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Frankenweenie (1984)

A young boy sets out to revive his dead pet using the monstrous power of science.

Director:

Tim Burton

Writers:

Tim Burton (based on an original idea by), Leonard Ripps (screenplay) (as Lenny Ripps)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Shelley Duvall ... Susan Frankenstein
Daniel Stern ... Ben Frankenstein
Barret Oliver ... Victor Frankenstein
Joseph Maher ... Mr. Chambers
Roz Braverman Roz Braverman ... Mrs. Epstein
Paul Bartel ... Mr. Walsh
Sofia Coppola ... Anne Chambers (as Domino)
Jason Hervey ... Frank Dale
Paul C. Scott Paul C. Scott ... Mike Anderson
Helen Boll Helen Boll ... Mrs. Curtis
Sparky Sparky ... Sparky
Rusty James Rusty James ... Raymond
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Storyline

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 Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

monster | boy | neighbor | dog | dog movie | See All (30) »

Taglines:

He's Wild! He's Funny! He's Rechargeable! See more »

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Frankenweenie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tim Burton was fired from Disney for "wasting" their resources on films like this which they deemed too scary for family viewing. That did not stop Disney from releasing it on VHS after Burton became famous, although only in a censored version. The The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) DVD is its first uncensored appearance on home video. See more »

Quotes

Susan Frankenstein: Did you ever figure out what this thing is supposed to be?
Ben Frankenstein: I think it's either a piece of fine art or a paperweight.
Susan Frankenstein: I don't even remember who gave it to us.
Ben Frankenstein: My sister gave it to us.
Susan Frankenstein: Oh. Well, then it must be a paperweight.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Pet Semetary (2019) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Frankenstein legend from a child's perspective, with a gentle sense of humor
22 March 2000 | by mctheimerSee all my reviews

It's hard not to like this film. You'll especially enjoy it if you've seen (a) James Whale's "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein," and (b) Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas."

The plot is basically the Frankenstein legend. The variation is that it's about a little boy whose dog has been hit by a car. The boy raises the dog from the dead a la Frankenstein. Charming complications ensue.

This was Tim Burton's first film, and it's a great harbinger of things to come. Burton was an animator at Disney, but the company thought he was a little too weird and let him go as an animator. This film shows how he would treat children's films, and it's delightful. You'll recognize the art direction, especially in the graveyard, from "Nightmare."

The film does a wonderful job of including nuances from the Whale flicks, from the electrodes on the dog's neck to the resuscitation lab to the brief parody of "Bride."

There's enough scary-ish stuff (slightly more gentle than meeting the Almighty Oz) to keep kids going, and enough recognizable movie riffs and humor to keep adults going. What's not to like?


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