Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie – Fun Facts About the Movie

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Frankenweenie is totally Tim Burton and completely one-of-a-kind all in the same breath. I admit that it wasn’t on my must-see movie radar…until I saw an extended sneak peek of the movie and talked with the Producer Allison Abbate when I was in LA last month.


Frankenweenie opens in spectacular Disney 3D on October 5 (just in time for Halloween season!) and I can’t wait!

Here’s the new Frankenweenie “Homage” trailer, a tribute to the classic horror films that inspired Tim Burton to make this film.

Fun Facts about Frankenweenie:

  • “Frankenweenie” is Tim Burton’s third stop-motion animated film. His first two,  “Corpse Bride” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” were both nominated for Academy Awards®.
  • “Frankenweenie” is the first animated film that Tim Burton has directed for Disney.
  • All of the characters in “Frankenweenie” are based on Tim Burton’s drawings. Many of those drawings (and characters) date back to 1984 with the original live-action short of “Frankenweenie”, and others were drawn especially for this new, feature-length animated version.
  • The voice cast includes four actors who have worked with Burton on previous films: Winona Ryder (“Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands”), Catherine O’Hara (“Beetlejuice,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”), Martin Short (“Mars Attacks!”) and Martin Landau (“Ed Wood,” Sleepy Hollow”).

  • Classic horror films from the 1930s, like “Frankenstein” and “Dracula,” inspired several of the character names—Victor, Elsa Van Helsing, Edgar “E” Gore and Mr. Burgemeister.
  • Each second of “Frankenweenie” includes 24 stop-motion frames. This means that the animator must stop and position the puppet 24 times to get one second of filmed action. One animator typically only produces 5 seconds of animation per week. For Frankenweenie, multiple puppets of the same character (like 17 Victors and 12 Sparkys) and multiple animators working simultaneously (up to 18 at once) allowed the animation process to proceed faster.
  • Talented artists took Tim Burton’s original drawings and crafted them into three-dimensional “puppets,” which were cast in a combination of silicone and latex. Their costumes were all sewn with miniature stitches to make them look realistic and to scale. Wigs were made from real human hair and applied strand by strand so that the puppets have a more realistic hairline. Inside each puppet there is a metal armature, which acts like a movable skeleton and gives the animator the ability to move the puppets exactly how they need.
  • Sparky was the very first puppet to be designed for the film, and the scale for every other puppet and the sets were designed after him. Tim Burton had a very specific vision for Sparky’s character and really wanted him to act and move like a real dog. 4 inches was literally the smallest they could make him and still have him display all the behavior and personality that was required.


  • The Puppet Hospital on the “Frankenweenie” set was always full. The model makers spent months repairing limbs, fixing hair and skin issues, and mending costumes that got ripped or dirty during the filming.
  • The film takes place in the fictitious town of New Holland, a suburban development circa the 1970s, much like Burbank, California, where director Tim Burton grew up.
  • The sets for “Frankenweenie” were all built on tabletops. Most of the miniature props for the sets were made by hand and hand-painted and detailed.
  • The music for “Frankenweenie” was composed by Danny Elfman, who has composed the scores for all of Burton’s films thus far, with the exception of two: “Ed Wood” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

What would you like to know about Frankenweenie?

Leave me a question here and I’ll see if I can get the answer for you!

See FRANKENWEENIE in theaters 10/5/12
Facebook: facebook.com/Frankenweenie
Twitter: @DisneyPictures
Website: http://disney.com/frankenweenie

© 2012, Lolli. All rights reserved.

About Lolli

Lolli has written 3169 posts on this blog.

I became a mom in 1996, and in 2005 I had my fifth. Yes, 5 kids. In 2007, this blog was born (my 6th baby that will never grow up) and I've been sharing recipes, photography tricks, parenting tips, and everything in between.

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