Director: Tim Burton
Voice cast: Charlie Tahan, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder, Martin Landau
Plot: Victor Frankenstein is a strange boy whose dog Sparky is his only friend. When Sparky is killed by a car, Victor takes inspiration from his science teacher and uses lightning to successfully bring his dog back to life. However, this brings about a series of complicated events that may spell disaster for the whole town.
Review: Frankenweenie is a remake of Tim Burton's own short film which he made back in 1984. The story is basically a retelling of Victor Frankenstein's famous tale, except it's a dog that he's bringing back to life and not a monster.
Burton has done wonders with this film. I simply love the retro approach that he took, from the black and white theme (a homage to old monster movies) to making several characters similar to the movies he's paying tribute to. For instance, one of Victor's classmates is named Edgar Gore (E Gore) and he has a hunched back. The science teacher resembles Vincent Price, with Martin Landau providing a matching accent. There's even a tribute to Japanese monster films towards the end, I won't spoil that moment for you though.
The stop motion animation is also flawless, as is the look Burton went for the characters. Most of them have big eyes with small pupils, thus resembling scary looking dolls, but in Burton's hands they don't appear frightening at all. Well, all except Weird Girl (a classmate of Victor's), whose huge eyes and creepy speech pattern make her quite freaky.
The story itself is solid, exploring the theme of life and death, misconception and friendship of course. Victor is simply a boy who misses his dog, and thanks to his successful attempt in resurrecting his pet, brings about consequences that he did not anticipate. It culminates in a very nice climax, where the film takes a slightly darker turn from what they were going for up to that point, but it never stops being a kid's movie, as all the children in the theatre where I saw this will attest. It is still a Disney movie, darker than their usual material, but still Disney nonetheless.
All in all, I enjoyed Frankenweenie very much. It scores in almost every department and is great entertainment for all ages. Recommended. (4/5)