Frankenweenie

8 Oct

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In 1984 Tim Burton had made his first studio film, a live action black-and-white short by the name of Frankenweenie. It detailed the story of a boy and his dog, and how the boy, after losing the dog, uses pseudo-science to resurrect it in a similar fashion to that of the 1931 Frankenstein, hence the parody title. While the film was deemed too scary for a Disney license at the time, it has since become a cult classic, even to the point where it was remade into a feature length animated film of the same name directed by Burton himself.

While the original has been out for nearly three decades it’s remake is a film, not a short and the plot has been expanded considerably which is why it warrants a review.

What was expected to be a boring rehash of the original short film turns out to be an exciting story filled with heart, science, and a cast of colorful characters. The film features Burton’s signature of stop-motion animation and retains the black and white color pallet just like the original short.

The plot is basically the same this time around, starring Charlie Tahan as Victor Frankenstein and his only friend, a dog named Sparky. After Sparky is killed in an automobile accident Victor, uses his scientific talents to resurrect Sparky, turning him into a reanimated corpse that acts as if nothing happened save for a few stitches. The deviation from the original story comes when Victor’s classmates discover Victor’s secret and use it to reanimate their own passed pets and inadvertently create monstrous versions of the original animals.

It’s been a long time since Tim Burton has done something original and I’m glad to say he still has that magic touch for cultish charm. The best thing about the movie happens to be the unexpected twists that come from it and how he sidesteps the usual clichés often found in children’s movies.

A problem with the movie is that it seems to have an abundance of characters that serve little to no purpose, and the characters made from the original seem to be a little too bland and made for the times which does distract from the best parts of the film.

The real hook of this movie that keeps it from being obscure would be all the new content and characters which also seem to be parody’s of horror icons themselves; my favorite being a deformed child named Edger “E” Gore who resembles the hunchback Igor in both name and look.

This movie deserves a watch because the world seems to be in a time when Halloween is steadily being forgotten about, and Frankenweenie keeps the spooky spirit alive. For good animation, hilariously fun to watch set pieces and a sense of originality and heart this movie delivers on what we’ve been missing. 

This has is and always will be my opinion. Thanks and see ya later.

 

 

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