Tim Burton fans are in for a treat next year, seeing how the filmmaker will provide them with a double dose of Gothic goodness: first, with his Dark Shadows TV show adaptation, and later with his Frankenweenie feature-length adaptation.
You can glance through early imagery from Frankenweenie in the gallery above - or, read on for more about the film, plus larger versions of those featured pictures.
Quick history: Frankenweenie was originally a live-action half-hour short film created by Burton back in 1984 - one that told the story of young Victor, a boy who uses cutting-edge science to bring his beloved recently-deceased pup Sparky back to life. Jump ahead some twenty-seven years (as well as numerous box office hits later) and the filmmaker is now revisiting his own quirky twist on the Frankenstein story - by turning it into a 3D stop-motion animated movie.
While Frankenweenie will (surprisingly) not feature Johnny Depp in a role, it has reunited Burton with many of his other previous collaborators, including: regular/voice-acting talents like Winona Ryder (Beetlejuice), Catherine O'Hara (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Martin Short (Mars Attacks!), Martin Landau (uncredited in Sleepy Hollow), and Conchata Ferrell (Edward Scissorhands) - along with Burton's frequent scriber, John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride) and go-to composer, Danny Elfman.
Frankenweenie also boasts the vocals of young non-Burtonverse vets like Atticus Shaffer, Charlie Tahan, and Robert Capron, as well as experienced voice actor Tom Kenny: the man responsible for the dulcet tones of SpongeBob SquarePants, Nute Gunray on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Wheelie in the Transformers movies, among many other animated characters.
With all that said - check out a behind-the-scenes image of Burton (via EW) working with some Frankenweenie character models - along with actual still frames from the film - below:
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It looks as though Burton's Frankenweenie characters will bear a strong resemblance to his previous stop-motion creations - such as the titular Vincent in his first animated short or the humans in Corpse Bride. This project also retains the black-and-white aesthetic of its 1984 predecessor, as an homage to the classic studio horror films which heavily influenced Burton's (now readily recognized) warped and Expressionistic sense of mise-en-scène.
Suffice it to say, Burton isn't exactly broadening his artistic horizons here - but, if done right, Frankenweenie could be just as much kooky fun - and oddly touching - as the filmmaker's best work. Here's hoping for the best...
Frankenweenie is scheduled to arrive in 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on October 5th, 2012.
For more about the film, check out the full article over at Entertainment Weekly.