Starring: (Voices of) Charlie Tahan, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Christopher Lee
Directed by Tim Burton
Run Time: 87 mins
Genre: Comedy/ Horror/Animation/ 3D Film
Opens October 5th
By Lisa Minzey
Hey Phoenix Film Fans, this week brings a real animated treat from Tim Burton, the 3D film, Frankenweenie. This is a feature film remake of Tim Burton’s original shot film of the same name, 28 years after its original release.
Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan – voice) is an unusual child. A budding creative mind and innovative filmmaker, Victor spends much of his free time alone making movies. His parents Mr. Frankenstein (Martin Short – voice) and Mrs. Frankenstein (Catherine O’Hara – voice) worry for their son as his only friend seems to be the family dog, Sparky.
When new Science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau – voice) challenges his students to create unique projects for the upcoming Science Fair, Victor has to beg his father to let him participate. Mr. Frankenstein will only allow Victor to partake in the Science Fair, if he joins a team sport and makes some human friends.
All of the students are in a fierce competition to win, paring up with each other based on that has the best chance of winning. Edgar ‘E’ Gore (Atticus Shaffer – voice) is the other loner in class and is desperate to pair up with Victor, not only to have a partner but because Victor is one of the smartest kids in the class. Victor declines because he likes working alone. When Victor’s beloved pet Sparky is hit by a car and dies, he does not feel like participating much, so when he is shown a reanimation technique by Mr. Rzykruski, he is inspired to try and bring back Sparky.
Every night, there is a lightening storm in town. By Victor’s calculations, this should provide the right amount of voltage for his reanimation experiment. Fortunately for Victor, he is correct and Sparky is alive! The consequences of his actions were not taken into consideration, and when Sparky gets out of his hiding spot and is seen by Edgar, Victor is now being blackmailed in to a partnership and demonstration of the reanimation process.
Soon, the secret gets out on Victor’s success with bringing the dead back to life, setting the rest of the class into a frenzy for the Science Fair. When several other students dabble with the process, chaos ensues and threatens the town and the kids’ lives. Will order be restored or will playing God come back to haunt them all?
What Frankenweenie does well is combining several classic monster film elements with the creepy essence of Tim Burton’s early films. At times, the look and demeanor of the characters and the set designs resemble Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. This film is definitely more for adults for the classic references and innuendos. The 3D animation is exceptionally well done for being a black & white film. Check it out when it opens in theaters starting Friday October 5, 2012.