As per usual with most Tim Burton films, he loves to do stories revolving around the ordinary suburban life of his main characters, who of course, end up not being so ordinary. Before the huge big budget films that some Burton fans seem to dislike, Frankenweenie would be the type of film they would expect him to do. The story is about Victor (Charlie Tahan), a shy boy who’s only friend is his dog Sparky, he spends most of his time doing homemade horror movies and science experiments. Just in case you haven’t seen the trailer yet, the story is about how Sparky dies one day and Victor brings him back from the dead a la Frankenstein. Victor tries to keep this a secret but it isn’t that much longer until everyone in the town of New Holland knows and have to deal with the consequences.
From the Frankenweenie press conference at SDCC, we found out that the story is actually based off Burton’s short movie from 1984 but also from his own childhood. The idea about bringing a beloved pet back to life, is something that Burton understood and wanted to reflect in film. The movie was created in stop motion animation, and by being in black and white, the viewer can see the textures and the film gives it the classic Burton feel from some of his previous flicks like Corpse Bride or Nightmare Before Christmas. The emphasis on every little detail of the design it’s what makes Burton stand out from other directors, and in case you are wondering about the 3D it is not overdone by any means, it just made the movie feel in high definition.
On the other hand, what struck me the most about the film, which in a way I consider hilarious, are the comparisons between the close minded suburban families about science that Victor’s teacher, Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) said about how people fear what they don’t understand, just like science.
While Frankenweenie isn’t Burton’s best in the terms of character development, let’s keep in mind that this is a kid’s movie and it’s more focused towards the adventure, it is something to give to his cult fans who are just going to simply love it, or pretty much anyone who had or has a pet will connect to the film, because there really isn’t anything that compares to that type of relationship. Frankenweenie is a a movie that both kids and adults are going to enjoy, from it’s quirky, creepy scenes to the fact that the first thing any pet owner is going to do after seeing it is to run home to hug them.
Frankenweenie pays homage to those classic horror films we love that inspired Burton, it shows how imagination can be the answer to achieve things such as bringing a beloved pet back from the dead, as well thevalue of science, that if used well can bring Sparky to life. Ladies and gentlemen, Tim Burton is back.
Frankenweenie opens nationwide on October 5th.