Tim Burton has split into two filmmakers: the one who makes live action movies, most of them starring another version of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonhan Carter, and the one that makes dark animated films. They're both imbued in the worlds of the old Universal Horror films and the Michael Jackson "Thriller" video, and his latest is a direct retro look at those monster movies that reigned the box office after Hollywood took the throne away from the German Expressionism.
The good news is that Frankenweenie is a film that lets itself be enjoyed. The images are made out of nostalgia and nostalgia made out of love for a long and almost forgotten way of making movies. The closest Burton was of doing this in live-action was Ed Wood, which I consider to be his best film. This Frankenweenie could easily be its double-bill companion. The film has so much tender love in its deadly creatures, and when the monsters arrive you are suddenly transported to the world of Beetlejuice which, to many, seemed to be the beginning (and end) of a great new filmmaker.
It's recent Oscar nomination confirms that Tim Burton, even if fallen from grace to the critic eye, still convinces audiences and the academy.