“Frankenweenie” is the latest from Tim Burton. It’s about young Victor Frankenstein who brings his dead dog back to life by harnessing the power of science. It’s actually a remake of a short-film Tim Burton made in 1984, but this time he uses stop-motion animation to tell his story.
The first film ran just under a half hour so there was a great deal of empty space to be filled. Burton does this primarily with old monster movie references, which brings me to my first problem with “Frankenweenie.” This is a Disney movie for kids, so I’m not sure they’ll get references to “Godzilla” or “Bride of Frankenstein.” I also don’t think that most of them will appreciate the delicate stop-motion animation, which is gorgeous at times. The supporting characters however, are a totally different story because they’re all horrible. It seems that Burton ran out of steam when creating personalities for Victor’s classmates, so he instead makes them all look as grotesque as possible. It’s an obvious short-cut from someone who has given us rich characters like Edward Scissorhands and Jack Skellington.
Also, maybe I’m just not a fan of old horror movies, but the constant references to them makes “Frankenweenie” feel stale, and I think I speak for the world when I say we DON’T need another retelling of “Frankenstein.”
This is obviously Tim Burton’s send-up to his favorite monster movies but with the non-stop references to his OWN films, it feels more like Tim Burton’s tribute to Tim Burton. I get it. Tim Burton use to be pretty awesome, but after movies like this one and “Dark Shadows,” let’s just say 2012 hasn’t been his best year. I can’t give “Frankenweenie” anything higher than a C and I have some advice for Tim Burton. Try making something TOTALLY different next time. Maybe a movie about a bunch of high school seniors trying to get lucky on Spring Break. I don’t know, but try anything! Tim Burton just needs to stop trying to make Tim Burton movies, before longtime Tim Burton fans like ME stop watching them.