Frankenweenie: A cute and clever satire of the famous tale.


I do find it ironic that Tim Burton remade his older short film "Frankenweenie". For those that don't know, Burton started his career as an animator at the Disney studio and made a half an hour live action short film of the same name in 1984. The executives at Disney hated the short thinking it was too scary and fired him from the company. Burton later got hired as a director by Warner Bros. the following year and the rest is history. Almost thirty years later, Burton decided to expand his original story into a stop motion animated movie. How were the results you may ask? Well, here's my synopsis.

The film is essentially a different retelling of Mary Shelly's novel. A young boy named Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is living a happy life with his parents (Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short) and of course, his dog Sparky in the town of New Holland. His happiness, however, is cut short when Sparky is accidentally struck by a car and killed. Victor becomes depressed and starts wishing for his dog back when he gets an idea. After his science teacher (Martin Landau) shows him the science of electricity on dead frogs, Victor builds a crazy invention in the attic to successfully bring Sparky back to life. After realizing what he's done, one of his pupils named Edgar (Atticus Shaffer) blackmails Victor into showing him how the process works which results in chaos that should be seen to believed. I'd rather not give any more details.

There are things that I think that the film did better than the original short film. I liked how they gave more personality to Sparky to make the audience sympathize with him more. I also really enjoyed the details they included in the original in this film. But by far, the best part of the movie was the climax which was so insane and crazy that it really made me laugh. Even Burton reusing actors from his previous films like O'Hara, Landau, and Winona Ryder was also a welcoming addition. The animation once again is great. I love how it was shot in black and white to add to the comedy and also really liked the crazy city they designed for this world. However, I did find the character's designs a little too similar to the ones from "Corpse Bride" considering that most of the crew that worked on that film also worked on this one as well. Speaking of the characters, I really enjoyed them as well. The fact that some of them even looked like the characters from the 1931 original film was also pretty funny. However, the film does have flaws. I do think that some of the emotional moments could have been handled a little better, and some of the scenes were a little pointless, particularly one involving the science teacher. But, I digress.

"Frankenweenie" might not be one of Burton's best stop motion films, but I think it's still a pretty good movie in general. It has a pretty funny story, some great animation, and some funny characters. I think the film may have been one of Burton's best film had some of the scenes were handled a little better, but I think the film had enough charm and humor for me to give it a fair recommendation.

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