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Reviews & Ratings for
Frankenweenie More at IMDbPro »

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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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Author: Rob Starzec from United States
25 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Man, I admittedly hate Tim Burton's filmography except for a few titles such as Big Fish and Sleepy Hollow, but this has to be the worst Tim Burton film I have seen in a long time. Frankenweenie was below my expectations, and I set my expectations pretty low for this film.

This film felt like it was really rushed in the production and post- production stages. One thing I cannot believe is that there was little emotion, let alone any characterization at all, in the adult characters of this film, excluding the science teacher played by Martin Landau. While Victor was animated to actually have emotions, exhibiting grief, fear, determination, all through well-animated facial expressions, the adults seemed to have one expression each throughout the movie. Way to put little life in the adults, Burton; I know this is a children's film (in fact, this movie is the epitome of a children's film) but please put more effort into the world of the story as a whole next time you decide to make an animated film.

Plot points/conversations/crucial moments sometimes went by too quickly to have the significance they were meant to have. One example of this is when Mr. Frankenstein is trying to get it into Victor's head that experimenting with the dead is something nobody should get involved with. The sad thing is he conveys this to Victor in two sentences, and then they're all off to find Sparky – or undead Sparky, if you prefer. Well done dad, life lesson learned.

Since this is a children's film and filmmakers have to meet what children can "understand" (children aren't necessarily stupid, you know) some things are left with little to no explanation, leaving the children who view this film to choose whether they buy into it or not. I may not be a child, but I am a viewer, and I barely bought any of the movie because it was so void of explanation. Victor sees his science teacher use electricity to create muscle spasms in a dead frog, and he suddenly understands how to bring dead animals back to life with electricity (specifically lightning)? Face it Burton, you just needed a way to reference the original Frankenstein, and with the little explanation involved, you put some plot points together quite sloppily.

The film was even uninteresting when important issues were raised. There is a scene which had so much potential but fell flat; it is the scene where the townspeople are at a P.T.A. meaning, upset with what Martin Landau's character has been teaching the kids. This could have been a good commentary on how people are offended when evolution is taught or when somebody is trying to convince the children of what is not the truth, such as the South winning the Civil War. But no, the people are angry simply because the man is "strange" and "weird," pretty much disregarding the fact that the people were upset in the first place because a child was hurt. Even if they went back to that child being hurt, the teacher had nothing to do with this – he just wanted them to make a project for the science fair.

Which brings me to what I hated the most about the film. One of the main plots of the movie – I would call it subplot A – is who would win the science fair. As if I cared, Burton. All this did was give the other kids incentive to pursue raising the dead on their own which didn't really amount to anything anyway. The film ends before the so-called science fair, so this subplot isn't even resolved. With the ending being ambiguous, the viewers can probably guess "oh, Victor will win since he brought Sparky back to life," but that didn't even have to do with the science fair; it was something personal to Victor.

This might entertain very young children, but if you're in your teens or older, or if you're a very young cinephile I would advise you to skip this film and maybe skip some rocks in a nearby pond for an hour and a half – it's a better way to spend the duration of this film.

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Animated upgrade of the original short.

Author: punishmentpark from Netherlands
25 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was surprised to learn that this was actually a (3D) stop-motion film. I don't know the details of it, and how much was later added and altered by computer, but still, I thought it was 'just' a 'long cartoon'...

I just went and saw the original 'Frankenweenie' (1984) after this one, and this is quite the upgrade. Better characters, better details, better story, pretty much everything is better about this one - although the L.A. setting of the original was quite nice I must say. To find this sort of rather dark animation in the mainstream segment these days is in any case refreshing and it does come close.

Tim Burton's sideline criticism on the American schooling system is a plus, though it's pretty much forgotten in the spectacular finale. Not really a problem. The wonderful and fantastic world(s) of Burton are (mildly) subversive in their own right.

A big 7 out of 10.

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Not as bad as I thought it would be, but it suffered thanks to modern humor

Author: gasmaskproductionsbooks ( from Canada
7 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved the 1984 film Frankenweenie as a little kid, but I went to see this version of Frankenweenie not expecting much. For starters, it's a Disney movie, and Disney loves dumbing down a story to make it more cheerful - they seem to do this more for the parental audience than the kids - and judging by the trailer alone I knew that this movie wouldn't be very good.

Well, it was better than I expected, at least animation-wise. It was typical Tim Burton animation, Gothic and bizarre and filmed in black and white to evoke a b-movie atmosphere. The voice cast wasn't bad; they brought back some of Tim Burton's more well-known cast members like Winona Ryder (Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands).

That being said, this movie is lacking a lot. The ending is abrupt and seems fake, this movie really needs a better ending. No wonder kids today are growing up thinking that they don't even have to try in school because "everything has a happy ending". I can't believe this movie stooped to toilet humor too, putting crude humor into a movie always takes away from the story and it's immature and disgusting. Sure, it might make the lowest common denominator of society laugh, but there's just some things the world can do without, and crude humor is one of them. Only in the 21st century, eh? The plot sort of ran right off the rails when the other secondary characters started bringing their deceased pets back to life, we had a cat, a tortoise and a number of other animals just wandering around for no reason and by that point I sort of just gave up trying to pay attention.

It's too bad that a movie with a lot of potential ended up being kind of a dud. This definitely isn't a Tim Burton movie I care to remember, I think his movies like Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Beetlejuice, Vincent, The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride had much more of an impact on me than any of his others. Maybe it's because Disney bought him off, but his work just isn't what it used to be.

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Frankenweenie or bringing Tim Burton's mojo back from the dead

Author: Edd-N-Furter from Mexico
6 January 2015

In 1984, when Tim Burton worked for Disney made a short film called Frankenweenie, which tells the story of Victor, a boy who after losing his dog Sparky in an accident decides to bring him back to life in the purest Frankenstein style, without considering the consequences this may cause. This work helps us to understand the basics of Burton's thematic and visual style, which became his trademark over the years: dark worlds with isolated and/or solitary characters faced to the reality of the world that confronts or rejects them.

It is almost 30 years later and a streak of quite irregular films that Burton returns to his roots and decided to resume the story of Frankenweenie to make an animated feature making use of the stop- motion technique, with which he created some of his best works such as the Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie is no exception, as it represents a return to the best films of Burton.

On this occasion the original story remains intact and makes a bigger emphasis on the impact of the resurrection of Sparky among Victor's friends and as they'll try to emulate the feat with catastrophic results for the small town they live in. Likewise, the relationship between Victor and Elsa, her neighbor and school crush is explored, through which a great reference to The Bride of Frankenstein is made, although it'snot the only one, since along the film there are winks to classic monsters movies from the 30's as the Mummy, Creature from Black Lagoon, Cabinet of Dr. Cagliari and even classic monsters like Godzilla. And the film itself is a homage to this cinema being filmed in black and white and with music in perfect tone by Danny Elfman (Burton's closest collaborator).

An innate quality of Burton is the skill to create endearing characters out of the dark and grotesque and the best example of it is Sparky, a little dog now part of the most adorable creations on the burtonian universe, and that somehow reflects many of elements or themes that have remained constant in most of Burton's filmography: childhood, loneliness, friendship and a strange fixation with death and what happens after this.

Excepting the end that seems to betray the original concept, it is safe to say that Burton needs to do more films like Frankenweenie and much less like Alice in Wonderland.

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This film is bittersweet in its own ways. And I like that.

Author: Rosalyn Lim 林惠美 (hayashimegumi) from
29 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Frankenweenie (2012) is a beautifully animated stop motion film homage to classic horror films with references to Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Godzilla. This animated feature though cannot be compared to Tim Burton's live action films as they are essentially different types of movie, it is just as dark, Gothic and artistic as his other films; perhaps just much more personal.

Although completely in black and white, everything is lively. It would be extra appealing to those who love black and white films. There are certainly several scenes that are impactful even with no words expressed at all. Nostalgic as the whole film is old school, the main character Victor also resembles Tim Burton childhood; they both make their own films in their early years.

In Frankenweenie (2012), the relationship between the pets and their owners are admirable, the children's competitiveness in fear of losing in the science fair are funny and the science teacher has unique personality that is honorable but it deals with the lost of loved ones, the mysteries of science and the fear of something unknown to the masses in addition to conformity, loneliness and ignorance too. Therefore, this film is bittersweet in its own ways. And I like that.

However, one thing I don't really like about this film is towards the end, it feels a little ridiculous. It was really awesome until everyone conjured something different up. It is not that bad but the art seems not consistent anymore. Still, I still love this film and it'd be one of my favorite animated films!

You will find that this film does have a lot of precious moments if you watch it. Victor's parents are supportive of his ventures. The pets such as Sparky, Persephone and Mr. Whiskers are so adorable and they are truly the best companion any children could have. I find the pets' eyes looks so real, realistic. Their expressions are genuine. Just like Tim Burton has mentioned, "Dogs are special. You leave them and go out the front door. Then you come back two minutes later and it's like they haven't seen you in three weeks... You don't get that with people, really".

In short, Frankenweenie (2012) is endearing and certainly a black and white beauty.

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A Brilliant Animation

Author: Rainey-Dawn from United States
13 October 2014

Frankenweenie is a brilliant stop-motion animation. I did not think I would like this movie better than "The Nightmare Before Christmas" or "Corpse Bride" but I did. The other two Tim Burton films are outstanding and I still love those movies - but Frankenweenie quickly became my favorite Tim Burton animated film (so far). Maybe it's because the movie is loosely based on one of my favorite classic horror stories "Frankenstein".... maybe it's just the idea of bringing back to life someone you love (even a beloved pet)? I can't say for sure why Frankenweenie is my favorite of the Burton animations - it just is.

This is a great Halloween Holiday film -- and I'm sure it will be a classic. This film would be great to watch along with "The Nightmare Before Christmas", "Corpse Bride", "Hotel Transylvania" or "ParaNorman".


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Disappointingly Boring

Author: David Arnold from United States
24 September 2014

I definitely got what I was expecting with a Tim Burton animated movie here - dark, moody, and very Gothic. To be honest, though, I never really found this movie amusing and even my wife - who love's animation movies - was falling asleep. There were some scenes you chuckled at i.e. where Sparky was wagging his tail and it came flying off, but as a whole I found the movie to be pretty boring.

I was hoping for more in this one than what I got with A Nightmare Before Christmas (that one DID send me to sleep), and while it was better, it wasn't by much. I did like that it was an animation based on the classic Frankenstein movie - but with a dog being brought back to life instead of a human. Even little "Egor" was in it as well and a reference to The Bride of Frankenstein.

The animation is excellent, so at least that was something positive about the film. I usually enjoy Tim Burton movies on the whole - Batman and Beetlejuice being just a couple of my favourites - but I think he should stay away from the animated side of movies and stick to his classic dark live action movies.

All in all, this is a pretty disappointing movie and is a bit of a let down.

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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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