One of the darkest, creepiest Disney kids movies that I can recall in recent years.
The awesome, unique animation was obviously influenced by the warped brilliance of Director Tim Burton. It is basically the love child of The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) and Corpse Bride (2005). Ever since Burton made a name for his crazy self when he directed Beetlejuice (1988), every one of his movies has been a visually stunning work of art.
Burton takes the classic Frankenstein (1931) and puts it in a blender with Lassie Come Home (1943), Pet Sematary (1989), The Mummy (1932), Dracula (1931), The Wolfman (1941), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Gremlins (1984), and Godzilla (1954). The monster that is created from this movie concoction goes by the name of Frankenweenie.
Frankenweenie is a touching, heartfelt, twisted tale of a boy’s love for his dog, Sparky. After a Sparky dies in a terrible accident, the boy cannot cope. He tries to use science to bring his beloved dog back from the dead. His classmates think that he is doing the experiment to win the trophy at the science fair. In order to compete, the students try to raise dead animals of their own.
The entire film has a classic old-movie feel that is incredible. It is the first full-length animated film that I have seen that has achieved the sense of an earlier time in such a realistic way.
Fun facts: O’Hara and Ryder played stepmother and stepdaughter in Beetlejuice. The character that Ryder voiced actually looked a lot like she did in Beetlejuice. Landau was in Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (1999) and Ed Wood (1994).
The movie is rated PG. Parental guidance is suggested. I highly suggest that you view this movie before you show it to your little ones. It was pretty frightening for a Disney movie. That being said, you might just get pulled into this funny, clever, tender, superbly crafted film.
I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.