It looks as though Tim Burton has written a love letter to his fans. Considered by many to bo one of the greatest living film makers today, “Frankenweenie” seems as if he has returned to a form we haven’t seen in many years. His signature style shines bright in the film and Disney park guests are treated to a peek at the film’s stop-motion characters and props.
When touring the Art of Animation gallery, which is currently outfitted with an Art of Frankenweenie exhibit, one can’t help but realize that Burton is a man with a very clear and signature vision. The story, as well as the art direction, has the signature Burton / German impressionistic qualities. Noticeable throughout the gallery (and sneak preview at the Muppet Vision 3D theatre) are nods to past works which made looking at every little detail so much more exciting!
The painstakingly difficult task of animating a feature-length stop-motion animated film is chronicled well in pictures and production diary videos which play throughout the gallery in sporadic intervals. There are three distinct and very detailed sets complete with props, characters, and lighting of which guests are encouraged to peruse and snap photos. Each kiosk is equipped with a video which plays with information about the depicted scenes. We were unable to hear any of the audio from the videos as the exhibit seems very popular among guests but the screens seem equipped with speakers. Perhaps heading over first thing in the morning to catch these shorts is the way to go.
The attic scene where the re-animation takes place is also interactive. Kids and families seemed to really enjoy re-lighting the scene with the series of switches below the display case. It is truly an amazing feat of lighting, art direction, and set design, that scene. Every detail is perfectly executed and ready to be scrutinized by any and all that wish to delve into the darkest corners of the room to try to catch a piece of wasted space or thematic vacuum. Not the case in my experience. Parts of the scene with no light still had an old newspaper complete with headlines, articles, dust, etc. It’s really an inspiring to see these scenes in person.
This exhibit is a true treat. Really take a moment to take in each and every scene, workstation, video, and article there is to see because there’s so much detail and it’s really fun to play cinematographer and take up-close pictures of these masterful creations. Take a look below at some of the photos we were able to take while viewing the exhibit. And then, if you haven’t already, head down to Disney California Adventure park to experience it for yourself and to shoot the scenes with your artistic eye. I can only imagine this exhibit taking up most of your afternoon while you escape those remaining hot summer days! And be sure to catch the 4D preview across Hollywood Blvd. as the experience is thrilling and touching all at the same time.