Growing up, I had a dog that I can safely say I considered my best friend. He was there for me in the hardest of times, and he was always excited to see me. His name was Lucky and he was someone who was always part of everything I did. That’s like young Victor in today’s movie review: which follows Victor‘s pet dog Sparky [who stars in Victor‘s home-made movies] after he is suddenly hit by a car. As a fan of monster films, Victor decides the best bet is to bring him back to life, in the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked Sparky wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of the neighbors, Victor has to convince them that despite his appearance, Sparky is still the good loyal friend he’s always been. This movie has a lot of heart, and as a fan of Tim Burton, I was really happy when I saw it in theaters back in 2012! It’s a tad bit depressing though, so take that with a grain of salt. This, is Frankenweenie.
Before this one was released, I am actually a huge fan of the original 1984 short film of the same title, so naturally, news of a feature length feature was very exciting to me. When you watch this “version”, it’s obvious from both Frankenweenies that director Tim Burton holds this story very close to his heart. The obvious assumption is that young Victor Frankenstein has much in common with the Burton‘s childhood experiences.. being as both claim to be social misfits who find joy in less than popular ways; such as science, sci-fi/monster films and film making.
The story begins simply enough, Victor – a socially awkward boy – whose only ‘real’ friend is his loyal dog Sparky, quickly connects with his new science teacher, Mr. Rzykroski. [who you can tell is based off the late, and wonderful, Vincent Price] Sadly, Victor‘s parents try to get him more engaged with others his age, which leads to a tragic accident that ends with the death of Sparky. [that..got depressing really quick!] Like anyone, Victor is heart-broken but fear not! He takes the lessons he learned in Rzykroski‘s science class, as well as his scientific mind, to make a contraption to “spark Sparky” thanks to a lightning storm outside. Soon enough, Sparky is back! But, of course, being as they’re in a small town; the secret gets out and school Science Fair takes on quite a competitive nature – I mean, this kid just brought his dog back from the dead! That’s pretty damn impressive!
What makes this movie so great is that Burton treats the film as an homage to old monster, horror and sci-fi films – and it’s obvious too! We get nods to Frankenstein, The Mummy, Dracula, [who’s even voiced by the late, Christopher Lee!] Godzilla, Bride Of Frankenstein, Gremlins, and Jurassic Park. And those are the ones I noticed! But this movie is just – so much more. Mr. Rzykroski gives a speech to the local townspeople explaining the situation, and though it is straight to the point, it’s lost on these fine folks. The importance of science and accepting the differences of others is all mentioned in one of the greatest ways, but best of all: it’s not in a preachy way!
The voice work is fantastic thanks to the likes of Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Winona Ryder, Charlie Tahan, and Martin Landau; just to name a few. [that’s right, one of Burton‘s greatest films, has no hints of Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter! Blasphemy, I know!] The style and textures that are visible in the film are beyond extraordinary! Seeing the shadows and lighting effects provide an atmosphere that adds just enough creepiness, but not to the point of ever feeling like it’s overdone.. The details involved with each of the characters is remarkable for a film that’s entirely stop-motion animation. If that doesn’t get your attention, how many movies have you seen recently that include a cat-bat, sea monkeys, and a giant turtle that echoes the idea of Gamera? I didn’t think so! The suburban setting of New Holland is almost identical to the neighborhood seen in Burton‘s Edward Scissorhands, another of my favorites, just without the colors, obviously.
As you can probably tell, I love this movie. It’s an excellent choice of entertainment for both adults and children alike. But the problem is, being in black and white, has meant a heavy lack of interest from today’s kids. It has some dark humor to it, but the PG rating, and Disney name means you should probably not expect anything too heavy. Either way, this is Tim Burton at his very finest.. and without Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter, this makes it even better! [and I’m a fair sized fan of both of them!] Also, with Danny Elfman‘s score perfectly complimenting the story and characters, it adds to the quirkiness that is Frankenweenie. It’s something that needs to be seen to believe. It’s crazy, it’s fun, and it’s adorable. Though, as I said, by the films end: it feels somewhat depressing. Especially having to see Victor move on from the loss of his best friend.
So please, check out Frankenweenie. It’s arguably one of my favorite Tim Burton films, and the stylizing is beyond beautiful. It’s got a great message to it, and with many hints to other horror films; how could you say no? Now I ask you: what do you think of Frankenweenie? Is it a family friendly film that everyone should see at least once? Or is it far too depressing? Let me know your thoughts in a comment or two! Also, if you enjoyed this review, I actually wrote about a popular theory that’s been passing through the internet lately, that claims Frankenweenie is part of a trilogy! [but is it?] Be sure to read that, over here!
If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I talk about weirdo’ween #28! – so be sure to STAY TUNED!
THANKS FOR READING.
A little while ago, I wrote about a short horror film titled “It’s Okay” [read that here!] and mentioned that short films are becoming a fascination of mine. I like how they’re full length stories, but instead; they’re short, they’re sweet, and best of all: they have all the elements an actual film would have, but in a shorter time frame! Although I’m [naturally] all about the horror shorts, today I want to talk about a different type of short film – stop motion animation.. specifically one in particular: Foxed!.
Directed and written by James Stewart, Foxed! has been sweeping awards and earning itself nominations throughout the film festival scene since it’s release in 2013! Now – as of last week – it’s finally available to watch online for the first time in two years! [hold out until the end of the post to watch Foxed! in all it’s glory!] If that’s not enough to satisfy you, what’s even more exciting than that is that body-horror Director David Cronenberg has confirmed that he will be producing an adaptation this particular short into a feature length film!
Being as the characters and story still naturally belong to Stewart, he will be writing and directing the feature length adaptation of his original short, which will still blend traditional stop-motion animation with 3D techniques, kind of like Coraline, James & The Giant Peach, and The Nightmare Before Christmas [along with many other films] all had. If you’ve never heard of Foxed!, read the synopsis for the short [and presumably – the adaptation as well] which can be found below! The full length feature is set to be released in theaters in 2017, with no date or full length trailer set as of yet.
“When young Emily is kidnapped by foxes and forced to work in the mysterious underground Blue Goo Mines, she must use everything she’s got to get back home and uncover the foxes’ secret plan!”
So check out Foxed! : It’s a short film – clocking in at just under 5 minutes – but it’s definitely worth checking out for the atmosphere it gives off, it’s dark and moody feeling, and it’s voice acting is top-notch. It’s been nominated for [and won] tons of awards and with a full length adaptation of it on the way, that alone tells you that it’s worth watching. As I said, it’s finally available to watch online [via Vimeo] but because I simply cannot get enough of it, I’ve gone so far as to post it below. Let me know in a comment or two what you think of Emily‘s adventure in the Blue Goo Mines, and as a question of the day: Do you think she’ll escape the foxes and figure out their dark plan?
if you found yourself to enjoy this article, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – only 15 more and we’ll have reached 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends!
THANKS FOR READING.