To say that Tim Burton has lost some audience goodwill would be something of an understatement. The visionary director who once brought the world such beloved films as Beetlejuice (1988) and Edward Scissorhands (1990) has caused some fans to lose faith in his signature gothic style with more recent work – namely the financially successful (though heavily criticized) Alice in Wonderland and this year’s Dark Shadows (read our review).
Consider Frankenweenie a chance for Burton to redeem himself. Based on his 1984 live-action short film of the same name, Frankenweenie marks the filmmaker’s directorial return to stop-motion animation after Corpse Bride (2005). The story follows young Victor (Charlie Tahan) as he successfully resurrects his beloved dog Sparky in a suburban riff on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Courtesy of Collider, some new clips of the film have been released, and while much of the footage (which seems to be presented chronologically) has been featured in the trailers, a few seemingly critical plot points are included. Therefore, if you’re looking to remain completely spoiler-free, it’s probably best to avoid the above clips.
We’ve also gotten our first look at the above limited edition poster that fans who attend the film’s midnight IMAX screenings will receive. Just like the best of Burton’s oeuvre, it’s understated and a bit eerie, featuring an original sketch by the filmmaker himself.
Judging by what we’ve seen thus far, Frankenweenie looks like it may be a return to form for Burton, and that’s certainly reflected in this new footage. While films like Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory relied on overtly bright color palettes and over-the-top Johnny Depp performances, Frankenweenie – like the short film on which it’s based – is presented in black and white (as an homage to classic monster movies) and eschews Depp for less prominent Burton regulars like Winona Ryder, Christopher Lee and Catherine O’Hara.
With some fans claiming that Burton’s best days are behind him, Frankenweenie could very well be the beginning of the comeback we’ve been waiting for. Add to that the continuing possibility of a Beetlejuice 2, and Burton’s career – for the first time in a long while – looks like it, too, might be brought back to life.
Frankenweenie hits theaters on October 5th, 2012.