San Diego Comic Con 2012 – Walt Disney Panel: Frankenweenie

Run by the moderator Chris Harwick of the Nerdist. The whole panel began with “Frankenweenie”. This movie is based on one of Tim Burton's early shorts. Naturally, Tim Burton himself was there to talk about the movie and give us a new preview of the movie itself. Burton joked that this short helped him learn more about talking and dealing with people. In a way he felt he was going back to a special first relationship. He also commented that “Frankenweenie” was shot completely in 3D.

Next he was asked about how his various backgrounds helped him write. First he talked about his comedy background. He felt it was good growing up in Burbank. He wanted to mix together the various bits of demented and strange people that he knew or noticed within his films. If one looks at the students found within “Frankenweenie”, all of them are odd and strange.

He also told us some of his love for Stop Motion. It has been greatly aided over the years by the enhanced technology, making it a lot easier to smooth out the original bumps. He did take a moment to remind us that Disney,  with all of its heart, does have some scary moments as well. For example: Maleficant from “Sleeping Beauty”, the Evil Queen from Snow Queen, Cruella De-Vil “101 Dalmatians” are great examples of just that.

After that, Burton took some questions from the audience. The first question was if he was tired of working with Johnny Depp? This question had an interesting phrase, “Scissor Alice”. Burton commented on that Depp was a good actor though.

The next questions were asked by a group who were all dressed as various characters out of a many of Tim Burton's films: Sally from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, Alice from “Alice” and at least 3 Mad Hatters from the same movie. They asked if it was weird to see people dressing as his various creations over the years. Burton responded first this hi family had come to see him. Then he remarked on how his brain had leaked out long ago. He told us that he enjoys seeing that kind of love shown to his creations.

Next he was asked if there were any ideas that had to be skipped in the original live-action short of Frankenweenie that made it into the animation. Burton said that he was happy to have done the live-action short as it was. The animation felt right but he commented that it allowed him to really expand the world that he had created for “Frankenweenie”. It was not so much he had to cut ideas for the short as expand the ideas in the short to a full feature.

The next question was very unique. The con-goer had a question on “Beetlejuice”. Released back in the 1980's, it had a rating of PG but still contained one “F-Bomb”. Burton told us back then you could have a single “F-bomb” and still get a PG rating. This has long since changed and you can't get away with that any more.

After that Burton was asked if he was going to do movies with a darker tone again. He told us that he really does not think about the movie in those terms. He just goes with what is right for the story.

The final question was if it felt good to expand on an earlier project like “Frankenweenie”. He thought about it for a minute. Then he told us that it felt good to work on the project. It means a lot to him to be able to work on that project again. With that the “Frankenweenie” portion of the panel came to an end.