What’s a movie without a good story. Tim Burton has had an ace of a screenwriter under his wing for years. We’re referring to John August, the same man who wrote “Big Fish,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and now “Frankenweenie.”
There’s no story more touching than the beloved tale of a boy and his dog, with a little bit of a twist. When Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) struggles to cope with the fact that his best friend and pooch is no longer with him, he brings him back from the dead through science. The rest of New Holland isn’t ready to embrace the revised version of Sparky, though some of his classmates are interested in outdoing Victor in his own animal science experiment. Latino-Review got the chance to sit down and talk with the accomplished screenwriter about being the right-hand writer for Mr. »
- Melissa Molina
Frankenweenie Directed by: Tim Burton Written by: John August (screenplay), Tim Burton and Leonard Ripps (story) Starring: Charlie Tahan, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, Atticus Shaffer Love him or hate him, I think most people would agree that Tim Burton has not been at the top of his game over the past decade. Sure, Alice in Wonderland earned over a billion dollars worldwide, but it was one of four or five half-hearted remakes he has directed since 2001. His work has felt creatively neutered for some time now, and even the allure of Johnny Depp as a vampire could not save Dark Shadows from financial failure this past summer. Now, for his second film of the year, he is essentially remaking one of his own films. Can Frankenweenie provide the creative spark he so desperately needs? Tim Burton started his career as an animator at Disney back in the '80s, »
Directed by Tim Burton
Written by John August
Tracking Tim Burton’s career path is watching a cliché come to life. The trajectory is as follows: a shy, awkward young man becomes a star by staying true to his idiosyncratic ideals, but over time, his most ardent fans are let down as his style becomes parodic in nature. The local boy makes good until making good means he’s lost his soul. Burton’s intensely personal style has manifested itself throughout his entire filmography, despite it being filled with so few truly original pieces. From Pee Wee’s Big Adventure to Batman to Sleepy Hollow, Burton has been consistent in taking a preexisting concept and being able to put a unique spin on it. However, over the last 10 or 15 years, Burton’s films have felt like a weak shadow of his baroque, pop-Gothic sensibility. Wildly successful though it was, »
- Josh Spiegel
Tim Burton seems to be a director that makes two kinds of films; 1.) Tim Burton movies and 2.) movies that look like Tim Burton movies. Frankenweenie is undoubtedly the former whereas films such as Dark Shadows, Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fall in the latter category with stories that are incredibly uninspired set in a lush world of imagination where Burton's knack for whimsy and unique characters suffocate under scraggly trees and desaturated color palettes. Frankenweenie isn't classic Burton, in the sense we aren't getting a film on par with such personal favorites as Ed Wood and Mars Attacks!, but there is a certain charm to it that only gets better and better over its short 87 minute running time. Based on Burton's own 1984 short film of the same name, Frankenweenie is far from an original story, taking the tale of Frankenstein and placing it on the shoulders »
- Brad Brevet
John August has spent nearly the last decade collaborating with Tim Burton. Beginning with the heartfelt fable Big Fish, August went on to work with Burton on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Corpse Bride, Dark Shadows and, now, Frankenweenie, opening tomorrow (Friday, October 5th).
Earlier this week, we spoke to August about the film, which is an adaptation of Tim Burton's 1984 short film about an inventive young boy and his resurrected dead dog. Inside, August discusses capturing the right tone, creating new monsters for the film and more.
Read more »
"Frankenweenie" is not only Tim Burton's best film since "Big Fish" (another rite of passage story), but also a lock for a best animated feature nomination. In fact, while the Oscar could even be Burton's to lose, it's shaping up to be quite a race with two other tantalizing retro movies yet to come: Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph" (November 2) and DreamWorks' "Rise of the Guardians" (November 21). Burton's overdue at the Oscars; thus far his only nomination was for stop-motion "Corpse Bride." Still, it's hard not to be seduced by what is being regarded as Burton's most personal movie. During the making of "Frankenweenie," the director would gently rebuke, "That's not the way it was," in reference to recreating what it was like growing up in Burbank in the 1970s. It's as though his entire ethos is encapsulated in this heartwarming yet cautionary tale of a boy and his »
- Bill Desowitz
Based on his 1984 live-action short film of the same name, Frankenweenie is a coming home of sorts for Burton. It is a return to a story concept he came up with in his early days at Disney, an homage to the beloved horror films of his youth, and a remembrance of his upbringing in suburban Burbank, CA.
The film follows young Victor Frankenstein as he resurrects his beloved bull terrier Sparky, inadvertently inciting a chain of events which culminates in a monster-mash of epic proportions. It feels as if there is more emotional biography in this film than in almost any previous Burton endeavor (with the exception, perhaps, of 2003′s Big Fish).
The director went so far ...
- Roth Cornet
Screenwriter John August has spent nearly a decade collaborating with director Tim Burton and, in a new interview with ShockTillYouDrop.com , he discusses their partnernships, including Big Fish , Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , The Corpse Bride , Dark Shadows and, opening in theaters tomorrow, Frankenweenie . The film, a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog, follows a young boy, Victor, who, unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life . with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor's fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new "leash on life" can be monstrous. Click on the image below to check »
Frankenweenie, from director Tim Burton and screenwriter John August, is a charming, macabre and heartwarming tale, about Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan), a young boy who, after unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life, but quickly faces unintended and sometimes monstrous consequences for his actions. The voice cast also includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder and Atticus Shaffer. During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, John August talked about how his collaboration with Tim Burton originally started, expanding the original Frankenweenie short into a full-length feature, how amazing Weird Girl and her cat are, and his reaction to seeing the finished product put together. He also talked about the challenge of actually getting a script made into a film, how many unproduced scripts he has sitting around collecting dust, what made Big Fish right for a Broadway musical, »
- Christina Radish
Longtime Tim Burton collaborator- writer John August- has enjoyed a rather remarkable career in a considerably short amount of time. Read on for his thoughts on everything from Frankenweenie to the much talked about adaptation of Preacher.
He hit the ground running when he saw his very first script out of college- the now modern cult classic Go- being helmed by director Doug Liman (Swingers, The Bourne Identity) and just a year later found himself working on the feature film update of Charlie's Angels with McG. It was in 2003 when August found something of a kindred creative spirit in Burton when the pair worked on Big Fish and eventually four other feature film projects including the iconic filmmaker's latest- the Disney stop-motion animated flick Frankenweenie which hits theaters everywhere this Friday.
Tasked with fleshing out the story that Burton first brought the story of Victor and Sparky to life »
John August is a screenwriter who has one of those careers every maître d' who has hidden a script under a stack of menus envies. His first script, the straight-outta-film-school "Go" was jazzily directed by "Swingers" helmer Doug Liman, and less than a half-decade later, August started a lengthy creative partnership with director Tim Burton. Just this year, August provided the original story for Burton's gonzo "Dark Shadows" update (his draft -- which he calls one of the best things he's ever penned -- was heavily rewritten by current Burton favorite Seth Grahame-Smith) and this week he has "Frankenweenie," a stop-motion animated feature based on one of Burton's very first projects – a live-action 1984 short. We talked to August about his relationship with Tim Burton, whether he plans on writing and directing again anytime soon, and his work on the "Big Fish" musical. Starting in 2003 with the gently »
- Drew Taylor
In the last decade, renowned auteur Tim Burton has sort of dropped the ball creatively. After 2003’s Big Fish, the goth filmmaker sadly stopped making quality films. It seems he has sold his soul to Disney and now only makes kid-friendly dark comedies with the exception of Sweeney Todd. He puts Johnny Depp in everything because the Burton/Depp collaboration is one which warrants great commercial success but offers nothing new in terms of artistic innovation. Dark Shadows is the eighth collaboration between Burton and Depp and unlike a fine wine, their team-ups don’t get better with age.
Based on the gothic 60s soap opera of the same name, Dark Shadows starts off in 1760 and focuses on the wealthy Collins family. They’ve moved to Maine from England to expand their lucrative fishing empire. Barnabas Collins (Depp) is the prince of the family and he is rather busy when »
- Randall Unger
With "Frankenweenie" hitting theaters this weekend, and already riding on some very good reviews, it seems Tim Burton will be able to wash away the foul taste left in the mouths of his fans by "Dark Shadows." This summer's vampire comedy tale, based on an obscure TV show, ultimately did decent business (over $230 million worldwide) but couldn't crack $100 million at home, which is not what you want from a movie starring Johnny Depp. An odd mashup of fish-out-of-water comedy and horror, the movie never tonally gelled, and kind of went out of control in the last act. But had things gone a different way, we would've seen an entirely different movie. Burton's regular collaborator John August ("Corpse Bride," "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory," "Big Fish," "Frankenweenie") was actually the first one to put his pen to paper on the script for "Dark Shadows," but was replaced by new Burton buddy Seth. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Screenwriter John August made a name for himself with 1999′s hyperkinetic “Go,” which hop-scotched back and forth in time in colorfully detailing intertwining stories surrounding a drug deal gone bad. Plenty of other high-profile work followed, including a series of lucrative polishes on studio flicks, but August has become most synonymous with director Tim Burton, working with him on five films over the past decade. Their latest collaboration is the 3-D, stop motion-animated “Frankenweenie,” a delightful little curio about a boy, Victor, who endeavors to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life following his untimely death. For ShockYa, Brent Simon recently had the chance to speak to August one-on-one, about [ Read More ]
Tim Burton’s new film, Frankenweenie, opens this Friday. For those who don’t know, the film is a black-and-white, stop-motion animated, feature-length adaptation of his short film from 1984 of the same name, being distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
The original Frankenweenie was also produced for Disney while Burton was working in their animation department in the early ’80s.
Burton told Shock Till You Drop that for the new adaptation, he wasn’t interested in simply revisiting the original short film. “Yeah, basically, it was a few different things like going back to my original drawings and doing stop motion. Black and white stop motion. It wasn’t a good idea to just go back and revisit it. Because it was a memory piece in a way, there were other memories about kids in school and sort of archetypes there. The texture of Burbank [California] and the teachers, other monsters and »
Welcome to Shocktober. Get it? If not, you will soon!
October is always a prime month for horror movies (what with, you know, Halloween and all), and there seems to be even more blood-soaked offerings than usual this year, with no less than nine fright fests set to hit theaters over the next 31 days.
Take a look at what tricks and treats are in store for you, including the fourth installment in the "Paranormal Activity" series, a 3-D sequel to "Silent Hill" and a return to form for Tim Burton with the animated "Frankenweenie."
Release Date: Oct. 5
The Horror: Heh heh, well, "The Horror" in that stop-motion animated kind of way. "Frankenweenie" tells the gruesome yet heartwarming tale of Victor Von Frankenstein, a young boy with a passion for homemade »
- Bryan Enk
Genre: Horror | Drama | Mystery Thriller
Running Time: Approx. 534 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
American Horror Story revolves around The Harmons, a family of three who moved from Boston to Los Angeles as a means to reconcile past anguish. The all-star cast features Dylan McDermott (Dark Blue, The Practice) as Ben Harmon, a psychiatrist; Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) as Vivien Harmon, Ben’s wife; newcomer Taissa Farmiga as Violet, the Harmons’ teenage daughter; Jessica Lange (Grey Gardens, Big Fish) in her Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning first-ever regular series TV role as Constance, the Harmons’ neighbor; Evan Peters (Kick-Ass, Invasion) plays Tate Langdon, one of Ben’s patients; and Denis O’Hare (J. Edgar, True Blood) as Larry Harvey. Guest stars for the series include Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under, Happy Town) as the Harmons’ housekeeper; Alexandra Breckenridge (True Blood, Ticket Out »
- Erin Willard
For those familiar with the Alamo Drafthouse and their now 8 year old, blossoming Festival, the words Fantastic Fest conjure up all sorts of morbidly twisted imagery. It’s kind of a sick spin on the often cited Internet Rule 34, except in this case, it’s broadened to include the whole gamut of grotesqueness that one could conceivably stir up in ones own mind, and then some.
Heck, the Festival’s film guide even had to construct a giant pictographic grid of debauchery to help its attendees decipher just exactly what kind of nasty things they should expect film to film! Imagine my surprise then when I found out that this year’s Festival Opener, would be none other than Tim Burton’s newest Disney approved excursion, Frankenweenie.
A small portion of the pictogrid I mentioned!
As I took my seat in the auditorium, I had pretty much made up my »
- Ty Cooper
Updated: ABC has handed a script commitment with significant penalty to Chosen, a drama from Big Fish writer John August and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles developer/executive producer Josh Friedman. Described as a unique tale of family struggle, teen romance and California evil, it explores how a family’s life is upended when their 15-year-old daughter is identified as the reincarnated prophet of a mysterious South American religion. But is she their messiah, or a pawn in a darker conspiracy? August is writing and will executive produce with Friedman. 20th Century Fox TV, where Friedman is under a three-year overall deal, produces. Chosen joins another premium script deal Friedman recently inked at NBC for an untitled soap set in in world of human-looking robots, which Friedman is writing/executive producing, with Homeland‘s Howard Gordon supervising/executive producing. August, who recently co-wrote Dark Shadows, and Friedman are with UTA. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Once upon a time, we were excited about every Tim Burton picture that came along, but that's been steadily chipped away over the last decade or so. "Big Fish" and "Sweeney Todd" have their moments, but from "Planet of the Apes" to this year's "Dark Shadows," we feel more and more dread about each coming Burton production, dread that's normally justified when we see the finished product. Which is why we're so happy to have such warm feelings at this point towards "Frankenweenie," the filmmaker's second picture of the year. A remake of the short film that made his name, now transplanted to 3D black-and-white stop-motion animation, the footage so far has suggested a return to the classic Burton meld of comedy and mild horror, feeling like the purest and most inspired out of his output yet. We'll be finding out soon if our hopes are justified -- the film »
- Oliver Lyttelton
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