I grew out of love with Tim Burton long ago, in reverse correlation to the box office success the director has seen over the last decade. But it's his smaller, more reserved movies that continue to impress me - Big Fish back in 2003, and now Frankenweenie, a stop-motion capture film that did little from a financial perspective but deserves recognition nonetheless.
In the same vein as Paranorman, another 2012 release, Frankenweenie is a refreshing, visually alluring horror film scaled down for a young audience. Filmed in black and white, the movie is based on Burton's 1984 short (which is included on the same Blu-ray disc), and is about a young and suburban Victor Frankenstein who brings his dog back to life after an unfortunate accident. His science experiment turns disastrous, however, when it falls into the hands of his classmates.
The movie isn't as funny as it is cute, from the adorable dead dog Sparky to the lineup of supporting characters that add color to this quirky and original story. The movie thrives on the screenplay by John August. Frankenweenie is the kind of movie that taps into a child's imagination (or an adult's) and delivers a complete package, with witty dialogue, silly characters and other oddball moments you'd only expect from a Tim Burton movie.
The movie looks great, too, incredible detail applied to every aspect of the production.
While it may be a little too scary for very small children, both kids and adults will find plenty to enjoy. Frankenweenie is just a fun movie to watch, and one of the better animated movies of 2012.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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