Oh boy, do we love dogs. Dogs are the most common pets, and being that I have two of my own, it’s easy to see why. They’re more loyal then some of your friends, they’re always looking to play, and they are your companion whenever you’re feeling sad. I think most children will agree with me when I say that the loss of an animal pet is devastating as they are the first big thing to die upon us. Our pets truly never die, as we always have their memories. My first dog passed away when he was thirteen and I’ll never forget Max.
Victor Frankenstein’s dog can’t seem to stay dead in Tim Burtons latest feature, Frankenweenie. This is a movie from Tim Burton that I haven’t seen in a while. His other movies like Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows have relied too much on computer generated imagery to attempt to recreate his signature dark look. Here in Frankenweenie, he returns to that German-expressionism and natural look that I used to love so much. This is his return to his roots as this movie was already made once as a live action short in 1984. Beautify crafted in stop motion animation, Frankenweenie is a great homage to the Frankenstein story and classic horror cinema.
Victor Frankenstein is not a mad scientist, but a boy who loves to make movies with his dog Sparky playing the monster. The cutest creature in this dark world, Sparky is Victor’s only friend. He wants to enter the Science Fair at school, but his parents (played by Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara) ask him to compromise and play baseball as well. I’ll give these parents credit for allowing their son to do something he wants, as long as he does something that his parents want. But a home run causes Sparky to run out to the street, accidently being hit by a car.
The death of his companion is hard for Victor to accept. Not too long after, his science teacher (played by Martin Landau) demonstrates that the muscles of dead animals still respond to electricity. Inspired, he digs up his best friend and puts him back together the best he can. One bolt of lighting later and his dog is alive and well. Though he’s still the same Sparky, everyone else sees him as a monster. When his classmates discover him, they ask Victor to also teach them hoe bring back their pets as well.
I hope that this a good sign from Tim Burton. He clearly shows his passion of classic black and white horror movies, as this one could fit right in. Frankenweenie gives life to more then it’s dog. It great story on a boy and his dog and the dangers of science of done by the wrong person. This is an odd, yet creative movie that I think kids will be able to relate to. I like the short film and I love this movie even better.
I’ll give this five Sparky’s out of five. Frankenweenie is more then a homage; it is a classic horror film made in today’s era. I hope the mad scientist inside of you bolts out the door to see this.