HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dark Tower, The
Better Watch Out
Beguiled, The
Year of the Comet
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
Peter of Placid Forest
Golden Bird, The
War for the Planet of the Apes
One Sings, the Other Doesn't
Great Gilly Hopkins, The
Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  Frankenweenie Re-AnimatorBuy this film here.
Year: 2012
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Winona Ryder, Robert Capron, James Hiroyuki Liao, Conchata Ferrell, Tom Kenny
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Animated
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) likes to make home movies in his spare time, all shot on his Super 8 camera and starring his pet dog Sparky, who usually plays the hero. He shows his latest three minute epic to his parents (Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short) and they are very impressed, but as Victor goes upstairs to bed his father voices his worries that his son might be a bit of an oddball and wishes he would take up a normal, sporting pursuit with his friends. His mother points out that she doesn't think Victor has any friends, unless you count Sparky, the best pal a boy could have...

So it's unthinkable that Sparky could be taken away from him, right? Apparently director Tim Burton thought so, having made Frankenweenie not once but twice, the first time as a live action short which effectively had him "let go" from Disney because they didn't think it was the sort of thing they should be promoting, so how ironic was it that they welcomed him back with open arms to craft the remake, this time in stop motion animation as his previous cult classics The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride had been? Funnily enough somebody must have been taking notes after those two, because almost simultaneously for Halloween 2012 this, Hotel Transylvania and ParaNorman were released.

Or maybe they were all big fans of sixties stop motion favourite Mad Monster Party? which appeared to be a major influence. Whatever, at least two of that trio were about as satisfying a horror animation for the whole family, but mostly horror-loving kids of any age, as could have been expected, and with Burton more seasoned in this field you could have anticipated he would be the man to catch if there were pretenders to his style. You might have been right about that, because while there may have been the yeah, yeah, seen it all before brigade declaiming Burton's plots and characters, this was actually an excellent opening up of a short that had been brief but seemingly as much as you could do with its concept.

That concept, as the title indicated, of bringing dead pets back to life, brought to the screen with a surprising seriousness for once poor old Sparky comes off worst in an unfortunate collision with a passing car, Victor grows obsessed with the idea that death is not the end. Inspired by his new science teacher (Martin Landau dusting off his Bela Lugosi accent for some sterling work), he hits upon the notion of reviving his deceased pooch with a bolt of lightning, and thus one of the main homages - to James Whale's Frankenstein - gets underway with the attic transformed into a laboratory. Naturally (well, unnaturally) the scheme works like a dream, and soon a stitched back together Sparky is alive and kicking, not that Victor wants to reveal his success to the wider world, apparently recognising he has broken the laws of science.

That's important, because science was a theme here, and how it can be misunderstood, treated with idiotic suspicion, yet also misused when it gets into the wrong hands. Those wrong hands belong to Victor's classmates who refreshingly for this sort of affair are not a bunch of high school jocks and cheerleaders, but a bunch of weirdos like him and keen to prove themselves at the science fair. Once Vic's Igor-alike acquaintance blackmails him into sharing his secret, it's the cue for the movie to go into homage overdrive, and horror fans of every vintage will relish the references to everything from An American Werewolf in London and Gremlins to Gamera and The Mummy. This was no nerdy checklist but a true celebration of the genre, and that the whole thing resembled a goofy take on Stephen King's novel Pet Sematary was part of the fun. With animation lovingly rendered in classical black and white and Burton reunited with O'Hara and Winona Ryder, it was a celebration of his oeuvre as well. Respectful music by Danny Elfman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 925 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Tim Burton  (1958 - )

American director, producer and writer, frequently of Gothic flavoured fantasy who has acquired a cult following in spite of the huge mainstream success of many of his projects. He began as an animator at Disney, who allowed him to work on his own projects while animating the likes of The Fox and the Hound, which garnered the attention of Paul Reubens to direct Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

Next up was supernatural comedy Beetle Juice, leading to the massively hyped Batman and Batman Returns; in the middle was a more personal project, the melancholy Edward Scissorhands. Ed Wood was a biopic of the world's worst director, a flop with a loyal following, Mars Attacks was an alien invasion spoof that got lost in the Independence Day publicity, and Burton ended the 1990s with hit horror Sleepy Hollow.

The 2000s saw the poorly received Planet of the Apes remake, but Big Fish, a father and son tale more personal to the director fared better. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was unsatisfying, but a success, and Sweeney Todd was another collaboration with frequent leading man Johnny Depp. Burton hasn't turned his back on animation, mind you, with both The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride cult favourites. A reimagining of Alice in Wonderland rewarded him with a further hit, though again reaction was mixed, as it was with horror soap adaptation Dark Shadows and animated update Frankenweenie. He returned to biopic territory with Big Eyes, then next was young adult fantasy Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: