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's excellent remake of his 1984 short about a young boy who suffers a heartbreaking loss when his dog is ran over and killed by a car. Inspired by a science experience, the young boy decides to use electricity to bring him back to life. FRANKENWEENIE was a pretty big disappointment at the box office but I guess this type of storyline would be a hard sell to certain parents plus the B&W might scare off a few as well. I can honestly say that this here is the best thing Burton has done in years as it really reminded me of his earlier days where the imagination was all over the place and it really delivered some fun, laughs and great emotion. I really, really loved the original movie and I really didn't think it would work when expanded to a longer running time but Burton and screenwriter John August has done a very good job with this. I think what makes this one so special are the various homages to earlier horror movies like BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, FRANKENSTEIN and there's no question that the scientist here is a homage to Vincent Price and we even got a great way to show off Christopher Lee. The entire look of the film is excellent as well because you really do feel as if you're watching a horror movie from their Golden Age because the sets are incredible, the humans are wonderful and once the animals start to come back at the end you can't help but smile. I really liked the way the other kids started to copy our hero here and we're left with a monster mash at the end including a giant turtle, which is obviously a wink to the Godzilla films. Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau, Martin Short and Winona Ryder are all extremely good in their vocal work as is Charlie Tahan as the young boy. FRANKENWEENIE is certainly a terrific little gem that I think will play extremely well with the right child and of course the parents are really going to enjoy not only the charm but also the respect towards the films that came before it.
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