From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes Frankenweenie, a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.
The last 9 or so years have been quite interesting for Tim Burton in that entire time the only movie he has brought out that has been moderately interesting was Sweeney Todd in 2007 prior to that, one of his best movies to date was Big Fish starring Ewan McGregor in 2003. So in a way you could say Burton hasn’t brought out a decent movie for pretty much ten years he just repeatably continued to fail over and over… Well until now with Disney’s Frankenweenie.
Funnily enough we first saw the story of Frankenweenie 28 years ago when Burton was commissioned by Disney to make a short film which would have been shown in front of the re release of Pinocchio in 1984 but the studio thought it was to dark for children and Burton actually got fired from Disney… Fancy that, considering now its 2012 and the full length Frankenweenie has just been released into cinemas by the same very studio(if you want to see the original 30 minute short its available online).
I think in some parts everyone can relate to the story of Frankenweenie, we have all lost a pet that has devastated us to the extent that if we could bring it back we would, in this case Victor achieves this by listening carefully to his science teacher talk about electricity and it’s effects on a dead frog. In a very Frankenstien’esque moment Victor brings his little dog Sparky back to life and the full weight of the story continues.
The movie was shot via stop motion photography and in black and white which I know won’t appeal to some but if you look at from the point of view of the story itself its a massive throwback to the 1931 movie Frankenstein and Burton plays homepage to this insanely well. I never expected to enjoy this film as much as I did, the musical score is incredibly beautiful done by none other than Danny Elfman, it was very reminiscent of his score for Edward Scissorhands.
Performances by the entire voice cast is equally brilliant with the notable mention of Atticus Shaffer (TV’s The Middle) in the role of Edgar “E” Gore a hunchbacked child inspired by Igor, we also get to hear Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara (the mother from the Home Alone Franchise) who actually voices three characters including the ever so quirky and down right strange ‘weird girl’.
It’s definitely a movie that will make grown men cry, Frankenweenie is a very powerful and wonderful story about the relationship between a boy and his dog. I will definitely be heading back to the cinema for a second viewing but isn’t it rather interesting that the best movie Burton has done in 10 years doesn’t star Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp……ponder that for a moment.
Frankeweenie is in cinemas now I give this film 9 out of 10 stars.