Tim Burton shines again with Frankenweenie

By Beth Schumacher

Tim Burton’s eerie mind has done it again.

His newest animated film, Frankenweenie, tells the story of a young boy, Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan), who makes videos starring his dog Sparky. Tragedy strikes when Sparky gets hit by a car, leaving Victor devastated. With hopes of bringing his furry friend back to life, Victor cleverly performs an experiment based on knowledge he learned from his science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau). The experiment, which is similar to the one performed in James Whale’s 1931 film Frankenstein, is a success, and Sparky is brought back to life. Of course, when dealing with raising the dead, there is bound to be some sort of chaos that arises. It is then up to Victor to fix the out-of-control mess that has been created.

I’m not going to lie, it was not Burton’s best work. However, it was very entertaining. Some might be confused as to why he chose to make a children’s movie in black and white, out of fear that it may lose the younger audiences’ attention, but, honestly, it didn’t make much of a difference. In fact, it probably intrigued the younger audience members, who are so used to everything being in color. The creepy humor that Burton is known for overshadowed any possible dislike for the lack of color. I would have actually been quite disappointed if it had been in color due to the movie being a remake of his 1984 black and white short film Frankenweenie.

I really enjoyed how Burton incorporated classic horror films like Frankenstein and Dracula throughout the movie. It gave a little something extra to the older audience who could pick up on the irony of character names like the Frankensteins, Edgar “E” Gore (Atticus Shaffer), Elsa Van Helsing (Winona Ryder) and the white stripe that gets shocked through the neighbor poodle’s hair.

It was also exciting to see the Tim Burton/Danny Elfman duo back in action. Any movie with music by Elfman, regardless of how terrible the movie, automatically gets bonus points. The soundtrack, Frankenweenie Unleashed!, features artists like Neon Trees and Plain White T’s.

I highly recommend paying the extra cash to see this in 3-D. I was skeptical at first, but there are a lot of scenes that are enhanced a great deal by 3-D. Frankenweenie is definitely a fun and cute way to get psyched for the Halloween season.