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Frankenweenie, the Tim Burton short film in which a young imaginative boy raises his dog from the dead, is enjoying a gorgeous reincarnation as a feature-length stop motion film that showcases Tim’s signature art design and stark, stunning black and white photography. It’s his greatest treat for the eyes since his splendid take on Sweeney Todd.
If you are familiar with the original Frankenstein inspired short, this is not simply a stretched out version of the original. It may feel at times as though it is thinning out story wise, but there are plenty of great characters and extra movie monster chaos to aid the narrative, plus it’s just so nice to look at.
I’m happy that they made a conscious choice to move away from the original while maintaining the key, most memorable factors. I like that I feel as though I can still watch the original and get something else out of it. At the same time the trade-off gives an alternate, more fleshed out and fantastic tale using the art form Tim has become so associated with since Nightmare Before Christmas.
Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, and Winona Ryder are a few of the voice talents that empowered this much more populated spin which includes my favorite new character, Mr. Rzykruski (voiced by Martin Landau). Also part of the cast are a host of movie monsters a la Burton and quite an assembly of classmates in an Edward Scissorhands type suburban town called New Holland. The adaptation was written by one of my favorites, John August, who also wrote Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
This is a fun seasonal family film with some freshness tossed in with the well rehearsed bits and 3D to compliment the staging and photography while entertaining the old and new fans alike. I’d definitely get the coffee table book on it too.