Frankenweenie (2012)


Tim Burton is one of a few charismatic Hollywood filmmakers who still upholds a strong particularity in his every work. This kind of mild idealism in bringing a different style among a majority of mainstream films may not always bring good return, like public appreciations or fantastic profits. If you track his works, you’ll understand what I’m saying: it’s about a dark, quirky, and somewhat spooky nuance of his films. This year, after bringing “Dark Shadows” into big screen, Tim Burton is back with an animation film titled “Frankenweenie”.

“Frankenweenie” is actually a remake of a similarly titled short-film he made in 1984. “Frankenweenie” tells about Victor (dubbed by Charlie Tahan), a boy who loved his dog, Sparky, so much. One day, Sparky died because of a car accident. Then, inspired by a science experiment of his teacher, Mr. Rzykruski (dubbed by Martin Landau), Victor tries to bring the dead Sparky back to life unbeknownst to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein (each dubbed by Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara consecutively).

“Frankenweenie”, in a way, is similar to “Corpse Bride”, Tim Burton’s 2005 production. It still talks about death, cemetery, corpses, and other quirky things. The characters were also made quite extremely but uniquely, like a pair of big eyeballs with a single black dot marked as pupils, an extremely pointed and gaunt faces, liny fingers, and so on. Moreover, this film is released in black-and-white. With a support of some spooky sound effects around some scenes, this film is finally rated PG (Parental Guide) instead of G (General) like many other family animation films.

"I don't want him in my heart. I want him here with me." -- Victor

That’s why, I was a little bit curious if kids watching this film were unexpectedly frightened rather than amused. Haha. But, trust me, put those creepy nuance aside and you’ll find this film is hilarious. Sometimes I laugh seeing the characters in this film, like Mr. Rzykruski, whose face is long with wrinkled skin around his mouth, or Edgar ‘E’ Gore (dubbed by Atticus Shaffer) with his bent back and long, liny fingers. They were absurd and awkwardly “tickling”. Some scenes may go so horrific, but it’s wholly funny and entertaining.

I don’t really understand why Tim Burton produced this film in black-and-white instead of, let’s say, full dark coloring like he did in “Corpse Bride”. I was thinking that because this film is targetted to kids audience, black-and-white will not make them interested. Yet, as a “resurrection” of a monumental short work in the past, I agree how he want to keep it as idealist as it could be. For your info, this film was made using stop-motion technique, with puppets for every character in the film. Referred to, “Frankenweenie” is the first black-and-white stop-motion feature film released in IMAX 3D.


At last, “Frankenweenie” becomes a unique and amusing film. Every unlogical and quirky thing in this film turn into an appeal that attracts viewer. Just enjoy this film without being bothered with them. Allow me to give you a suggestion: if you’re gonna watch this film with little kids, tell them that all those things happened in this film was a total fiction. I’m just concerned if they’re gonna practice what Victor did to Sparky at home. Haha.

3.0 out of 5 star

 Artsy, stylish, different  No great plot afterall √  Burton's fan and everyone who needs laugh!


FRANKENWEENIE | COUNTRY USA YEAR 2011 RATING Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images and action GENRE Comedy, Animation, Horror RUNTIME 87 min CAST Charlie Tahan, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder WRITER Leonard Ripps (based on a screenplay by), Tim Burton (based on an original idea by), John August (screenplay) DIRECTOR Tim Burton BUDGET/GROSS $39,000,000 (est.) / $28,238,779 (USA per 21 Oct 2012) IMDB RATING 7.6/10 (to date) METACRITIC 74/100 (Generally Favorable Reviews) (to date) ROTTEN TOMATOES 89% (Certified Fresh) (to date) MORE INFO

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