picture in picture

Fantastic Fest 2012 Announces Opening Night Film

Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie' to open FF2012

By Marc Savlov, 11:10AM, Fri. Jun. 29, 2012

Sparky re-animated!
Sparky re-animated!

… And it's Tim Burton's stop-motion remake of his 1984 live-action tearjerker-cum-Mary Shelley-riff, Frankenweenie, about a boy and his (dead) dog. Finally, those psych-out rumors of Frank Henenlotter's Frankenhooker kicking off FF2012 can be interred. (Although that would have been pretty cool, too.)

Unsurprisingly, Burton's dark stable of actors abound this time out: Christopher Lee, Catherine O'Hara, and Winona Ryder are all providing voice work for the frame-by-frame, sure-to-be semi-masterpiece.

We recall having mixed feelings on the 30 minute-long original, but watching it again last night for the first time in nearly two decades, it's a genuinely seminal moment in Burton's (of late) checkered career. Shelley Duval, Paul Bartel, a very young Sofia Coppola, and Barret Oliver (yes, D.A.R.Y.L. himself itself) make this early foray into the pre-Timmy-in-Un-Wonderland excess of late a sweet, dare we way heartwarming addition to cinematic Frankensteinia. (And lest we forget, the original was penned by the great Leonard Ripps, writer of our second favorite Christmas film of all time, The Star Wars Holiday Special!)

To be brutally honest, when it comes to Tim Burton's earliest projects, nothing will ever beat his 1982 animated short Vincent, which, in hindsight, is the distilled essence of everything Burton was and (usually) is.

Fantastic Fest 2012 explodes/oozes/terrifies/thrills at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar September 20-27 this year. Badges will sell out in a dead heartbeat if they haven't already, so best to dig one up ASAP, boys and ghouls.

write a letter