Opening Today: Disney’s Frankenweenie #movie #review

I used my dad’s old video camera when I was in middle school to do a stop motion film of the tortoise and the hare for a school project.  I remember bringing in that big VHS tape, and my classmates being stunned at the short film I had created using figures I had sculpted out of clay and backdrops that I had created in crayon.

*note to self – make that one of the kids’ homeschool projects for art*

Think Corpse Bride meets Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1960’s stop motion) meets Pet Cemetery… and you have Frankenweenie. I knew that I wasn’t into Tim Burton movies (except 9 – I loved 9), so I took my oldest with me to make sure I could get a genuine review from someone of its intended audience… or at least someone who is young and likes that sort of movie.

Even though it was animated, I had already seen trailers and knew that the subject matter – would be too much for my little ones.

It was in black and white and is the first animated feature film to be done without color.  It is stop motion which added to the overall creepiness.  If the fact that it is about reanimated dead things isn’t creepy enough.

Here’s the conversation between the boy and I after the movie:

Him: It was good.  Too sad for [baby girl] and [Mr. Social] – they would have been crying in like the first ten minutes.  They eyes on all of them were pretty creepy, and I know they [baby girl and Mr. Social] wouldn’t have liked that.  It made me think about Maggy a lot, I’d bring her back from the dead if she died too.

Me: Once they’re dead. They’re dead.

Him: I could at least try.

Me: No you won’t. (Knowing he’d try if given the opportunity – he loves that dog that much) Maggy will be cremated.

Him: Oh.

Me: What did you like about the movie?

Him: It was kinda funny sometimes, but mostly just creepy. I mean – it was good.

Not sure how much of the “it was good” was based on the fact that I took him and him alone to the movies on a school night and he was grateful for the break from he little ones, but he did say he didn’t want to see it again… or get the DVD.  I think any kid who really loves his pet would only need to see this movie once.

As a person who always stays through the credits of a movie because I just appreciate all of the time and effort that goes into movies, I could see that this was a monumental effort and achievement for the crew.  Apparently, only 5 seconds of filming can be done by one person in one day – it is an hour and twenty seven minutes long. Talk about a labor intensive project!

Bottom Line – should you go see it?

If you like Tim Burton Movies (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland, 9, Corpse Bride – seeing a creepy theme here?) then you’ll really like it.  If you are like me, you can probably skip it or see it when and if it comes to Netflix when you are in a creepy sort of mood.

Should you take the kids?

Not if they are under 13.  It is rated PG, but could easily have been PG-13 in my opinion, and I wish someone would have said “sh*t” or shown some pasty animated boob so that the rating could have gone up a notch so that parents wouldn’t think that it was okay for young ones.  Hopefully they’ll see Tim Burton, realize that even if it does say Disney, it is probably not going to be appropriate for young viewers, and leave them home. | |

Rated: PG

We were given passes to a special screening of the Frankenweenie. As always, my opinions are my own. For information on sponsored posts, click on “About”.

About the Film – from Disney:

From Disney comes acclaimed filmmaker Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie,” a visually stunning, black-andwhite, stop-motion animated film in 3D, featuring the talented voice cast of Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder.

“Frankenweenie” is a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous. “Frankenweenie” harkens back to the classic horror films of Tim Burton’s influential youth, not only by filming in black and white, but also in the expression of innocence embodied by the use of stop-motion animation, which respects the simplicity of the story and adds both depth and texture to its presentation.

Burton directed “Frankenweenie”—the first animated feature film that he has ever helmed for Disney—and also produced along with Allison Abbate, with Don Hahn serving as executive producer. Both Abbate and Hahn are animation veterans: Abbate produced, among others, “The Iron Giant” and Burton’s “Corpse Bride,” and Hahn produced Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.”