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Reviews & Ratings for
Frankenweenie More at IMDbPro »

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Index 151 reviews in total 

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Oddly common story, Tim lost his touch.

Author: moviecritzhd from Philippines
8 February 2013

Making the animation different in a common story was not at all beneficial but instead it became dull and boring. From the title itself it is already predictable and Tim was stuck with the same common story rather than exploring it. Contrary to the story of giving life, the film looks dead in a grave.

The idea of making a new animation film in an old black & white format was a good one but not for this this kind of story. I would rather see Nightmare Before Christmas in full black and white because of its complex and different storyline.

Great animation comes from great imagination. Tim Burton was indeed among those greats but not in this film of copydog or copycat or copy frankie!

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Tim Burton Boring?

Author: oceansroar from Lyon, France
27 February 2013

If you had not told me that this was a Tim Burton film, then i might not have known it because the element of surprise is non-existent and the usual bizarre Burtonisms are lacking. This is a remake of an old short film Burton did in the 80's, which also fans the flames of doubt that Tim Burton has run out of ideas. i guess their is one surprise in this film; Johnny Depp is not in it. he basic idea of the story is taken from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and it never veers from it, which could have make it an enjoying film. Tim Burton should have explored the paranormal or even some of his usual humour could have add to this bland story. Hopefully, he will return with some great great, but even someone as bizarre as Burton grows older and mellows out. Perhaps he will do a rom-com next. Watch the old Frankenstein film and skip this film.

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Tim Burton being Tim Burton

Author: freemantle_uk from United Kingdom
19 July 2014

Tim Burton has had a tough few years with many of his newer films disappointing his fans and audiences. He returned to something more personal by turning his first short film, Frankenweenie into a feature length film. Frankenweenie is a film that Burton was committed to project, making a homage to Gothic horror films of the 30s, particularly Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein and mixing it with the 50s small town Americana of Edward Scissorhands and focusing on many outsiders. The Elementary School is populated by strange characters, Victor (Charlie Tahan), an intelligent boy more interested in science and filmmaking, Elsa (Winona Ryder), a depressed goth girl, Edgar "E" Gore, a creepy hunchback kid and "Weird Girl" (Catherine O'Hara), a girl who is obsessed with her cat's psychic visions.

Frankenweenie is a fantastically animated film: Burton brings out a creepy look: the characters are deliberately exaggerated as it tells a story most people can relate to when we have suffered some sort of lost. Burton recreates the look of both old Black and White monster movies and B-Movies from the 50s. But this disadvantageous because Frankenweenie is a bit too much of a love letter to though films. The humour for the most part is mild with the funniest moment being when a Eastern European puts down the parents during a public meeting in the most condescending matter possible.

Frankenweenie is a solid enough film with a running of 80 minutes. But it is essentially what you would think a Tim Burton film would be like.

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Tim Burton At His Best!

Author: g-bodyl from United States
24 March 2014

2012 is the year of animated horror films and this film, Frankenweenie might just be the best of the bunch. Tim Burton is at his best and is most effective here and this film gives off Corpse Bride and Edward Scissorhands vibes and that's a good thing. Filmed in stop-motion animation, this is a story that is creepy and borderline scary, but also funny and sometimes emotional.

Burton's film is a story that digs deep. It's about a boy and his dog but there are some underlying themes prevalent such as friendship and tight, life-long bonds. Victor loses his dog, Sparky to an unfortunate accident, so Victor decides to reanimate his dog's corpse and things may not be the same afterwards.

This film doesn't have many recognizable names here, but there are several Burton regulars here such as Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, and Winona Ryder. They all do a good job here.

Overall, Frankenweenie is an excellent film and a good spoof of horror classics. I like the use of black and white because it adds to the film and almost make it seem fifty years old. This is a creepy but sometimes funny film. A great animated film for adults, but perhaps a bit too scary for kids. I rate this film 9/10.

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Good try but not enough

Author: mic90 from Finland
22 March 2014

Victor Frankenstein is an strange boy from strange world. Written by Tim Burton (Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow). Victor's only friend is the dog named Sparky. Victor's parents are worry because their son is so lonely and they want that Victor should find a human friends. One day Victor starts playing baseball with few boys as same ages like him. The first game became such tragic and suddenly Sparky is gone. Victor is so sad that he wants bring Sparky back to the life. Then the experiment went to wrong way and the horror is on the loose. Warning: spoiler alert.

Frankenweenie is the new version Burton's short story from 80's. But the scales is now bigger and storytelling is more deeper. In visual side the movie looks good and black and white style made the look even better. Burton used same stop-motion technique like what he used for Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Corpse Pride (2005). Burton loves horror flicks and Frankenweenie's story is full of classic horror elements and the characters. The script is clever and different characters made movie more interesting.

Somewhere the film can't handle full scales and the crew loosed they ideas and none knew how the movie should have ended. I don't know what kind of ending Burton wrote in first place. It felt that Burton's original idea watered down and he wanted more "kid friendly" ending. Unfortunately ending is typical sappy/Hollywood ending.

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Entirely shot in black and white, Frankenweenie is a stop-motion animated film that is painstakingly with over 200 puppets.

Author: Lloyd Bayer from United Arab Emirates
10 March 2014

For a stop-motion animated film, Frankenweenie has a lot of things going for it. Comprising of over 200 puppets strung to about 30 individual puppeteers, the result is a top notch, fluid animated feature that is very realistic to the naked eye. What is surprising is the fact that it took director Tim Burton two years to literally animate the story of a boy and his dog and the bond they share - an incredible feat when considering that a week of filming produces only five seconds of animation! Entirely shot in black and white, the setting is perhaps Burton's greatest triumph – a throwback to Hollywood's past while experimenting with the undead. Set during 1970s in the town of New Holland, it is the story of young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) and his beloved dog Sparky. As is typical of boys his age, Victor loves his dog and even uses Sparky as the protagonist in his home-made stop motion animated films. All this changes the day Sparky is killed in a tragic accident. Inspired by his science teacher, Victor does the inevitable. Sparky is resurrected (no surprise, given the title) but soon attracts the curiosity of his classmates, who are all vying for the ultimate science fair project. Once they figure out how Victor brings Sparky back to life, clandestine trips to the pet cemetery results in grotesque consequences for the sleepy town of New Holland.

With a fascination for the macabre and the morbid, I can't say this is Tim Burton at his best, nor his most original. No doubt, filming a stop motion animation in black and white, and in 3D, is a cinematic first but there are too many similarities to his 2005 animated film Corpse Bride, another stop motion film dealing with, well, the undead. The characters (or puppets) look almost identical with Burton relying on his signature Gothic dark circled eyes. Curiously, Sparky looks almost the same before and after his death. When it comes to originality, there's not much you can expect in terms of the story when the premise itself is an obvious homage to the 1931 classic, itself inspired and titled after Mary Shelley's seminal Frankenstein story. Knowing this, the black and white setting becomes a necessary aspect and a vital component in Burton's grand scheme of things. Another questionable flaw is the film's juvenile PG rating. Given the premise of Victor, his class mates, and their collective morbid curiosity, few children watching the film are going to be entertained. The bigger question is whether children are old enough to be entertained or fascinated when dealing with the subject of death or the possibility of life after death. Although there are funny moments, albeit very few and very dark, the subject shifts to an illustration telling children how to deal with the death of a pet and the ensuing process of letting go. Yet somehow, this does not appear to be the intended message if Sparky is meant to be brought back…more than once.

Considering its absolute scope and production value, Frankenweenie can be justified as a painstaking film made with grand ambition. There is also Burton's panache for anything that goes bump in the night with various references to the early days of cinema monstrosities. To this effect, Danny Elfman's score is a perfect consummation further accentuating Burton's moments of intentional homage. And considering the sheer nature of its making, this film is a marvel to watch and recommended for a mature audience but not necessarily for kids. Speaking of which, there used to be a time in modern cinema when children were told not to try at home what they saw at the movies. But going by the last scene, Burton seems to be saying that it's OK for kids to go back home, dig up a dead cat, stick kitty's tail in the wall socket and yell "It's alive, it's alive!!"

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a nice strange one

Author: dragokin
8 March 2014

I saw Frankenweenie in an open-air cinema, prepared for that purpose in a city square. That fit well with Frankenweenie, since it references several old movies that were presumably watched in open-air theaters.

The movie itself is hard to classify. IMDb's description as Animation/Comedy/Family is only halfway there, since the main protagonist is a dog brought back to life by electricity. And apart from the reborn dog, Frankenweenie would have been a true family movie.

But this is what is typical for Tim Burton and what puzzles me the most: Where does his fixation on death and the dead come from? There is nothing bad in that since i guess no one is actually harmed. On the other hand, this leaning toward Gothic fashion and subculture is something you grow out of after a certain age...

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A film for my heart

Author: Tuuli Reinsoo from Estonia
10 December 2013

I could have written a review sooner. But it is now that I wish to say a few things. 1. to everyone who complains about a lack of logic: you obviously don't realize that with animation, especially stop-motion, you can even be totally metaphoric and logic has no place in it, other than how to switch on the camera. have you seen Estonian stop motion? Makes. no. Sense. and does life make sense? does it? Nope. yet Frankenweenie rings so true about all the things we have lost. that regret, wishing to bring them back, always remembering them. 2. what Tim does with stop-motion is a miracle. 3. I actually don't have anything very reasonable to say, just that this film went straight into my heart next to Edward Scissorhands. I haven't been so emotionally invested for a long time.

I am so glad there is a person like Tim who still does real films. yes, he has experimented with that incomprehensible motion capture too, but stop-motion has this tangible quality, that makes you actually feel the touch of a filmmakers hand. you can see what he actually does. I am so glad he has the patience and will to do this. he is an artisan! a deep bow to him and his team.

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Frankenweenie vs Frankenweenie

Author: alexlangholm from United Kingdom
3 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(WARNING: spoilers) A full-length version of a short television film, Frankenweenie is basically the same subversive suburban vision of Frankenstein but with lots of other horror and monster movie clichés weaved into the background to give it a longer running time.

Our protagonist Victor is sullen, introverted and otherworldly in the mould of many other Burton heroes such Edward Scissorhands. His parents and surroundings are deliberately-clichéd depictions of suburban America (again, slightly Scissorhandish) and into this mix are all sorts of clever references to characters and concepts that are more usually found in Hammer films. From the strange science teacher to the neighbour's dog's haircut, the strength of cinema Frankenweenie is in blending this additional Gothic layer onto an already-familiar template.

There are some additional sub-plots thrown in such as a school science fair, but these remain sideshows and the original main elements of the story dominate it.

But is the cinema Frankenweenie better than the original television Frankenweenie? There's only one way to find out, fiigh... no, let's compare them instead.

The original short is punchier thanks to its shorter running time, and has the same core joke of something a child might mistakenly believe (that they can bring back dead loved ones) actually turning out to be true. On top of that, in many ways it's far more disturbing to see a live action child actor digging up his dead dog (also played by a real life canine). This might well be what made Disney go ballistic when Burton presented it to them back in the 1980s, but it's also what makes it stand apart from mainstream America and why Burton was an interesting young director to watch. This starkness probably put some people off who expected Disney films to be easily digestible, and without the happy ending the original Frankenweenie would be a fairly bleak film about lost innocence. It definitely wasn't the kind of thing to help sell lunchboxes.

The modern full-length Frankenweenie is much more mainstream, easier to handle, easier to accept, probably because the stylised animation adds another protective layer between you and the gore: if a dog starts falling to pieces it's much less distressing when it's animated, just as Tom & Jerry is more acceptable than Sam Peckinpah. Cinema Frankenweenie is clearly much more compatible with both the Disney branding and the merchandising that accompanies it. Whether that accessibility makes it a better film depends on your own personal requirements from a work of art (and maybe your mood too).

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Met My Somewhat Reserved Expectations

Author: clopton from United States
11 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tim Burton is a brand name by this point. His signature Gothic style, of black-and-white spirals and character who don't own combs, has become so widely replicated that the director can't help but rip-off himself. The diminished creative returns for his most recent films attest to this. So why was I so excited for "Frankenweenie?" I like the original short film a lot. Even if Henry Selick was the real genius behind "The Nightmare Before Christmas," Burton's stop-motion films are usually a good bet. The cast was exciting and not a single Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter in sight. Maybe just the idea of a kid's film inspired by and visually patterned after classic horror was enough to excite me. (And, hey, I love dogs too.) I'm happy to report "Frankenweenie" met my somewhat reserved expectations.

Of course, it's hard to say how much of "Frankenweenie" Burton is even responsible for. Trey Thomas is credited with "animation direction," which sounds to me like he did most of the work. The story is ostensibly set in the modern day, if a brief line of dialogue about Pluto's dwarf planet status is any indication, despite possessing a wholly 1950s nostalgic atmosphere, recalling "Edward Scissorhands." One character, known only as Weird Girl, looks like she stepped right out of one of the "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories." I can't help but feel this is less a proper Burton film then it is an animated movie in his so instantly recognizable style.

Anyway: Is the movie good? I thought so. It doesn't take a lot to make a "Boy and His Dog" story tug at my heart, even if it's fair to say the movie undersells the emotional core just a bit. Mainly because the movie has to stay inside the standard kid's movie runtime and, since the entire movie revolves around bringing the dog back to life, you can't spend too much time getting to that point. The movie isn't really about coping with grief or accepting death anyway. Instead, it deals with the much more kid-manageable theme of the transcending power of love. Tying that theme of love into the other theme of responsible science is one of the movie's bigger gaffs. For what it's worth, the movie does a decent job of selling the love between boy and pet, as well as the budding romance between Victor and his equally goth-y, quirky neighbor.

For a classic horror fan, there's a lot of references, homages, and throwbacks inside of this one. The movie starts with a film-within-a-film, amusingly presenting stop-motion animation in a stop-motion environment. The Frankenstein allusions go a little deeper then the obvious. Winona Ryder plays a girl named Elsa and a supporting character is modeled after Frankenstein's Monster and speaks with a Boris Karloff lisp. They even wrap him up like a mummy at one point. There's a lot more. The passionate science teacher is visually patterned after Vincent Price. Disappointingly, Walter Matheu never attempts to impersonate Price's signature voice. In the latter half of the film, a creature that heavily resembles Gamera wanders in, as do a gang of killer sea-monkeys that leap out of pools and chomp on popcorn, Gremlins-style. The references-heavy tone even makes a closet full of wire hangers look familiar.

Of course, the black-and-white environment is gorgeous. The movie might actually be a little too scary for young kids. The body-horror-lite transformation of pet cat into monstrous cat-bat is played fairly straight, as is the Wererat stalking a gym teacher through the halls of the school. The spooky pet cemetery provides a lot of ambiance, especially in the scene where Sparky realizes his undead origins, one of the movie's best.

The movie is a straight-up remake of the original short film, some scenes copied frame for frame. To extend the story to feature length, a major subplot about rival kids creating their own monstrous pets was added. Though fun, and leading to some of the biggest laughs in the movie, these scenes feel a little shoehorned in. Especially since, once the big exciting monster attack on the town carnival is over, we still have to get to the burning windmill as seen in the original. I'll admit that neither Atticus Shaffer as Igor-expy Edgar nor Charlie Tahan as protagonist Victor really work for me. Neither kid actor has strong voices. Luckily, the rest of the cast, Catherine Keener and Martin Short in triple roles and a meek-sounding Ryder, pick up the slack. A gag about psychic cat poop is unnecessarily icky. The movie is generally better then that.

Over all, "Frankenweenie" is super cute. Sparky is adorable, it's nice to look at, and is frequently funny throughout. It would be a great movie for horror fan parents to take their kids too. If you can really credit the movie to Burton, it's one of the better films of his later-day period.

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