Movie Review: Frankenweenie (2012)

Frankenweenie 2012 movie poster sparky

Rated: P13
Genre: Comedy, horror, stop motion, animated, family
Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara

Synopsis: “From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life-with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous” (Walt Disney Pictures).

Verdict: Watch this for good dark humour, unconventional art direction & design and to appreciate a stop-motion animation, but go for the original short film for the “magic” that’s missing in this remake. The homage to classic monster movies is fun but it took away the time for emotional development and the presumed purpose of exploring themes such as alienation, death, nature and stereotyping, making the moral values way less convincing than it could’ve been. Tim Burton should’ve got Henry Selick to direct again ’cause I believe he could provide the dark emotional edge that Burton fails to do so these days. But don’t get me wrong, although Frankenweenie is not the remake I was hoping for, it’s still a decent family animation. After all, it managed to make an ugly-looking dog seem so adorable.

Second opinion: “Nice, cute, creative” (Iris Loong).

Characters here… can’t smell a rotten body. Either that or the rotten dead bodies in this universal don’t smell.

Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist, looks like a kid version of Victor Van Dort, the protagonist in Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005).

Did you know? Tim Burton was fired by Disney in 1984 because of the original Frankenweenie.

Surprisingly… Burton didn’t cast Johnny Depp and his wife, Helena Bon Carter this time.

To watch in 3D? Only if you like wearing glasses for almost no reason.

Rating: 3 / 5

Least favourite scene – the ending: Would’ve made more sense to the cliched line, “You don’t have to come back ’cause you’ll always be in my heart,” if Sparky, the dog, stays dead. But nooooo, he just had to spoil it again. Well Tim Burton has once again proven that he’s not the Tim Burton the old fans come to love. He’s now the mainstream Tim Burton who doesn’t mind sucking Disney’s cock for more ka-chings. Probably he was like, “I ain’t getting fired again for this title.”

The original short film:

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  1. ms.bulat

    T_T ahhh this animation was a letdown. totally expected more from Tim Burton…and gotta agree 100% for the ending. Prolly done to make it more child friendly? *shrugs*

  2. Eric Lee Huangshi

    Yes. I prefered the dog to stay dead but then again..this is disney we are talking about. I agree with the rotten smell as well. How could they NOT smell it at all. But overall, it is still a very good animation for me

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