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Frankenweenie

Cast: Martin Landau, Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder
Director: Tim Burton

First review of the year! It took longer to write than expected though (so much for consistency). Frankenweenie is a stop motion flick from famed director Tim Burton. It was based on his earlier work, which was a short film with the same title. I guess you can say, it's a remake of his own work. It explored the bond between man and man's best friend, and the distance one can go for the sake of this bond. Simple premise, but done in Tim Burton style.

Victor Frankenstein (ahh irony) considers Sparky to be his only friend. They're together every day, and Victor doesn't interact with other children his own age. He's always kept to himself, which concerned his parents. The science fair is coming up, and in order to allow Victor to be outgoing, his father struck a deal, which Victor reluctantly agreed to. In a matter of (film) minutes, we see Victor lose Sparky in an accident, shattering his life apart. However, he finds an idea through science. Living up to his name, Victor conducts an experiment that brings Sparky back to life. His experiment was supposed to be a secret, and like all secrets, it finds a way for it to get out. That's when everyone decides to be their own Frankenstein for the sake of the science fair.

I like how it was shot in black and white. I don't know if it was just a Tim Burton thing (probably is) but it gives the characters and the details a more defined look. Based on the end results of the flick, it worked better without color, as color would have obstructed the focus of film, unless provided with the color scheme of Paranorman. The film starts off rather slowly, then gets interesting at the latter half. The relationship of Victor and Sparky was established from the beginning, along with Victor's likes and interests. I like how Victor doesn't come off as eccentric, but a boy who is smart and creative. If there could be a flaw, I think it could be due to the lack of character development, as the film doesn't deviate from the whole plot of their friendship. I also like that it took the knowledge of Frankenstein's monster to a different angle.

While the film was not as memorable for me, it strikes me as a good animation flick because of its simplicity with a good take on a story. Based on the other Burton flicks I've watched, this doesn't seem to be over the top Burton. This one was a subtle telling of Frankenstein's tale incorporated through a timeless friendship. Definitely one of his finer works. A must watch for dog lovers, really. This would have you cry buckets. 

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