format: 35 mm (spherical) (Kodak Vision 2383), D-Cinema (also 3-D version) - Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

In the 15-minute set of commercials and previews was included a retro animated commercial for the Jaffa orange soft drink designed by Erik Bruun, one of Finland's finest designers, in the 1950s. Erik Bruun even appears in its conclusion in a glimpse of newly shot footage at his drawing board, extending his hand towards a bottle of Jaffa.

I love Tim Burton's live action 30 minute short Frankenweenie (1984) and did not hurry to see the puppet animation remake because I did not see the necessity of it. We have screened the original film twice in our Tim Burton retrospectives at Cinema Orion, courtesy of the Walt Disney Pictures.

But! The new Frankenweenie is a masterpiece, one of Tim Burton's greatest, and now my Tim Burton favourite along with Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, and Ed Wood (and Henry Selick's A Nightmare before Christmas). The new Frankenweenie is also one of the best Frankenstein films and one of the most successful 3D films. Daringly in black and white, and effectively.

Tim Burton's unique mix of macabre comedy is at its best here. The characters look scary and sinister, but there is a genial and humoristic touch in all of them. Even the bad characters are victims of their particular curses.

The plot is very much the same. It has not been unnecessarily padded. Once I had the fleeting feeling that there is a "more is more" curse in current animation, even here.

While the movie is full of fascinating detail, and although it is an affectionate parody, fundamentally it is a serious and profound movie whose scope is cosmic as in all the best Frankenstein stories. It is a matter of life and death.

I like the aspect in both Frankenweenie films that the townspeople, after having been reduced to a lynch mob, regret what they have done and join forces to recharge Sparky with their jumper cables.

Danny Elfman is at his best in the wonderful score for Frankenweenie.

Amazingly, Frankenweenie has been reportedly been shot on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera. The film looks great, and the 3D looks flawless in Dolby 3D, for instance in scenes such as the one where Mr. Bergermeister sees through the rainswept window what is going on in Victor's house.

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