Although it didn’t take off at the box office, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie generated strong reviews, and for many fans it was a great return to form for the director.
The goth auteur indeed appeared to be slippin’ with the disaster of Dark Shadows, and Frankenweenie was a nice return with a much more personal story. You also have to love the fact that it was done in stop-motion, an old school technology we’re glad to see is making a comeback.
We just ran a story here on TG
about stop motion animation being up for the Oscar gold this year with ParaNorman, Pirates! Band of Misfits, and of course, Frankenweenie. As Burton told Vulture
, "Everybody works really hard for something like this, especially the people who work in a dark room for a couple of years. The thing about stop-motion is that it’s such a slow, painful process – one frame at a time. The positive side is that it helps keep the medium alive."
Burton added that, "It’s not high on to-do lists for studio execs to make stop-motion, let along black-and-white stop-motion. There’s still a bit of a stigma, so any sort of positive response is meaningful."
As far as Frankenweenie not living up to box office expectations, Burton said, "No one wants to feel like they weren’t [successful], unless they’re doing some kind of weird art-house thing: ‘I hope nobody sees this film! And if they see the film, I’m selling out!’ You hope for success, but it’s a strange phenomenon. You have a movie that gets sh*tty, crappy reviews but makes a lot of money; you have a movie that gets good, decent reviews, but then no one goes to see it." (Actually, my favorite Burton film, Ed Wood, is a perfect example of this too).
But Burton also said that even if a movie doesn’t make money, he meets fans who connect with the movie, "and that evens the score." Frankenweenie did indeed connect with people in a big way, and if it wins Oscar gold this year, it could also really even the score even more.