Directed by Tim Burton, Frankenweenie is a 3D black and white stop-motion that honours the 1931 film Frankenstein based on Mary Shelley‘s book. A remake of Burton’s 1984 short film of the same name, the film follows Victor (Charlie Tahan), a young boy who conducts a science experiment on his beloved dog Sparky in hopes of bringing him back to life, only to have to face the unintended, monstrous consequences.
I had avoided watching this for some reason, I think it was the mix of a black and white animation and the possibility of another tiresome Burton film, but Frankenweenie is definitely one of his better pieces of work lately. I still don’t quite know how I feel about the black and white animation as the film felt like it needed something more at times, but the gothic appearance undeniably suits his style of film-making.
Moreover, the constant references to the horror genre throughout are excellent, giving homage to many of the films that Burton himself has been influenced by. Whilst the film is quite dark at times, coming across as more of an adult animation than a family one, the story is quite endearing and there’s a great message in there for a younger audience at the same time.
The best quality of the film, however, is its set of characters, especially Edgar E. Gore (Atticus Shaffer), as they each play on their unique characteristics brilliantly. Also starring the voices of Burton regulars Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short and Martin Landau, we are again reminded of Burton’s other work as a strong sense of nostalgia runs through this animation to remind us of the great films Burton is known for.
Just like the character that this film is dedicated to, Frankenweenie is its very own Frankenstein in that it pieces together many of Burton’s better film-making qualities, becoming a classic in its own right.
Frankenweenie was released on DVD on 25th February.