Suspicions were in no short supply when it was announced that director Tim Burton was updating his wonderful short film, Frankenweenie
, to feature length. But the news got more interesting: he was utilising stop motion animation, producing the film in black and white, and the end result would have plenty of nods to classic monster movies. The most impressive thing of all though is that Tim Burton pulled it off: Frankenweenie
is one of the boldest and most ambitious animated movies of recent times.
Unwilling to talk down to its audience, Frankenweenie is also willing to address issues that other films of its ilk don't get near. Burton's film touches on death and loss in a really accessible way, channelled through the story of a boy who brings his dog back to life. Glorious and detailed to look at, it's an engrossing, warm tale, with memorable characters and a superb score from Danny Elfman.
It's also a film that's careful and considerate in how it deploys 3D, with the striking visuals and the delicate direction enhancing the effect. Add in a super-sharp 1080p Blu-ray transfer, and you get to enjoy the sheer craft of the film in real detail.
Frankenweenie isn't a film for the very young, but its appeal is nonetheless broad, especially for those looking for something just a little deeper in their animated movies. As a double bill with Henry Selick's wonderful Coraline movie, it's pretty much perfect. --Jon Foster
Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.