Written by / 10/12/2012 / No comments / , , , , ,

FRANKENWEENIE

year: 2012 voices: Charlie Tahan, Martin Landau rating: ****
Tim Burton hasn’t been this… Tim Burton in years. Gone are the overboard computer effects or quirky actors prancing without limits… FRANKENWEENIE, a stop-motion remake of Burton’s 1984 short film, is a wonderful piece of work.

Based on James Whale’s theatrical version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, our "monster" begins as a family pooch. Not a weenie dog like the title implies; the energetic Sparky's more of a comic book Bull Terrier owned by melancholy Victor Frankenstein, son of middle class suburban parents voiced by Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara. Dad's all for Victor taking part in the upcoming science fair… his "weird" son is inspired by Martin Landau's progressive science teacher... just as long as he gives baseball a shot: Cut to the chase... Sparky ends up dead and Victor, using the same lightning strike template from the Frankenstein film, brings Sparky back to life. Despite being a patchwork that continuously falls apart, he’s got the same spunk and energy. But soon Victor’s classmates catch on: Wanting their own pets revived, what begins with a subtle touch ends up a GREMLINS meets GODZILLA and it’s up to Sparky, who'd been feeling no purpose as a zombie dog, to make things right.

Burton provides an old-school charm, not only because of the retro stop-motion or the lovely black and white cinematography. The story has the kind of heartfelt melodrama of the good old days. And if anything else, this is a simple tale of a boy and his pet – you’ll feel the love Victor has for Sparky, which is enough to make everything else truly come alive!
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