Tim Burton has spent most of his career bring established properties to his own universe. He has his own style that you can immediately recognize. Kids and adults alike are fortunate that he is passionate enough to tell the tale of a young, ambitious outsider with his latest offering, Frankenweenie.
The movie features a lot of references to monster tales of old. Freankenweenie features a young Victor Frankenstein in the suburban graveyard of New Holland. He tries to revive his dead dog Sparky. The neighborhood is full of odd people, such as his wide-eyed classmates, irritable neighbors, and Victor’s misunderstanding parents. He successfully reanimated Sparky and this leads to a chaotic turn of events.
Frankenweenie use of stop-motion animation is perfect for the feel of the movie. It gives it a lot of layers and gives it a handmade feel. It has the right amount of Burton macabre, which is amplified by the black-and-white treatment. It has a lot of heavy themes that can be hard for kids to grasp on their own.
One of the most memorable scenes in Frankenweenie is when a parent-wide school meeting was held with the goal of berating Victor’s teacher Mr. Rzykruski for pushing his students to study more schience and other weird knowledge. Rzykruski gives a speech that condemns the parents as thick-headed and afraid. It is a funny and poignant at the same time.
It is nice to see Burton reunited with Martin Landau and Catherine O’Hara but Winona Ryder is underutilized in Frankenweenie. Her highlight in the movie is when he belts out a song about the strange people in town.
Frankenweenie is Burton’s most personal story to date. It touches the audience on several levels. It doesn’t matter whether you were the odd one out or not. Pet lovers would also feel a pinch in their hearts watching the movie. It is Burton’s intimate story told through his love of the genre.