PrintE-mail Written by Jonathan Anderson

Review: Frankenweenie / Cert: PG / Director: Tim Burton / Screenplay: John August, Leonard Ripps, Tim Burton / Starring: (voice) Charlie Tahan, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron / Release Date: October 17th

It is arguable that Tim Burton's movies of late have been disappointing. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows did not capture the imagination as Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood or even Big Fish did. It is therefore a relief to see a return to form with Frankenweenie, an animated film based on Burton's own 1984 short. Burton has success in the animation field, having previously produced the cult classic The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride.

Burton's resurrection (ahem) is a story about a boy named Victor (Tahan) and his pet dog Sparky. One tragic day, Sparky dies in an accident and budding scientist Victor decides to dig him up and try and bring him back to life with the aid of a kite and some lightning. Before you start thinking Pet Sematary, this is actually a Disney film, and despite the macabre plot and a couple of morbid moments, it’s definitely highly enjoyable family friendly fare.

The film is, quite obviously, a spoof of Frankenstein and nearly every character in the is named or modelled after a classic horror icon, with a couple of references to more contemporary films such as Jurassic Park. One character, the brilliant Mr. Rzykruski (Landau), is modelled on Vincent Price himself (whose last film was actually Burton’s Edward Scissorhands) and there is a cameo of sorts from Christopher Lee as Dracula.

As with Alice in Wonderland, Burton has continued with the postmodern penchant for 3D but has turned back the clock to use stop-motion, which works brilliantly in black and white. There are a lot of clever jokes in the film and genuine laugh out loud moments, with one brilliant moment involving a psychic cat. The film ultimately tugs at the heartstrings as well, as any tale about a boy and his dog should.

The supporting characters are also brilliant, and surprisingly there is no involvement from Johnny Depp or wife Helena Bonham Carter. However there is music from long-time collaborator Danny Elfman, and regulars Winona Ryder and Catherine O’ Hara return to voice characters.

Frankenweenie is a refreshing addition to Burton's gothic back catalogue, just in time for Halloween.

Suggested Articles:
It’s 1961 and the Space Race is proceeding apace. But NASA has taken a tumble and the Russkies hav
It’s 1933 in small town America. Prohibition is soon rumoured to end, which is a blow for a cop li
Inspired by Irish playwright John Millington Synge’s ‘Playboy Of The Western World’, Sean Bros
John Wick (2014) was a lethal cocktail of modern kinetic thrills and 1970s action cinema influences,
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code

Other articles in Movie Reviews

HIDDEN FIGURES 18 February 2017

BLOODRUNNERS 13 February 2017

MY FATHER DIE 13 February 2017

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 09 February 2017

SUN CHOKE 07 February 2017

HAVENHURST 06 February 2017

DRIFTER 06 February 2017

RINGS 05 February 2017


THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE 04 February 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!