screenplay by John August, based on a screenplay by Lenny Ripps
directed by Tim Burton
by Bill Chambers SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. Back in the early-Eighties, Tim Burton was part of the conveyor belt at the Walt Disney Company, cranking out artwork for films like The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron. But drawing cuddly animals proved as bad a fit for Burton as it did for R. Crumb, and the studio eventually allowed him to separate from the pack, giving him a chance to hone his voice that was kind of unprecedented. Under the Disney umbrella, Burton produced two black-and-white shorts: the animated Vincent, a sweet and Seussian ode to his idol, Vincent Price (who narrated); and the live-action Frankenweenie, about a boy who uses mad science to bring his departed canine back to life. The latter scandalized Disney (too "scary," plus dead dogs and black-and-white have got to be roughly equivalent anathema to kiddie fare), and plans were shelved to attach the film to prints of Pinocchio in 1984. Three decades later, Disney confidently bankrolled a feature-length remake of Frankenweenie, stop-motion animated this time but still in black-and-white, and still with an undead dog at the crux of the narrative. What changed in the interim?