Please note that there may be spoilers below!
Frankenweenie is the story of Victor, a boy in the town of New Holland who struggles to fit in. His best friend is his dog Sparky, who also doubles as an actor in the films that Victor makes to share with his loving mom and dad. When Victor loses his pal he puts his smarts and his love to questionable use. His classmates, who all resemble classic horror characters like Edgar “E” Gore (get it? Igor?), misinterpret Victor’s experiment of love as an attempt to win the uber competitive science fair. They attempt to recreate Victor’s experiment with their own dearly departed pets, with the results teaching the entire town a lesson in love and why it’s not a good idea to copy other people.
I enjoyed the film. The 3-D effects weren’t too gimmicky with things being shoved in your face and the black and white film style really made Frankenweenie feel like a horror classic in it’s own right. While the film used stop motion animation there was also the clever use of snippets from another oldie but goody scary movie. The allusions to films like Dracula and Godzilla definitely make this more than a kids film. Adults will be entertained as well.
My 15 year old thought the film was hilarious and she related to the various characters’ struggle to fit in. The film was a bit over my five year old’s head. She was bored pretty early on and found other parts scary which is why I would recommend this film for ages 8 and up.
What didn’t like about the film? I was troubled early on by the stereotypical characterization of the Asian character Toshiaki. I felt it was one thing to try and connect him with Japanese movie monsters like Godzilla and a whole different thing to give him a stereotypical accent and model minority characteristics.
My verdict? While I don’t feel this film is one of Tim Burton’s best, take the kids to see this. Multiple generations will enjoy Frankenweenie.