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
Tim Burton hasn't been making any of his original ideas since 2005. His recent films are adaptations that most of them are not outstanding nor creative like his own stories. Tim Burton's returns to his original roots with this. Frankenweenie is based on a short he made decades ago. He remade it into a full length animated feature film with sheer campiness. It's great when it goes there but when it tries to be emotional, it works in a short while but it is more interested to its craziness and the storyline doesn't know where to go. The director may return to his style but he still has his old flaws.
The concept is fascinating. It sounds like it's going to be a heartwarming family fun film. It obviously tries to capture the old horror movies with black and white. Most of the characters are based on iconic horror movie characters. Tim Burton is always highly imaginative but somehow he's lacking something. In family films, he creates a charming innovation but he couldn't bring enough depth to it. There are things that could have been interesting. This is about a kid who brings his beloved pet back to life. There could have been more genuine cherishing moments of Victor and resurrected Sparky. There are times like that but it immediately skims to the comedy. The storyline doesn't quite know what to do until it hits to the big climax.
The voice performances were good. Martin Landau's is probably the best among them who gratifies and delights his character with his campy accent that reminds you of his role in Ed Wood. The stop-motion animation is simply majestic. The black and white effect makes it a lot more fascinating. The character and monster designs are magnificent. It's wonderful enough as a Tim Burton animated film.
Frankenweenie suffers with the same problem of Edward Scissorhands. Don't get me wrong, Edward Scissorhands is a beautiful film but there is a little depth to its concept and serves an awkward climax leads to an underdeveloped romance. At least there's an endearing performance by Johnny Depp. Frankenweenie is fun but it's kind of empty in the end. It's not bad, it just could have been better. The darkness of the film could have been something affecting instead of an impaled cat. The sad parts seem contrived for the idea's sake. The film messes around the rest of the runtime. I guess the throwbacks and the filmmaking are the only merits of the film. Fans of Tim Burton's dark and crazy vision would enjoy. Since we don't see a lot of stop-motion animation these days, I guess that what makes this appealing. To think about the story, still not satisfying.
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