*** S P O I L E R S***
"The electrifying dog is back from beyond the grave."
RUN TIME- 87 MINS
WRITER(S)- LEONARD RIPPS, TIM BURTON AND JOHN AUGUST
STARRING- WINONA RYDER, CATHERINE O'HARA AND MARTIN SHORT
DIRECTOR- TIM BURTON
Synopsis taken from IMDb
Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.
STORY: I first saw the original 1984 Frankenweenie short film about 7 or 8 years ago when I bought The Nightmare Before Christmas on DVD. I liked it a lot. It was dark and demented, but also sort of cute. However, that was at a time when I still was a fan of Tim Burton's work. One of the cool things about Frankenweenie was the teacher being a Vincent Price look-alike and they kept that true in this full feature film. I'm a big Price fan.
Victor Frankenstein is a filmmaker and a scientist. He is known around school as being extremely intelligent, but he has no friends and no life. So his father insists he gets out of the house and Victor follows suit. He gets involved in a baseball game and hits his first ever home run, but his victory is instantly turned to gloom. When his dog Sparky chases the ball Victor hit it leads to his demise when he's hit by a car and killed. Victor remembers a recent science demonstration he saw of electricity making dead frogs move. Victor digs up Sparky and makes a laboratory.
Once the experiment goes right Sparky escapes into the neighborhood and is spotted by Igor, a kid Victor sees and interacts with now and again. Igor blackmails Victor into giving him his secret. Igor shows off his invisible goldfish to some "cool kids" at school and they make Victor give up his formula. The bullies ensue the Victor's whole class to make their own experiments and his secrecy of Sparky to even his parents is over. Soon after, the town is in fear of their lives as the monsters their sons and daughters created and it's up to Victor and Sparky to stop it.
I had heard this movie has a sad ending and it did. However, it is short lived. This is just another story about how playing God only makes things go a billion times worse than possible. It's about letting go and moving on. It's about not compromising the laws of physics and moral for the sake of ones benefit. And ultimately, it's about how attempting to create life is a bigger burden than anyone can handle and too much power.
|Victor greets Sparky upon his arrival back to life.|
ANIMATION/FX: The animation in this film was great but also typical. It's a cool idea but it's nothing we haven't seen before. It's very generic and was better understood as a short film. Instead, you have a full length movie with black and white claymation. It's just unimpressive.
OVERALL: This story hits a spot with me that will always be a fan of Burton, but it's not enough. This, like all his other recent movies show how tired his material is. It's the same package wrapped in a different paper. Frankenweenie is probably the only last decent film Burton has left and it's not even original. To the Burton that brought us Sleepy Hollow, Beetlejuice, Big Fish, Batman and Edward Scissorhands, I ask you to please move on and do something new or hang up the goofy hat.
THIS FILM GETS 3 REAPER SKULLS OUT OF 5