Interview with FRANKENWEENIE Producer Allison Abbate

During my Los Angeles visit last month, I had the opportunity to see a screening of Tim Burton’s FRANKENWEENIE.  Here is a quick synopisis:

From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor 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.

 After the screening, we interviewed Producer Allison Abbate. Below is our interview, enjoy!

Q : I remember seeing back in the 80’s an animated version of that type of facial structure in the “Family Dog”.

Uh, the dog, you know, Tim designed “Family Dog”.  So I think that this is kind of a Tim design sensibility.  I mean that’s kind of how he sees dogs.  But i– it’s funny because the original — a lot of our design stuff happened in 1984 ‘cause he just took some of his character designs from when he did the short.

And then just basically made the puppets now.  So, um, it is kind of like, you know, Victor looks like Victor from “Corpse Bride” who like– I mean there is definitely it looks like Vincent.

Q : Is it from the same universe or is it separate?

I mean I think it’s its own universe.  But, you know, you go — it — it tread a little on the whole like kind of the “Edward Scissorhands” I think.  You know, it takes place in a place called New Holland, um, which is sort of like Burbank.  And that’s sort of — that’s where Tim grew up.  So a lot of it is really drawing from his personal experience.  And he loves that contrast between the monsters and the normal suburban life.  And, uh, normal suburbanites seem like in the end are more monstrous  than the monsters.

Q : It just felt like he was getting back to his roots in a lot of ways in I think sort of the iconic old school Tim Burton is back.

Absolutely.  Absolutely. Um, I just think that it was like it, uh, he’s been really wanting to do it for such a long time so and he had so many ideas about where to go with it and what to do with it.  Like it’s been fun to watch things bubble up in his — in his head too.  So I do think that comes through and in the — in the imagery.  And all like all the kids in school like are all based on things that he knew.  Like I thought your girl and like everybody knows a weird girl in — in grammar school like Sue.  It’s just funny to me.

Disclosure: Disney/Pixar sponsored travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles. Thoughts are my own.