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    Oct 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA

    FRANKENWEENIE on 3D, Blu-ray and DVD January 8th

    Tim Burton Interview Inside...

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    In anticipation of the 3D, Blu-ray and DVD release of FRANKENWEENIE on January 8th, Disney shares with us the following interview with director Tim Burton. In the interview Burton shares whether he dreams in black and white or color, memories of his childhood dog, what scares him & much more!

    DISNEY: Frankenweenie is described as a semi-autobiographical project. Does this mean the younger characters in the movie are based on your classmates from school?

    TIM BURTON: The kids in the movie are based on various real people, but they are also based on horror icons like Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and dubbed Japanese movies that I remember seeing as a child. They relate to movies and actors, as well as real people that I remember from my childhood.

    The main character, Victor, loves to make movies. Is that what you used to do when you were a child?

    Yes, I did. A lot of kids did, actually. It was a fun thing to do, and it became a very easy way to get good grades.

    What movies did you make?

    Sometimes Iíd make stop-motion movies and sometimes I would make live-action movies. Sometimes I filmed drawings, or I did a mixture of things.

    Were you also into science projects, just like Victor in Frankenweenie?

    I liked the idea of making things and creating things, but I guess I always treated science and art as quite similar thematically. I feel like the idea of science and short filmmaking, and doing science fairs and projects like building volcanoes, is all in a similar vein.

    Did you have a pet dog like Sparky when you were a child?

    When I was a child, I had a really strong connection with a dog we named Pepe. He was a mutt who was ill for a very long time.

    Is Sparky based on Pepe?

    This dog is nondescript. He wasnít meant to be like a literal translation of my dog. He is more of an emotional translation.

    Do you have any dogs in your life now?

    Right now, I donít have a dog because I travel a lot and I donít want to leave it abandoned while Iím away.

    Has your family got any pets?

    My kid has a tortoise and three terrapins, but thatís about all we can handle at the moment.

    When it comes to Frankenweenie, why did you decide to create the movie in black and white?

    I find black and white very beautiful. It gives a real sense of emotion. I was really excited about seeing this in black and white because thereís a depth in the black and white, which I love. I was very happy that the studio went along with the idea. If they wanted it in color, I wouldnít have done it.

    Do you dream in black and white or in color?

    Iíve had black and white dreams, as well as color dreams. Iíve had both. I love black and white; I always have. I think thereís a real beauty to it. Itís not right for every project, but when you take the color out of something, sometimes you start looking at other things like textures andcharacters. It does something really interesting.

    Frankenweenie is an homage to black and white monster movies from the past. Did those movies scare you as a child?

    I think I was more scared by real life rather than movies. I could watch a monster movie fine, but Iíd be terrified if I had one of my relatives come over. I was never scared by monster movies because I felt like the monsters were always the most emotional characters Ė at least in those old films. I guess itís slightly different these days.

    What about spiders and bugs? Do they scare you?

    Iím not a big fan of spiders or rats and things like that. I got up one morning on a vacation recently and there was a huge centipede in my bed. I wasnít very happy about that.

    Did you worry that the story of Frankenweenie might be too dark and scary for Disney?

    No. In my mind, I always felt confident that it was quite a traditional Disney movie. Disney movies like Bambi and The Lion King have dealt with emotional issues that are not dissimilar in some ways. Disney films have a certain element of danger or darkness in them, and if all of that stuff was taken out of every Disney movie, they wouldnít feel the same. Frankenweenie has got a happy ending, so I never felt like it was pushing the boundaries very much in terms of that.

    Youíve worked on such a wide variety of projects and moviesÖ How does it feel when people come up to you to tell you that they identify with one of your memorable character creations?

    The best thing that ever happens to me is not so much about reviews or box office [takings]. I try to make the money back for each film, but the nicest thing is when you get people coming up to admit that they have a personal connection with a character. Thatís really, really nice. To me, that means more than anything because thatís the reason why I do this.

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