Monday, October 8, 2012
Now, first off, let me say, I am not a Tim Burton fan, so, I went in to Frankenweenie with a little trepidation and hesitation. But, I had been watching trailers for the movie for the last few months and with each new one, had been getting more stoked for it.
So, opening night, I purchased my ticket for the IMAX 3D show and bought my small popcorn, Twizzlers, and large Coke Zero and plopped down sixth row center to enjoy my first black and white movie in a theater in my life. I love the old time horror films like Dracula, Frankenstein, Curse of the Mummy mainly for their over the top acting and kind of camp feeling and was hoping that Frankenweenie would be the same.
The theater was having problems with the audio for the preshow and I did not get to hear any of the “pre-“previews of Arthur Christmas, Brave or Adventure Time, and then when the actual preview for Oz the Great and Powerful came on, the 25 people who were in the theater were almost blown out by the sudden change from no audio to excessive loudness.
The movie itself was a definite departure from your standard Disney fare, with it taking a dark turn about ten minutes in (spoiler alert) with the death of Sparky. Even though the actual death was not shown on screen, I actually did not want to see it happen (the death occurred off screen) and felt bad for Victor, even though I knew it had to happen to drive the plot.
In the meantime, it is announced that the school is supposed to have a science fair.
Following the dog’s burial, Victor is in his science class, when the teacher begins to talk about reanimation, which gives Victor an idea. A la Frankenstein, he builds his laboratory in the attic of his parents’ house and begins to work on bring his beloved dog back to life.
He succeeds, and works (quite miserably) to keep the resurrected dog a secret, as the dog escapes from the attic and is spotted by the “Igor” of the movie, who black mails Victor into replicating the feat with a dead fish, which turns invisible for “Igor” upon its resuscitation.
Once “Igor” (whose name is Edgar E. Gore) has left Victor’s house, he runs into two of his classmates and shows them the invisible fish. They immediately think that Victor is going to win the science fair with this discovery, so they have to come up with something bigger and better.
Hijinks ensue as the pair try their hand at rocketry sans a working rocket.
Finally, the entire science class find out how Victor brought Sparky back to life and decide to bring various animals back to life or supercharge other animals (Sea Monkeys, a Cat that happens to grab a bat at the exact moment the lightning strikes the wire). All of the beasts grow into monsters and it is up to Victor and Sparky to save the city, at the ultimate sacrifice of Sparky’s life, or so it seems. . .
The movie definitely pays homage to the classic monster movies, with nods to Godzilla, the Mummy, of course Frankenstein, and Dracula. Tim Burton also slips in a subtle nod to his Batman movies with a Batman kite that Victor uses for the reviving of Sparky.
This is a great way to introduce children to monster movies, with no swearing, no onscreen violence, no sex, and it gives parents a way to talk to kids about good and bad afterwards. I would definitely watch the movie again and again, even knowing the ending, and even though I am an animal lover and do not like to see animals die (seeing a dog get “hit” by a car) would give a parent an in road to talk to a child about death if the question was brought up.
Family Friendly Language: 10/10
“Family Friendly” Violence: 9.5/10
Nudity/Suggestive Situations: 10/10
Overall Rating 9.6/10
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As always, be kind, please rewind, and remember two wrongs may not make a right, but three rights always make a left.