Frankenweenie

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:PG
  • Director:Tim Burton
  • Cast:Allison Abbate, Catherine O’Hara, Winona Ryder, Martin Short
  • Release Date:October 25, 2012
  • Distributor:Disney
  • Running time:87 minutes
  • Film Worth:$18.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

This darkly-hued animated flick is superbly executed in terms of artistry and character, and sees Tim Burton back at the top of his game.

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Visually exceptional, director Tim Burton is at the height of his not inconsiderable powers with Frankenweenie, a gothic horror meets fifties Middle America stop-motion animated kids’ flick. Filmed in black and white (a conspicuous nod to the classic horror films that it so deliciously references), the lack of colour separates Frankenweenie from the animated pack. Based on Burton’s 1984 30-minute live action film of the same name, Frankenweenie is about a boy, Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan), and his bull terrier, Sparky, who loses his life, temporarily, when hit by a car. Young Victor reanimates Sparky with the help of a bolt of lightning, and that’s when the adventures, action and mayhem begin...

Frankenweenie is a dark tale for kids – and possibly too much for the very young – but older kids and adults will appreciate the tongue-in-cheek scares, while buffs can play spot-the-references (which include everything from The Mummy, Godzilla and The Addams Family to Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff). Artistically and technically adroit, the characters are truly wonderful, and the bond between boy and bull terrier is emotionally depicted.

Within minutes, you find yourself immersed in Burton’s skillfully created world; the sense of another time and place is powerful. A funny and touching monster mash-up, with wonderfully strong work from the entire cast (Martin Landau is great as a heavily Eastern European accented science teacher, while Winona Ryder is a joy as Victor’s poodle-loving next door neighbour), this is essential viewing for animation fans, who’ll find Burton’s handling of 3-D to be stunning and unselfconscious. His imagination, humour and sense of action are at the fore in the involving final segment, which wraps the film up with a laugh and, possibly, a couple of tears.

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