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Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Hard Sell of Frankenweenie

We're a little less than a week away from the opening of Disney's Frankenweenie, a film made by Tim Burton, whose body of work tends to fall off the mainstream. For me, Tim Burton's work falls in two categories - odd but enjoyable (Beetlejuice, Batman) or odd but a little too strange for me (Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland).

Disney is heavily promoting Frankenweenie as commercial trailers show up regularly during assorted network and cable programming. There is an exhibit of Frankweenie art featuring actual movie sets and pieces on display at the Art of Animation building in Disney California Adventure (Frankenweenie was made with stop motion animation as opposed to the computer graphic rendering of typical Pixar films). And Disney has also moved my beloved Muppets out of their theater in DCA so continuous showings of the Frankenweenie trailer can be shown to park guests. Of course, DCA is also loaded with Frankenweenie merchandise for sale during this Halloween season.

So Disney is really banking with a hit on its hands with Burton and his beloved Frankenweenie project. But I have to get back to my two Tim Burton categories. For me, just from trailers on TV and what I have seen in theaters, Frankenweenie just appears to be a little too weird for my tastes. First of all, the movie is in black and white - a curious thing to do in 2012 but it probably does add to the visuals of the film. But the story of a boy bringing his beloved deceased pet dog back to life through scientific experimentation just feels like, well, kind of creepy. The film is in 3D which costs a few buck more than regular movie prices to see but checks in with a running time of less than an hour and a half so you are paying a premium price for essentially a short movie (though admittedly, a short good movie is better than a long bad one - and we are back to Alice in Wonderland again).

Anyway, I don't have any plans to see Frankenweenie at the theater. Maybe I'll rent it some day but I picture myself having a hard time of doing even doing that. Instead, I'm going to hold off on my Disney film watching at the theaters for another couple of months. Wreck-It Ralph is just around the corner.

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