30 January 2013 11:29 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

If "Frankenweenie" has an edge in the Oscar race for best animated feature, it's because of the Tim Burton factor. He's long overdue for an Academy Award and if it weren't for the continued popularity of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (which he made with Henry Selick), there likely wouldn't be three stop-motion movies competing for the Oscar this year. And Burton's the first to admit that stop-motion movies are purely artistic labors of love that can't compete commercially with their CG siblings, so an Oscar for Burton would finally be an acknowledgment of his stature and influence. Plus, it would be fitting to honor Burton for "Frankenweenie," which is the director's most personal movie about his love of monster movies and the craft of stop-motion, growing up in Burbank, and, yes, an ode to his childhood dog (the premise of his original live-action short from 1984). "For me, 'Frankenweenie' was a. »

- Bill Desowitz

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