Tim Burton's career took off with his creation of the original film "Frankenweenie". It was a very cute and sweet short film—a homage to the horror films of yesteryear. Now, more than two decades later, Burton is back with a remake .of sorts. In fact, although the title is the same and the first half of the film is quite similar, it is much more a re-imagining of the original. The last portion, oddly, bore no resemblance to the original and in this portion, the film became tedious. In fact, it was so bad I am shocked that it was Oscar-nominated—especially when better films (such as "ParaNorman") could have been nominated instead.
Like the first film, a boy's beloved dog is struck and killed by a car. And, the strange boy decides to revive it using Frankenstein-like contraptions that zap the carcass with electricity. This is much of the film. Then there is the new material—where several kids from school also decide to create their own undead creations in order to win a science fair. Unfortunately, the kids all end up creating monsters that terrorize, very briefly, the city. In the end, all is well
.and I was thrilled that the film was finally over!
So why did I dislike the film? Well, it certainly wasn't the look of the film. Using stop-motion, they created a very imaginative black & white world that you have to like even if the plot itself is stale and the new material is simply awful. At least the art department deserves kudos. As far as the story goes, the biggest problem isn't that they changed the original story (I expected they would)—it's that the fun and comedy of the original film was non-existent and in its place was cliché-ridden and joyless romp. And, while I am not a huge fan of political correctness, I thought the way the Asian kid was portrayed was cheap and very stereotypical (his creation turned into Gamera—the Japanese monster who often battled the likes of Godzilla). Overall, apart from the artistry, I thoroughly disliked this film and STRONGLY recommend you see the original—which is very clever, fresh and fun. Or, see one of Tim Burton's good stop-motion films, like "A Nightmare Before Christmas" or "The Corpse Bride".
By the way, you might wonder why I even watched this film. Well, I was on a Disney cruise and the movie was free—so it isn't like I paid to see it. If I had, I am sure my score would have been lover than 4.
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