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SWEENEY TODD offspring into dinosaurs

By Jackie Burrell
Sunday, December 30th, 2007 at 2:45 pm in Books.

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton, KRT PhotoGotta love it when edgy directors become daddies. At the end of a fascinating Wall Street Journal interview on the inspiration behind his new, very blood-spattered movie musical, “Sweeney Todd,” Tim Burton is asked, “You … have a young son (with partner Helena Bonham Carter). What kind of books are you reading to him?”

“I’m happy to see that he’s gravitating toward dinosaurs,” says Burton. “I was worried when we got stuck in the Teletubbies and Wiggles phase. But now he’s onto dinosaurs, which is gratifying.”

Sweeney Todd, Bellatrix Lestrange and the Teletubbies??? We can’t even imagine it. But Burton and Carter snuggled up with 4-year-old Billy Ray, paging through “The Big Book of Dinosaurs” by DK Publishing or Jane Yolen’s “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?” Absolutely. Or maybe …

… they’re pouring over the latest issue of National Geographic Magazine, which has a 23-page cover story on “Extreme Dinosaurs.”

Carnotaurus/Pixeldust Studios

How extreme? How about a Carnotaurus (photo to right) with bull horns, powerful jaws, and teeny tiny arms – you thought T-Rex was arm-challenged? Nothing compared to this one. Or how about a Masiakasaurus with such long teeth that the hooked tips curl out of its mouth? Or the Deinocheirus, whose 8-ft. long limbs are topped off by 10-inch claws? Its nickname is, understandably, “Terrible Hand.”

Now that seems like appropriate bedtime fare for Bellatrix and Sweeney’s offspring …

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