Tim Burton’s creepy streak continues with the release of his latest film, Frankenweenie. This spookily animated movie with a cool retro feel features the vocal talents of Martin Short andWinona Ryder.
Shot like a black & white 1950’s B-monster movie, it tells the story of an intelligent, introverted child named Victor, who has an undying love for his recently deceased dog and only friend, Sparky.
Young Victor doesn’t know how to deal with Sparky’s death until he witnesses his science teacher (Martin Landau) attach jumper cables to a dead frog’s scrotum. This proves to be the only motivation Victor needs, as he then opts to dig up his dead dog’s remains, crudely sew him together, and reanimate him via well-timed lightening. Ah, kids. Is there anything they won’t do?
Frankenweenie takes place in the fictional small town of New Holland, where every kid is either emo, deformed or both. Walk into any Hot Topic and you’ll see first hand the inspiration behind these characters.
With Short and Catherine O’Hara voicing multiple parts, the casting choices, though perfect, did manage to raise some eyebrows.
Edgar “E” Gore is a kid with a broken fence smile and a back hump that would make Quasimoto dampen his knickers. I’m all for accuracy, but it felt tasteless to cast an actual bone disease sufferer, Atticus Shaffer (The Middle), for the voice of this feeble, malformed character.
There’s also “Weird Girl” and her equally weird cat. Why, you ask, is she called “Weird Girl”? Well, maybe it’s her massive eyes, or creepy soft-spoken voice. But I’m pretty sure it’s because she sees cat shits as omens. Which is super weird, because everyone knows omens are actually in dog shits…dumb kid.
No character stuck out more than Toshiaki, the stereotyped Asian classmate.
Throughout the course of the film, Toshiaki speaks in broken Engrish, is way smarter than his friends, and eventually spawns a mutant Godzilla-like creature. How nice that we’re teaching our children racism at an early age.
Despite the racism and sluggish storyline, the movie works well as a stylized creative kids movie.
Whether you’re a level headed kid or some bat shit crazy emo-child, there’s lots to like about Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie.