Monday, January 14, 2013
The movie is, of course, an homage to classic horror movies and the Frankenstein story in particular, telling the story of a young Victor Frankenstein who brings his beloved dog back from the dead. It's told with the typical Tim Burton flair, but that style is well deployed here. The most extraordinary aspect of the movie is the synergy -- the movie displays a perfect blending of character design, voice performance, and animation technique. The characters are all simply perfect.
The cast behind the microphone includes Burton veterans Catherine O'Hara,Winona Ryder, and Martin Landau. Martin Short is a fun addition to their number. And the young boy at the heart of the tale is child actor Charlie Tahan, a very effective lead for the film. He's one of several actual young actors cast in the child roles, and this overall to approach the film is an effective one.
However, I'd say Frankenweenie isn't a perfect film. Tim Burton's signature style may also be a mark against it. There are touches of Ed Wood, Beetlejuice, and most notably Edward Scissorhands here, and as charming as this movie feels, it also feels somewhat like the lesser shadow of all those others.
Still, even if it is a shadow, I found it better than most of the 2012 movies I've seen so far. In fact, it just barely squeaks into my provisional Top 10 list, in the bottom slot. (I've updated that post accordingly.) It's not likely to linger for long, being right on the bottom of the ladder, but a brief stint is better than none at all. I give Frankenweenie a B.