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Frankenweenie: The Visual Companion

General Information:

Media Type: Book
Type: Other
Release Date: 2013-02-05

Geek's Thoughts: If you are a fan of Frankenweenie this book is a great addition to your library and you will enjoy it. If you want to learn what goes into a stop motion animated film this is an interesting read too.

This hard cover book explores how Frankenweenie came to life starting with Tim Burtons original short and then following through the development process including story, character and sets. Then onto how the elements are combined, shot, and presented.

There is a solid narrative throughout the book in addition to the great images. The narrative includes an overview of the process as well as quotes and information from those that were involved in the film. The images as you would expect given the title are great and range from concept sketches to final production pictures and everything in between. I really enjoyed seeing pictures that showed the process and behind the scenes at the filming. The creation and animation time involved in a stop motion film is amazing to me. Having to hand animate everything in the frame a small fraction and doing this 24 times just to get one second of final film is a labor of love for the animators.


The two largest sections of the book take an depth look at the characters and sets of the film. I thought the character exploration was an interesting read, both from the narrative about the character but also the visual. Each character received a two page spread that featured a final image from the film as well as a page showing a combination of sketches, models, tests, puppets, etc.. to really show you what it takes to bring one of these characters to life. I also enjoyed looking at the drawings and notes of what goes into making the puppets able to be posed. The engineering that is involved in these creations is complex.

Some random interesting items I took away from the book included the special considerations because the film was going to be black and white and how they were going to show the final film in 3D but choose to film it in 2D. Also that it was shot with a Canon Digital SLR camera (A Canon 5D Mark II using old, manual Nikon lenses).

The one area of the film process that is mentioned and referenced but not really explored is the role technology and post production play in the process. Being a computer person myself I would have liked to have seen that part of the process given a little more of a spotlight.

Frankenweenie was released on Disney Bluray and DVD in January 2013 Click for more information

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