In theatres today: Frankenweenie

Laura reviews writer-director Tim Burton's latest family-friendly adventure.

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Canada.

Back in 1984, when Tim Burton was still struggling to make a name for himself in Hollywood, he created a stop-motion short film called Frankenweenie. Now, 28 years later, the writer-producer-director has revisited his old project, transforming it into a feature-length family adventure.

The premise
Young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is devastated when his beloved dog, Sparky, is killed in a tragic accident. When a grieving Victor learns about the effects of lightning while in his science class he decides to attempt to bring his dog back to life. But, in order to avoid detection, he must outsmart his parents (Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short), science teacher (Martin Landau) and his nosy classmate Edgar (Atticus Shaffer), among others. Although Victor’s experiment proves to be a success at first, he is ultimately forced to confront the consequences of his actions when other people get their hands on the science behind his project.

What we loved
Burton returns to his animation storytelling roots with this beautifully filmed stop-motion black and white adventure. Using the same style of skinny-legged, saucer-eyed characters seen in The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride, Burton expands on his original 1984 concept to create a strange — yet incredibly sweet — story about a boy and his dog that both kids and parents will enjoy in equal measure.

Parental advisory
The black and white visuals add a little extra grotesque imagery to some of the characters. Little ones may be spooked by a couple of the adult characters (with their elongated faces and jagged teeth) and there are a few animals that are transformed into creepy, rodent-like creatures.

Canadian rating
PG — For some scary images and action sequences.

For more information on the flick including behind-the-scenes pictures and fun facts — visit our Frankenweenie gallery!

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