And with that in mind... Spoiler Alert: I will do my best to keep this review as spoiler free as possible. However I have learned the hard way that one man's common knowledge is another man's spoiler. "What do you mean Frankenweenie is entirely in black and white?!"
I thought Frankenweenie was so cute! I loved it. It was pretty much what I expected; The touching story of a boy and his dog with some creepy elements thrown in. You guys and dolls know how I like my lists. So I think I will once again do this review in list form.
- Victor and his family might be the only normal people in this town. Which isn't saying much considering Victor brought his dog Spark back from the dead.The relationship between Victor and Sparky makes this film. It is the emotional anchor we all rely on. Cause trust me, besides the two of them everyone else is very weird... One character is called Weird Girl and that is her only name. I think their relationship is what made the plot. Because a lot of weird things happen during the film but I only cared about Victor and Sparky.
- This movie is really funny. I especially laughed anytime Edward E. Gore was on the screen. He was cute for a manipulative hunchback. The other kids in Victor's world are based on horror movie icons. His next door neighbor's name is Else Van Helsing. Tell me that's not awesome! Also Time Burton's opinion of politicians isn't well hidden. Elsa's uncle Mr. Burgemeister is the mayor and is so focused on the town festival he could care less about anything or anyone else. I guess what I am saying is the characters are a lot of fun.
- The entire movie is in black and white. I found this very mesmerizing at points. Like I was in a trance. I will say for being black and white the tones of grey were very rich. Frankenweenie still had depth and texture even though it was grey. They explained in a recent featurette that some of the production had to be made in color just so it would show up properly in black and white.
- I love stop motion animation! This film was made with figurines that were about a foot tall. This style creates a creep look that Tim Burton is known for. It also creates more depth than regular animation or even computer animation. The camera can travel through the world of the figures the way it travels through our world. This means the 3D is actually very good.
- I'm not a huge 3D fan. I LOVED this 3D. As I said in number 5 it's thanks to the way the camera moves that you feel like you are in the world of Frankenweenie with the characters.
- Unlike a lot of more recent Tim Burton plots, Frankenweenie wasn't convoluted. It was very straight forward and dare I say simple. Victor brings his dog back to life. Other kids want to bring their pets back to life. Chaos ensues. Simple. Which was refreshing and easy to enjoy.
- Frankenweenie very dark and scary. Well darker and scarier than your average children's film. On a scale of 1 to slasher horror pic it's about a solid 4. Even I jumped at a few points and I'm an adult. If your kid can handle Nightmare Before Christmas they'll be fine. But if there parts of Brave that scare them you might want to rethink this. Also the movie deals very heavily with death and loss. So it might be a good opportunity to talk to your kids about these things. One person asked if this was really a film for kids or a film for adults disguised as a film for kids. It is a film for kids that adults can enjoy. It is just very dark. If we could rate films PG-10 I would give this film that rating.
- Victor is very obviously based on Tim Burton himself. He is a young boy who like to make films by himself and hang out with his dog instead of people. Yep sounds familiar. This is probably why this project was so near and dear to Tim Burton's heart. You can feel the love of this project throughout watching it. It was about love. You'll see that a loft of the best moments of the film are about love.
- I have no clue why the film is called Frankenweenie except that it was inspired by Tim Burton's short of the same name and he liked the title. Honestly I don't think the term Frankenweenie was ever used in the film. But it's still really cute.