Thursday, October 18, 2012
REVIEW: Frankenweenie 3D
Charlie Tahan, Winona Ryder
October 5, 2012
1 hour 27 minutes
Tim Burton, according to some, has been losing his touch for a little while now. 'Alice in Wonderland' was hated upon, despite not being that bad of a film compared to other terrible book to film adaptations that have come out over the years. 'Dark Shadows' was just a movie that didn't know what it wanted to be, and because of that failed on many levels. Now comes Burton's personal project, entitled 'Frankenweenie.' This film was adapted from Burton's original 1984 short film in which a young boy brings his dead dog back to life. The film of course expands on what exactly happens to all of the characters in the film, but the basic plot is still the same.
Burton also decided to make this movie with stop-motion animation, which many will know is hard to make a movie with because it takes a long time to do so. Even people were just plain skeptic in what exactly Burton could pull off with this project. Luckily though, he pulls of a lot of things and succeeds at making such an interesting vision on the classic tale of 'Frankenstein.' 'Frankenweenie' is as beautiful as any animated movie that's come out this year, but it has so much heart, charm, and wit to make it a heartbreaking but great animated movie.
Tim Burton has a certain look whenever he makes films, animated or live action. His stop motion characters/worlds specifically have this distinct look where one could just tell that it's a Burton film. 'Frankenweenie' definitely retains that look and feel that we've been seeing for nearly three decades, but adds something new and refreshing that's kind of hard to describe. Every frame of animation, especially in black and white, (a creative decision on Burton's part) looks crisp and incredible. The 3D also helps it pop out and gives a sense of depth, unlike what was given in 'ParaNorman.' The film doesn't need to be seen in the extra dimension, but it does look really cool if you go that route.
The voice cast does a really good job at either sounding creepy or heartfelt. Charlie Tahan, who some may known from the 2010 drama 'Charlie St. Cloud,' does a great job at giving such a heartfelt vocal performance as Victor. I would have liked to have seen more of an emotional punch when Sparky (the dog) dies in the film given by Tahan, but the vocal work was great and a lot less annoying than 'St. Cloud.' It seems like Winona Ryder only gives subtle and interesting performances in Burton movies, because in practically everything else, she plays kind of a bitch. I liked how she didn't exploit her voice and didn't make it such a flashy performance. The over the top voice performances, including the likes of Martin Landau and Martin Short, were all great, but it was a nice touch to see Ryder in a role where the audience doesn’t hate her. Overall, the film possesses really strong vocal work from all, with no weak spots to be found at all.
The writers of the film clearly knew what they were doing with this film. They didn't go over the top with frightening moments, (other than one jump scare) it made the death of Sparky the dog subtle enough for kids to understand and not be afraid, and managed to keep a sweet story appropriate for kids over the age of 7. Tim Burton has crafted a sweet, funny, intriguing, and pleasant Halloween movie perfect for the little horror fans to be. It's darker and more intense than 'Hotel Transylvania,' so this might not be the best film for little ones. If a kid is at the right age, though, this is a great introduction into the world of Tim Burton, as well as a scarier introduction into horror than 'Transylvania' is. This film also has the capability to make those who have or had a pet in their lives cry, so tissues to animal lovers are highly recommended. 'Frankenweenie' is Tim Burton's best and most fascinating film since 2004's 'Big Fish.'
PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Despicable Me 2
The Smurfs 2
Oz: The Great and the Powerful