Film Review: Frankenweenie

| 25 October , 2012 | Reply

Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Charlie Tahan, Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Martin Landau
Sassi’s Star Rating: 4/5

There’s never another bond quite like the one between a boy and his first dog. Tim Burton tears this love apart in Frankenweenie, the new full length animated feature of the short you might have seen floating around a few years back.

Ten year old Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) loses his best friend when his bulldog Sparky is hit by a car at the baseball field. His parents (Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short) promise that they would bring back Sparkly if they could, not realising how true those words could be. Inspired by his Vincent Price-esque science teacher (Martin Landau) Vincent decides to bring Sparky back to life – and Frankenweenie is born. But when Victor’s friends find out what he has done– trouble starts to brew.

Jammed with references and filmed in black and white, Frankenweenie is a throwback to the classic horror films of the 1930’s and 40’s. Painstakingly created via stop motion animation this film was shot on a Canon 5D with a rate of 24 frames per second. This means that a puppet had to be moved a total of 24 times to make up just one second of footage.  Each animator was able to shoot around five seconds of film per week. Even with a huge team of people working on the project, this was one long film in the making.

The meticulous attention to detail couldn’t have been more worth it. Burton’s latest work is a stunningly attractive film, his signature aesthetic only enhanced by the palette (hopefully the lack of bright colours doesn’t makes things too boring for the kiddies). Saying that this isn’t a film for the littlest of folk – a scary storyline puts it out of their reach. Frankenweenie even holds a bit of terror for adults – although for this reviewer the scariest thing about the film remains that the puppets are actually wearing wigs made of real human hair throughout.

Those who haven’t loved Burton’s recent forays will appreciate that he has gone back to his roots with this film. Burton actually first worked at Disney as an animator straight after graduating from College. Beautifully envisioned, carefully created, and born form an enthusiasm you can feel through the screen Frankenweenie is Burton’s return to the throne. It loses one point for a thinning plot but don’t let that deter you from this excellent summer film.

Gather your ghosts and ghouls and get them to the cinema now.

Frankenweenie is in cinemas now.


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Category: Film & TV

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