Producer Don Hahn Talks FRANKENWEENIE, MALEFICENT, Easter Eggs at Disneyland, DisneyNature, and More

     July 24, 2012


The black and white, stop-motion animated 3D film Frankenweenie, from director Tim Burton and based on the ideas in his 1984 live-action short, is a tale about a boy and his beloved dog. After unexpectedly losing Sparky, young Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan) sews him back together and 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, Atticus Shaffer and Winona Ryder.  Here’s the recent trailer.  Frankenweenie hits theaters October 5, 2012.

Last week I got to sit down with producer Don Hahn at Comic-Con.  During our wide ranging interview we talked about making Frankenweenie, if it was tough to get the studio on board, if the current popularity of The Nightmare Before Christmas helped get the film made, and more.  In addition, with Hahn producing Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie, we talked about how that’s been going, what Easter Eggs people should look for at Disneyland and Disney World, what he collects, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

frankenweenie-movie-posterAs usual, here’s the time index so you can watch the parts that interest you.

Don Hahn Time Index

  • :15 What is he looking for when he’s at Comic-Con?  Says he’s a Hellboy fanatic and buys a lot of Disney art.  Talks about the popularity of limited art prints.
  • 1:39 Talks about Tim Burton’s passion for the project.  Says Burton wanted to design the characters himself instead of having other artists do it.
  • 3:07 Was there any pushback from the studio for taking on dark material and doing it in black-and-white?  Says they got a lot of people asking if toys and product tie-ins would be feasible for the film.  John Lasseter was a huge proponent of getting the movie made.
  • 5:00 Talks about being able to point to the cult status and current popularity of The Nightmare Before Christmas when they were faced with apprehension about Frankenweenie.
  • 6:13 (NOTE: I made a mistake here. It’s Don Hall who is attached to Big Hero 6)  Says he’s not involved with an animated feature film version of Marvel’s Big Hero 6.  “I don’t know, because I’m not working on a Marvel property right now… I mean the studio is probably doing something, but I’m not doing anything with it.”
  • 6:57 Talks about the prospect of Disney working with Marvel on an animated iteration of some of their characters.
  • 7:37 Talks about working on Maleficent.  Says Angelina Jolie is at the top of her game and she was born to play this character.
  • 8:34 Says there’s a lot of visual effects work needed for Maleficent.  It requires an immense world to be created for the film, so it doesn’t come out until 2014.  There are a lot of fantastical elements a la Alice in Wonderland, but it’s live-action.
  • 9:29 Are there any Easter eggs or things off the beaten path at Disneyland or Disneyworld that he would suggest people check out?  Says they’re putting in a Beauty and the Beast expansion in Florida, and they’re brining the Frankenweenie exhibit to Disneyland.  Also talks about how Pixar’s involvement has been extremely beneficial to the parks, with people like John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton pitching ideas.
  • 10:51 The place that he loves to go to at Disneyland.  Says there’s a bench behind where the Columbia sailing ship docks that’s a neat, private place.
  • 11:38 What’s he working on now?  He has a couple of DisneyNature movies that they just started filming.  They take two or three years to shoot.


Latest News