Review: Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie is the latest stop-motion animation from the mind of Tim Burton, and by that, I mean another thing that he decided to remake. You can go into this movie expecting it to be pretty much like any other Tim Burton movie. It’s about a suburban kid, Victor Frankenstein, who brings his dead dog Sparky back to life. Craziness ensues. Think of it as Edward Scissorhands meets Corpse Bride, but the bride is a dog. You have a cast of strange, outlandish, and sometimes stereotypical characters that are enjoyable to see on the screen, if not a little disturbing at times, but you don’t generally create any empathy for them. It seems as though a lot of them are there just to be weird and set the atmosphere.

While on the subject, the atmosphere of the movie can be rather disturbing when you take into account that this is suppose to be a family film. More conservative-minded parents may actually want to shy away from this movie if you care about the fragile little minds of you precious children that you keep sheltered from the horrors of the outside world. There’s death, grave robbing, monsters, and a cat that predicts the future with its poop. There’s a particularly gruesome shot toward the end that could scar a younger mind, though I thought it was pretty cool.

I suppose this movie was a comedy, though I didn’t really find myself laughing a whole bunch. In fact, the theater was pretty silent during most of the gags, so I guess it kind of falls flat there. I did smirk at a few parts, so it wasn’t a complete failure. Frankenweenie also goes into this theme about science and how people shouldn’t fear it and start embracing it more, and they lay it on pretty thick… for about half an hour. Then it’s never really revisited.  However, the movie succeeds create a strong relationship between Victor and Sparky, and it makes for some really touching an emotional scenes. Hey, I’ll admit it. I had to hold back my tears at a couple parts. Maybe I’m becoming a big softy at my old age of 26, but having had a dog, I could relate on some level.

All in all, the movie wasn’t bad. It was just forgettable. The characters are interesting, if not pointless. The story seems to be confused with what it wants to convey and fails when trying to do so.  Finally, with the somewhat disturbing nature of the story and the characters, some parents may want to reconsider bringing their kids to see this movie, which is not good considering this is suppose to be a family film. At least it got the relationship between the boy and his dog right, which is just enough to put this movie a little over average. So, if you are at all interested, I’d say wait for it to be at a Redbox or on Netflix.

RATING: 2.5 Out Of 4

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