"Frankenweenie: An Electrifying Book"

"Frankenweenie: An Electrifying Book" (September 24, 2012)

Just in time for the Halloween season, it appears as though something wicked this way comes, no?

Well, not really. Actually, it’s kind of cool.

Tim Burton’s much-anticipated “Frankenweenie” hits the big screens next month, and Disney Publishing has turned to Apple’s iBooks Author to create an interactive, behind-the-scenes look at film.

The free interactive book “Frankenweenie: An Electrifying Book” features videos, music and original sketches that show how the movie about a boy named Victor and his dog Sparky was brought to life again. (And, no, it wasn’t entirely through the Frankensteinian efforts of thunderstorm-generated electricity and the mad designs of misapplied science.)

The book, which is available for the iPad, looks at how a 1984 live-action short served as the basis for the full-length, stop-motion film that is being released in theaters October 5. Academy Award-winning actor Martin Landau (who voices one of the characters in the new film) offers a foreword to the book, which also introduces the several hundred puppets of the film’s fictional town of New Holland.

The new e-book also has a look at “The Art of Frankenweenie Exhibition,” which is now on display in Anaheim, Calif.

In a press release about the digital book, Lyle Underkoffler, vice president of digital media at Disney Publishing Worldwide, said, “Using iBooks Author, Disney Publishing was able to include more digital content than ever before—including previews of animated storyboards documenting the transition from sketch to screen.”

Apple’s iBooks Author application is one that allows users to create e-books and publish them at the Apple iBooks bookstore. Many of the application’s user-interface features and editing concepts are similar to Apple’s Keynote and Pages products.

This is the first time that Disney Publishing has used the application to create an e-book.

The application allowed Disney to create a multi-touch e-book replete with video and audio. For example, one chapter on the film’s music includes previews of tracks from the original score created by legendary musician and composer Danny Elfman. Readers of the e-book also can watch video interviews with producers of the new film, too. There’s even a “chalkboard collage” feature for young readers that’s focused on the film’s characters.

“Frankenweenie: An Electrifying Book” is free at the iBookstore in 32 countries around the world.