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Frankenweenie Blu-ray Review

Frankenweenie Blu-ray

“Frankenweenie” is better than most recent Tim Burton films, but that’s not saying much.

The plot: Devastated by the loss of his dog/best pal Sparky, a young child named Victor decides to find a way to bring back his beloved pup. Of course, Victor doesn’t anticipate the consequences of Sparky’s resurrection which leads to some monstrous occurrences.

After cranking out unwatchable remakes/reimaginings of classics like “Planet of the Apes” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” Tim Burton has now opted to remake himself. You see, back in 1984, Tim Burton directed a half-hour live-action short titled “Frankenweenie” before he turned it into a longer stop-motion animated film in 2012. The good news? This is his best work since “Corpse Bride.” The bad news? That’s not saying too much.

While watching “Frankenweenie,” it is clear that this feels like a passion project for Tim Burton. Instead of toying in other people’s universes as he has in the past, Burton has expanded upon his own creation by crafting a very personal love letter to his childhood as well as his admiration for animation and horror. The film is stuffed with detailed and gorgeous stop-motion animation creations and clever horror references, but at the core, this is a heartfelt story about love, loss, and the importance of pets in a child (or person’s) life. It’s all very cute and charming stuff (especially at the very end), but the complications of remaking a short film are very evident here.

Much like “Where The Wild Things Are” or “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” some short stories simply don’t work well when expanded upon. While “Frankenweenie” is definitely a cut above those listed above, the story is blatantly stretched out here and it shows in the end product. Burton has added more characters and more reanimated objects, but if you’ve ever seen the original short, less is more. Had some of the new characters or new scenes been more developed, the changes might have worked more. As is, however, it’s a noble, but mediocre effort.

Note: This set contains a Blu-ray 3D copy, a Blu-ray copy, a DVD copy and a digital copy.


The film, which is presented in 1.85:1 1080p, contains a beautiful B&W stop-motion animated print. The level of clarity on the character models and environments alone is worth seeing this Blu-ray for.

From the quieter scenes to the more sound heavy sequences such as Sparky’s resurrection or the climax, this 7.1 DTS-HDMA track doesn’t disappoint.

* Plain White T’s music video for “Pet Sematary.”
* For fans of Tim Burton’s early work, you will be happy to know that the original “Frankenweenie” has been included here in HD! It is arguably better than the animated feature.
* Disney trailers.
* “Miniatures In Motion: Bringing Frankenweenie To Life”- A behind-the-scenes feature on the stop-motion animation and the production itself. Expect to see crew interviews as well as information about the cast, sets, characters, the script, and so forth.
* “Frankenweenie Touring Exhibit”- A brief piece showing what’s on display at the art exhibit.
* “Captain Sparky Vs. The Flying Saucers”- An exclusive animated short of one of Victor’s homemade videos with his dog Sparky. Short, but amusing.

Summary: “Frankenweenie” is a beautifully animated and at times touching, but it comes up a little short in the end.

January 14, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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