MOVIE REVIEW: FRANKENWEENIE (2012)

Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Voice Cast: Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder
Director: Tim Burton

 

I recently saw Frankenweenie in 2D and I must admit that I wasn’t too impressed with it.

Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie is a full-length, stop motion, black-and-white remake of his 1984 live action short film with the same name. It’s about young Victor Frankenstein and his beloved dog Sparky that dies in a car accident. Victor actually pays attention in class and learns about muscles and electrical impulses. He takes Sparky’s body from the cemetery and brings it home, where he revives the body during a lightning storm. As Victor’s family, neighbors, and classmates learn that Sparky is alive, Victor learns a few lessons about death, science, and what happens when people use knowledge to do bad things.

I have two thoughts about this movie:

1) It should’ve remained a short film.

About an hour into the movie I was already getting burned out. I felt Burton was thinking of ways to lengthen the run time of the film so he decided to add some filler scenes featuring forgettable characters (ex: the scenes with the Mayor and scenes with Victor’s classmates). I also think the ending of the movie was dragged out to include some action scenes that weren’t needed.

My favorite character is the teacher, Mr. Rzykruski, who is very creepy but extremely intelligent and encourages Victor to “love” science and not just “do” science-y stuff.

The 1984 short film was 30 minutes, and I think if Tim Burton wanted the remake to work he should’ve hit the hour-long mark and called it a day.

2) Not too kid-friendly…

I don’t have kids, but throughout the movie I kept thinking ‘I wouldn’t bring my small child to see this.’ Maybe it’s because in the row behind me there was a small child whimpering and crying out. The emotions were very strong in this movie- especially the grief that Victor felt when his dog died. And when Sparky was brought back to life his body looked sewn together, and at some points a piece of his body would fall off. I can’t imagine young children reacting well to that, and I think they would be terrified towards the end of the movie when a few pets were brought back to life as larger and creepier versions of themselves. I think 10 or 11 year-olds may be able to handle it, otherwise you’ll have a whimpering kid in the seat next to you.

I’m not a huge fan of this movie and I probably won’t watch it again. As I mentioned, I think this movie has too much filler and it seems Tim Burton only remade it so he can add another stop motion film to his resume. It’s probably best to wait for this movie to appear on Netflix or at Redbox if you really want to see it.

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