Victor (Charlie Tahan) is a budding scientist and film maker. He spends all of his time working on one project or another. And with his dog Sparky. Victor and Sparky are completely inseparable. Victor’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein (Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara) convince him to take up baseball, to encourage him to spend time with other kids. Until one fateful day when Sparky meets his untimely demise at a baseball game. In front of Victor.
Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) is the science teacher at Victor’s school is giving a lesson on electricity. As part of the lesson, he is describing how human and animal bodies use electricity. During one demonstration, he shows how frog’s legs can be made to move using electrical currents. This gives young Victor an idea. Maybe he could reanimate Sparky! Victor digs up Sparky from his grave, and proceeds to build the apparatus necessary to reanimate Sparky. And it’s a success! Afraid no one will understand, including his parents, Victor keeps Sparky’s new life a secret.
When Edgar ‘E’ Gore (Atticus Shaffer) discovers Victor’s secret, he wants in on it. It would definitely win the upcoming science fair. ‘E’ Gore can’t keep it to himself. however. He goes around telling the other kids in the class. Determined not to let Victor win the science fair with his project, they all dig up long-lost pets and reanimate them.
When the resurrected creatures take over the town, Victor must find a way to stop them and rescue the mayor’s niece, Elsa Van Helsing (Winona Ryder).
Tim Burton is back at it again. Just in time for Halloween. He’s done some resurrecting of his own. Burton did a short of Frankenweenie back in 1984. This time, he went with a stop motion approach. And threw in 3D for good measure.
Full disclosure: I’m not a huge Tim Burton fan. Sure, Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice were entertaining. That could just be because may have put them on a bit of a pedestal, due to growing up with them. I thought Dark Shadows was a disappointment. And, honestly, I haven’t taken the time to watch most of his other films.
That said, Frankenweenie was a cute movie. (Even if it is missing Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.) The story is fun and the characters are likeable. It’s got several nods to old school monster movies. Including being in black and white. The 3D is the same kind of 3D we had in those old movies. Only much more well done, of course.
I was concerned that it might be a little much for younger kids, seeing as it’s a Tim Burton work. No worries, though. Our 3-year-old sat through the entire movie and loved it. She’s still talking about it.
If you’re looking for a decent Halloween movie to take the kids to, this would be a good choice. If you’re a Tim Burton fan, you’ll likely love it. I would be interested to hear thoughts on this version versus the original. Even if you’re not a Tim Burton fan, you can still enjoy Frankenweenie.