Comic-Con 2012: FRANKENWEENIE Footage Looks Good

Will we ever get the old-style Tim Burton back? FRANKENWEENIE says it's possible.

Wow, Frankenweenie looks good!

Tim Burton's 3D stop motion remake of his 1980s short film has a surprising scope, as revealed in the trailer that just played at Hall H in Comic-Con. Perfectly structured like a horror movie trailer from the black and white era (the title appears in quotes!), the trailer shows that the resurrection of Sparky - the events of the original short - is just the beginning. Other kids in the neighborhood discover that the secret to re-animation is in their midst, and they bring their own pets back to life... with bad results.

How bad? Well, one of the kids is Japanese, and his pet ends up being pretty damn big. Other pets become more classic Universal monster types, including an invisible goldfish, a mummy gerbil and a Bride of Frankenstein dog.

The next clip was from a classroom scene early in the film; it seems that in this film the world of Edward Scissorhands is inverted, with the room full of absolutely oddball Burton-esque kids, and our hero Vincent being sort of normal. There's some dark, dark comedy as the new Vincent Price-esque teacher explains in detail about how the last teacher was killed by lightning.

It seems that the setting of the film, New Holland, is a hotspot for lightning activity (as well as having a giant windmill built on a hill on a cemetery). The final clip shows a Igor-esque kid confronting Victor about his undead dog, saying that he won't rat Victor out if he shows off the resurrection technique. And so on a dark and stormy night, in a room packed with Tesla coils, they raise a dead goldfish to the skies... and not only bring it back but make it weirdly invisible.

The character designs are very Burton, but in the purest way, far from the busy, ugly designs of recent live action films. Everything harkens back to a Nightmare Before Christmas vibe, although in rich black and white. The monster design is fanciful, and there are - even in the short clips - a ton of in-jokes for fans of classic horror movies.

I thought that Dark Shadows, while incredibly terrible, was full of old-style Burton heart. Frankenweenie seems to be a continuation of that, and a complete 180 from the horrors of Alice in Wonderland.