Frankenweenie – Movie Review
I didn’t go into this film completely convinced. As much of a Tim Burton fan as I am, the trailers don’t do it justice and the few reviews I saw didn’t really seem to get it as far as I could tell. I’m glad I let a friend drag me to it, because otherwise I would’ve missed out on a gem of a film. Once again straddling the line between kids’ film and disturbing subject matter, you can tell Frankenweenie was a labour of love for Tim Burton.
Victor Frankenstein is an odd boy who spends his days making super-8 films starring his dog Sparky (that pun will hit you more than once during the course of the film and induces both a giggle and a groan) – it’s basically Tim if he were a stop motion character. His parents are very accommodating, although why his father worries he’ll grow up weird is a mystery. The entire child population of New Holland are freaks. I mean this as a compliment of course. New Holland itself is very much like the suburb from Edwards Scissorhands. Frighteningly normal people who don’t seem to know what their kids are getting up to.
When Sparky is in a terrible accident, Victor uses the power of (very dodgy) science to bring him back to life, but then has to hide him from the rest of the town. His next door neighbour is the mayor whose niece Victor has a crush on and whose dog Sparky takes a fancy to. It’s all very romantic and tragic. Winona Ryder as neighbour Elsa Van Helsing (the references keep coming) is playing pretty much the same character she did in Beetlejuice and to a certain extent Edwards Scissorhands. That’s not a knock; she plays the character well.
I won’t ruin the story for you because it’s brilliant. The animation is similar to Nightmare Before Christmas as you’d expect and you’ll barely notice that it’s not in colour if that sort of thing bothers you. Like I said before, there are references aplenty and each one will make you smile. Some of the content is a little disturbing for children, which is likely what earned it a PG rating. Definitely not one for the younger kiddies but a must-watch for fans of classic horror or Tim Burton.
Rating: 4/5 Raging Nerds