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Frankenweenie More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Don't Show To Girls

Author: Donna Barr from Clallam Bay, WA, USA
8 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Black and white; interesting. Story cute.

Martin Landau's pro-science speech before the fearful, ignorant parents? Much needed, today, and snarkily delightful. Which makes one expect great things with all the characters.

But what a disappointment. Burton might have re-assembled part of the Beatlejuice cast, but nobody's got his or her head on straight. The one thing they do seem to have is a Tardis to the 1950's - a pink one, that puts all those annoying females, including Winona Ryder, smack back in their proper places.

Don't show this to girls. Only the boys have any action alloted to them, or at least in a way they can get away with. One girl is beyond useless, and needs to be rescued - AGAIN - and the other girl, daring to experiment like the boys, doesn't get her pet back, and is ultimately ignored.

And her pet? Unlike the boys' dead pet, it's a live pet. A helpful pet, who brings her a bat. Its fate? To be stabbed through with a burning windmill beam and burnt up. Her grief trying to deal with it? Well, evidently when the pet died, she evaporated, because we never see her again.

We ran through the credits, figuring we'd been set up for a cute after-credit moment with the girl and her revived, if bedraggled, cat. Something snarky and funny and scary and poignant.

Nothing. Black screen.

Evidently, girls who don't just obey uncle and stand on the stage and sing, who dare to experiment like the boys, get punished and vanish.

Come to think of it, don't show this to boys, either.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I see no reason, other than a crass desire for more money, for this film to have been made.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
20 June 2013

Tim Burton's career took off with his creation of the original film "Frankenweenie". It was a very cute and sweet short film—a homage to the horror films of yesteryear. Now, more than two decades later, Burton is back with a remake….of sorts. In fact, although the title is the same and the first half of the film is quite similar, it is much more a re-imagining of the original. The last portion, oddly, bore no resemblance to the original…and in this portion, the film became tedious. In fact, it was so bad I am shocked that it was Oscar-nominated—especially when better films (such as "ParaNorman") could have been nominated instead.

Like the first film, a boy's beloved dog is struck and killed by a car. And, the strange boy decides to revive it using Frankenstein-like contraptions that zap the carcass with electricity. This is much of the film. Then there is the new material—where several kids from school also decide to create their own undead creations in order to win a science fair. Unfortunately, the kids all end up creating monsters that terrorize, very briefly, the city. In the end, all is well….and I was thrilled that the film was finally over!

So why did I dislike the film? Well, it certainly wasn't the look of the film. Using stop-motion, they created a very imaginative black & white world that you have to like even if the plot itself is stale and the new material is simply awful. At least the art department deserves kudos. As far as the story goes, the biggest problem isn't that they changed the original story (I expected they would)—it's that the fun and comedy of the original film was non-existent and in its place was cliché-ridden and joyless romp. And, while I am not a huge fan of political correctness, I thought the way the Asian kid was portrayed was cheap and very stereotypical (his creation turned into Gamera—the Japanese monster who often battled the likes of Godzilla). Overall, apart from the artistry, I thoroughly disliked this film and STRONGLY recommend you see the original—which is very clever, fresh and fun. Or, see one of Tim Burton's good stop-motion films, like "A Nightmare Before Christmas" or "The Corpse Bride".

By the way, you might wonder why I even watched this film. Well, I was on a Disney cruise and the movie was free—so it isn't like I paid to see it. If I had, I am sure my score would have been lover than 4.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

unscientific, poor plot, stop animation, B&W

Author: Shaer Ahmed from Bangladesh
19 June 2013

I watched the movie last night because of all the suggestions from my friends, 87% Rotten Tomatoes rating, 74% Metacritic rating and a 7 IMDb rating. But in the end, the movie disappointed me in every way possible.

First impression: The movie is a B&W, stop motion animation and the characters have weird zombie like faces. I don't understand why a movie should be entirely B&W in this millennium. And stop animation makes the movie worse!

Second impression: The movie has one of the most unscientific and illogical plot I've ever seen. Although the entire story revolves around a science project, it has little to do with science! Again the movie contains little, if any, humor which is in no way acceptable for an animated movie.

Third impression: The movie has almost no twist. A very monotonous and boring one with everything way too much predictable.

Final impression: The movie has disappointed me very much. I won't recommend anyone to watch this movie. It might've stood a chance if it was a cartoon! But unfortunately, it is not!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Black and white can be great

Author: jessiejb29 from United Kingdom
22 February 2013

Okay this is not your usual Disney film. There is still the themes of love and good old family values but there is also some darkness to this film. Children will love the relationship between main character Victor and his dog. Parents will love the constant references to old horror films.

The actual film production is amazing. The back and white theme adds to the darkness of the piece and is actually a very unique viewing experience. Production designer Rick Heinrichs said (in this interview behind-frankenweenie ) using animation unlocked the potential of the film, which was previously a live-action short from the 80s. I agree with him on this as working with a live dog would have been difficult for this film.

Definitely worth a trip to the DVD store for this one!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Burtonesque Essence

Author: p-stepien from United Kingdom
25 January 2013

Many of Burton's fans would agree that the gothically enticing director is at his dark best when sifting through the world of animation. "The Night Before Christmas" and "The Corpse Bride", for all their narrative limitations, permeate with a murky essence of originality and creative opulence. When Burton returned to his debut short to expand it into a feature the result are invariably captivating with his creepy animated models and campy goth endeavour.

"Frankenweenie" is to some extent a return to the source after several failed movies, which continued to add to Burton's growing list of critics for his one-minded limitations. First conceived back in the 1980s, the full length feature tells the story of small town boy Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan), who decided to reanimate his beloved dog, dead after being run over by a car. Lonely and detached from school Victor becomes inspired by his science teacher Mr Rzykruski (Martin Landau), thus attempting to revitalise his pooch with some lightning and ingenuity. When classmates discover Victor's success, they soon attempt to replicate this experiment...

Probably nothing original in terms of narrative, following well-treaded paths and offering a recognisable and affable (family fare type) denouement reached by the use of a standard, but well-scripted narrative, "Frankenweenie" nonetheless trades with atmosphere abundant of the dusky realm of Burton's sensibility and vision. Inspired by horror movies of old, but coupled with your family movie genre, Burton offers a darkly humorous feature, which may feel familiar script-wise, but is touched by vintage Burton eccentricity. Possibly not enough focus was given to actually imbue higher emotionality to characters or the key interaction between Victor and his reanimated dog (making the story a bit hollow), but overall the flawed exposure of characters are hardly noticeable for the enjoyment of this little stop-motion animation gem.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"Frankenweenie" is a beautiful homage to the classic horror films of yesteryear which will entertain children of of all ages

Author: ersinkdotcom from United States
10 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A love / hate relationship has always existed between Tim Burton and critics. Ever since "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" hit screens in 1985, the renowned director / producer / writer is constantly put under a microscope over every project he's attached to. He's been praised for triumphs like "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and ridiculed for heavily panned for movies such as the "Planet of the Apes" remake. "Frankenweenie" should be added to his list of successes.

Vincent is a loner who loves making homemade movies with his dog and best friend Sparky. After Sparky is hit by a car and killed, the boy is distraught and lonely. Thanks to his science teacher, Vincent is shown how to re-animate dead tissue and uses it to bring Sparky back from the dead. Things get out of control when the other students in class start bringing their pets back to life with less successful results.

I've always liked Burton's movies. I loved "Dark Shadows," "Planet of the Apes," and all of the other films he's been involved with throughout his entire career. Looking through his filmography, I can't locate a single movie I hated or consider unwatchable. The man has a wonderfully dark sense of humor and a great admiration of cinema history, which he shows off through "Frankenweenie."

"Frankenweenie" is classic Tim Burton at his best. It has crazy characters with the looks to match. A couple of them are patterned and named after classic horror actors and characters like Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Igor, and others. The entire movie serves as a beautiful homage to Universal and Hammer horror. I smiled in delight when Vincent's parents are cuddled on the couch watching "Horror of Dracula" with Christopher Lee.

My only complaint with "Frankenweenie" is it's too clean for what it's trying to emulate. This is even more evident when the film is seen in high-definition. A movie that celebrates the monsters of yesteryear would have been more effective if they had added some artificial film scratches and grain to give it an aged "retro" look.

Danny Elfman's musical score for the film brilliantly blends his trademark orchestration with splashes of what you would expect to hear in movies like "Bride of Frankenstein" or "Dracula."

Anyone who enjoyed "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Corpse Bride," "Coraline," or "James and the Giant Peach" will embrace "Frankenweenie." It's an elegant tribute to the classic horror films of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s that will entertain children and their parents. It's definitely a return to form for Tim Burton. This is a successful culmination of what was obviously a 28-year labor of love for the eccentric filmmaker.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Return to the Glory Days of Tim Burton?

Author: gavin6942 from United States
13 January 2013

Young Victor (Charlie Tahan) conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky (Frank Welker) back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.

As I like to do, let me respond to another (better?) critic. Roger Ebert says "the whole story benefits from the absence of color, because this is a stark world without many soothing tones." Whether or not I agree with the second half of this is undetermined -- is it a stark world? Not sure I felt that way. But the lack of color certainly does enhance the film -- because it is a Tim Burton creation.

Burton works best in black and white, because he is an artist first and director second. His best films worked not so much because of his direction, but because of his vision. "Beetlejuice" and "Edward Scissorhands" could have been done by no one else. Even the "Batman" films are incredible because of Burton's view of the world. He may not be Christopher Nolan, but that makes his Batman no less great.

We can tell that this was a trip down memory lane for Burton, too, back to his glory days. And I do not mean simply because he made a new version of something he made almost thirty years ago. Also notice his choice of voice actors -- we have neither Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter, who have (for better or worse) dominated his films for over a decade. We have Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara, two of his best actresses. Seeing them back together and with Burton -- even in cartoon form -- was a real treat.

What made this film especially meaningful was the science teacher's speech. Sure, I loved the references to classic monsters (and the turtle named Shelley was a touching nod to Frankenstein's creator). But the farewell speech wherein science is held to be a neutral field with only its uses truly good or bad... that was a key moment. Not only did it show the difference between Victor and his classmates (he was not only brilliant, but pure-hearted), it pointed out an important truth about the world: science can be a weapon or a salvation, depending on whose hands we wish to put it.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely rubbish

Author: n h from Australia
26 December 2012

Not only that it's a stop-motion film and suffers from bad animation terribly, but also the 'overdoing' of horror environment like the tiny irises of the characters is disturbing. The plot has serious hole with no comedy at all. If thunder strike can revive dead,the science teacher (the one replaced by Mr. Rzykrusky) stricken by the thunder would have immediately revived just at the next moment he becomes dead due to thunder-strike. Just a crap theme and lame too. Clearly Tim Burton didn't do any brainstorming. And the animation quality is horrible, even for a stop motion film. The black and white is eyesore. Tim Burton would be lucky if he can just get back his money from this piece of trash he made.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

It's decent but nothing all that spectacular or groundbreaking

Author: KineticSeoul from United States
25 December 2012

This movie has Tim Burton style written all over it and I guess that is what drives this movie. Without him trying to be overly self-indulgent or anything like that. "ParaNorman" which is another stop-motion movie that came out on the same year as this one with the Halloween style going for it as well. And both have protagonist and premise that are slightly similar to each other. Both has to do with a boy that doesn't fit well with others and is different, one can talk with the dead while the other is a science wiz. And they both has weird characters following him around and they both need to stop a huge disaster from harming the town. In a suburban style neighborhood. Although the editing in this is better I think I liked "ParaNorman" slightly better. Despite it relying on sexual jokes for humor adults can catch onto. Which this one doesn't have. The thing is even if this movie is visually entertaining to some degree with it's old school monster flick style in stop-motion and all. It just lack development and doesn't have that much depth going for it so the climax and everything else seems a bit too quick. And before the climax this movie seems to move along slowly without much innovative development although the movie is only about an hour and a half. Overall this is a decent Tim Burton style stop-motion movie that is worth a watch. Nothing all that groundbreaking or spectacular like "The Nightmare Before Christmas".


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11 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

No, this one didn't work.

Author: ryan mcdaniel from BETHLEHEM, GA
14 October 2012

Got to tell you. Most of what I saw in the movie was more marketing. I have many Nightmane before Christmas figurines, so I guess they want to sell me something new. Tim Burton is a great director, but he has not made a "blockbuster" in my opinion since Big Fish. I was excited to see this movie because I know its an older short film of his with new animation. Sounded like a cant miss. Well, there is a reason this wasn't a hit in 1984 and has been panned for almost 30 years! The story is weak at best. Most of the elements are borrowed and predictable. There are a few scenes as well where my kids felt a bit squeamish in the theaters. The part were the girl shows her cat turds to a very zoomed in camera was not pleasant to a person who was eating popcorn at the moment, me! And the part where the boy was "re-animating" the dog was a bit disturbing to anyone who has had a pet die. Its one thing for a mad scientist to bring Fankenstien back to life, most people will accept that. But a nice, well mannered kid? It just came across as disturbing. The ending might have been the worst of all the Burton movies I have seen. It was completely devoid of any type of moral lesson. Im not saying that a movie has to have morals, but the entire movie was set up (even the ending) to show some kind of message to all of it. None. Everyone has had a pet die and the growth we obtain by learning about life and death are lifelong and special to all of us. Yet this movie says, "the heck with that"! I know Burton lives in a world of his own and I love him for that. But somehow it seems he has crossed some kind of line he shouldn't have crossed with this movie.

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