1 hr 27 min
Staff Writer: Nathaniel Brayton
Frankenweenie is an animated remake of the 1984 short film of the same name. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Tim Burton was fired from Disney that year because they believed his film was unusable and that he wasted their resources. I guess it’s funny how some things come full circle.
When Victor Frankenstein loses the most loyal dog a boy can have, he is inspired by his school teacher’s experiment, where electricity pumped through a dead frog stimulates some nerves, to bring back his dog from the dead. However, his classmates find out about his experiment and try to replicate it, but create monsters instead.
Frankenweenie is a variation on the classic tale of Frankenstein. The film deals with issues of morality and death. And while Frankenweenie revolves around the life of a dog, it’s clear that the themes can be applied to relatives or other loved ones. All the horror elements aside, Frankenweenie, at its core, is a film about a boy and his love for his dog.
While the stop motion was absolutely breathtaking, the story was boring and couldn’t express the heart I knew it had. The film felt like it was just going through the motions. There very little depth to the characters, with the one exception being Mr. Rzykruski, the science teacher, who has the best scene of the movie when he tells the townspeople how ignorant and stupid they are being, while at the same time sounding like crazy lunatic. That scene was pure gold gold and some of the best writing in an animated movie. However, the rest of the movie was full of jokes that seemed forced but necessary to push the film along.
And I’m not entirely sold on the ending. *Spoilers* I think there could have been a greater emotional impact if Sparky didn’t come back a second time. Instead, I feel that it creates a disconnect with the audience of children it’s trying to reach by creating a scenario that they can not relate to.
Overall, Frankenweenie will fade from my memory quickly.
out of 10