Toronto's Fan Expo gives sneak peek at Frankenweenie

Tim Burton fans can get a sneak peek at his upcoming film Frankenweenie at Fan Expo, the Toronto convention devoted to comics, anime, horror, sci-fi and gaming.

Couple weds in costume

Frankenweenie is Tim Burton's black and white 3D animated film. The Art of Frankenweenie at Fan Expo displays the vision behind the film. (London Film Festival)

Tim Burton fans can get a sneak peek at his upcoming film Frankenweenie at Fan Expo, the Toronto convention devoted to comics, anime, horror, sci-fi and gaming.

The Art of Frankenweenie is an exhibit of drawings and props for the 3D stop-motion animated production that is part of the four-day convention.

The festival also brings comic book legend Stan Lee, horror film director John Carpenter, anime actor Vic Mignogna and Buffy the Vampire Slayer star James Marsters to Toronto to meet fans.

Frankenweenie 28 years in making

Frankenweenie is 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 until his home-sewn creation escapes and wreaks havoc on the town.

Burton first had the idea 28 years ago, when he was a young animator for Disney. But the live-action short he created with a similar story was deemed too scary by Disney and Burton was fired.

Legendary comic book creator Stan Lee mimics Spider-Man as he celebrates 50 years of the comic book character at the Fan Expo convention in Toronto on Thursday. (Michelle Siu/Canadian Press)

Now the director of Big Fish and Alice in Wonderland is directing the twisted tale Frankenweenie for Disney, with opening in Canada set for Oct. 5. It is also opening film of the London Film Festival.

An exhibit of Burrton's art that opened the TIFF Bell Lightbox in 2010 was a big hit among Toronto fans.

John Carpenter to speak

Horror master Carpenter, who returned to filmmaking after a 10-year hiatus with The Ward in 2010, will speak Sunday about the development of the genre.

Other big names in horror to make an appearance:

  • Jennifer Carpenter of Dexter.
  • Marsters and Juliet Landau of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
  • Norman Reedus and Jon Bernthal of The Walking Dead.
  • Sam Trammell and Nelsan Ellis of True Blood.

In the comic realm, former Marvel chairman Lee, creator Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Iron Man, is a celebrity guest, as are artists J.Scott Campbell, Greg Capullo and Canada’s Jason Fabok.

Fan expo aims to lure the games with a video game tournament and sessions such as "So You’re a Gamer and Nobody Understands You." Celebrity guests include Monte Cook of Dungeons and Dragons fame and writer-director David Hayter.

Fan Expo wedding

One couple even tied the knot at the convention on Friday, the first the Fan Expo has ever hosted.

Oshawa couple Rob Bridges and Amy Banman were attended by a party of wedding guests in comic-related costume.  The bride chose a Star Wars theme as her wedding music.  

Both Bridges and Banman are comics and horror fans and they’ve been to the convention together every year since they met five years ago.

Fan Expo, also known as Toronto's Comic-Con, runs Aug. 23-26 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

With files from the Canadian Press