When young Victor's pet dog Sparky (who stars in Victor's home-made monster movies) is hit by a car, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked "monster" wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor's neighbors, he has to convince them (and his parents) that despite his appearance, Sparky's still the good loyal friend he's always been. Written by
There was a time when Tim Burton was systematically churning out great, original, quirky movies that endeared him to the general public and earned him a large amount of die-hard followers who hung on to every last idiosyncratic trademark. These followers have had a particularly hard time these last few years, ever since Tim Burton started to spoil. True, he was still using all of the unique little devices that made us love him, but his heart was not in the movies, and they all turned out commercialized and soulless, the cool "Tim Burton-ambiance" mocking us by hinting at how good he used to be.
I'm glad to say now that has all changed.
"Frankenweenie" starts by showing the audience the ordinary life of an extraordinary kid called Victor, a young boy with no friends, but a burning passion for his specialist subjects (horror movies, film making and science), a childhood that will surely resonate with both Tim Burton and the majority of his fans. Then, to the surprise of no-one who has seen the poster for the movie or heard the title, his beloved dog dies, and Victor conducts an experiment to bring him back to life, á la Frankenstein. From that moment, everything gets deliciously out of hand and grows into a classic "there is an imminent problem at hand that we need someone to deal with before this all goes down the toilet"-movie that we all love.
While the movie does not really develop its characters deeply and sometimes drops certain plot lines we would have liked to see more of, it makes up for it tenfold with the thing that Tim Burton has more of than anybody else: imagination. So many moments in this movie are truly original, clever and, best of all, funny. "Frankenweenie" is a giant tribute to old horror flicks, set against a sweet story of a kid and his dog. It will find its way into the great list of "Must see childhood movies" and will remain there for the ages, much like his previous hits "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Edward Scissorhands". I'm giving it a very high rating, not just because it is a great movie, but because it is proof of that Tim Burton still has great things inside of him, that might well be brought back to life one dark and stormy night.
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