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Tanya Khoury: Classic horror
October 12, 2012
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I just love it when directors go back to their roots and instincts and just follow through with what they believe in. Tim Burton is a genius, there is no denying this no matter the fact that I genuinely disliked Dark Shadows with a passion. But this animation has brought him back to his glorious self (I never really doubted him, we all make mistakes!). He has truly delivered with Frankenweenie. This is your animated Frankenstein, in black and white, gorgeously animated and perfectly voiced.  Basically the best pre-Halloween flick to see before trick or treating.

Along with screenwriter John August (Corpse Bride, Big Fish etc.) Burton made this film one of the most delightful feasts for the eyes that I have seen in a while. This is a PG rated film and I had expected to see quite a few children with their parents. Instead this theatre was somewhat packed with adults only. Perhaps my movie timings were off (or so I would like to believe), although I can imagine how some scenes would spook the young ones out. Generally the message and the film as a whole do have a wider appeal and children of cinema going ages would and should relate to it.

This is standard Burton, and if you liked his style before then you will definitely like this. The black and white just adds so much character to the story that I didn’t even think about what colour would add or take away from the film. The writing is witty, there is quite a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour that explains the adult audience. In addition to that though there is a good balance in the story between humour, drama, action and a wee bit of horror – this is after all Burton we are talking about.

Victor, voiced by Charlie Tahan, decides to revive his dog Sparky after an unfortunate accident. The idea comes to him through his science teacher and the visual effects go haywire from there onwards. The spot on voices by Martin Short, Martin Landau, Catherine O’Hara and Winona Ryder just make the story all the more entertaining. My only criticism is some of the scenes may have felt a little dragged out towards the latter part of the film. The buildup comes across as very strong so I felt a tad (just a tad) let down towards the end. Maybe they got carried away with the writing, regardless though it doesn’t really take a lot out of the film; I just had to put that out there.  I guess for the more critical and less patient viewers that can be quite distracting. There are many subplots and characters in the film but some just may have preferred a more direct approach with the classic tale. Like most good animated stories this is heartfelt and at the end of the 87th minute it was satisfying and most definitely appreciated.

This is one of the good ones; go see it in the theatre if you get the chance, the full experience of this film is seeing it at the theatre. Give it time even if you wanted colour bursting out of the screen; you will soon forget and enjoy the graceful subtlety this film has to offer. Kudos to Burton and team, bring on Halloween I say! A well deserved 7.9/10 for this tale.

 
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