Tim Burton has had numerous tumbles over the last few years, making hardcore fans wonder if we would ever see him return to greatness like when he delivered films like Big Fish, Ed Wood, and Edward Scissorhands. His latest Frankenweenie returns him to his own creative world remaking his live action 1984 feature of the same name, but this time in stop motion form. Could his return to his own material get him back to doing what made fans love him or will it just be more of the same over used style he seems to feel the need to slap on every film?
Frankenweenie follows a young boy whose dog is hit by a car. After learning about the effects of electricity in science he uses it to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life. When his secret is discovered he will have to try and convince his parents as well as the town’s people that Sparky is not the monster that he appears to be. Fans will be happy to know that this is a welcomed return to form for the Tim Burton we all loved. The film is beautifully creepy in both visual and story. Fans of the original classic will be happy to know that while they obviously expand and change the story up a bit, they still manage to include just about every aspect of the original in this new format. The voice acting is well done, with the real scene stealer being Martin Landau as a science teacher with a strong resemblance to the late great Vincent Price. It is an amazing visual experience on top of a clever execution of storytelling of the tale of Frankenstein. There are some truly strange and fun characters that have Tim Burton’s imagination all over them and create a world like only he can. Of the stop motion films he has been involved with previously, this is easily the best one as a whole delivering one of the most unique experiences in some time for both Burton’s work and just something different in theaters. There are some aspects in the middle of the film that some might find a bit slow, but in a way that seems more necessary than not. The 3D works really well when utilized, but for the most part didn’t seem like there was any focus on using it much at all.
While this is a Disney movie and animated, it undertakes a pretty dark tone at times, but it’s necessary to really make this movie accomplish what it sets out to do. Fans of the 1993 series Family Dog, will notice that Burton used his own designs from that series to design Sparky here. Could this film prove that Burton still has what it takes to deliver? Let’s hope so, because here he knocks it out of the park and has easily re-established any lost faith as a brilliant filmmaker. Who knows, maybe eventually we will get a film for Stain Boy and a whole new world to enjoy. Either way Burton is back better than ever let’s just hope he latches on and keeps the spark alive. In addition to this brilliantly beautiful film, this Blu-ray also features numerous special features including an all-new short “Captain Sparky vs. The Flying Saucers”, the original live action short film, numerous featurettes, the Plain White T’s “Pet Semetary” music video, a digital copy, as well as the DVD and 3D versions of the film. The making of featurettes showcase the masterful artistry that goes into to bringing this world to life. Disney has packed so much fun into this Blu-ray edition along with the brilliance of the film itself, no fan will want to miss out on this one.