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Tim Burton's Frankenweenie resonates with all ages, explores darkly-animated aesthetic

By Christopher Totten

Victor Frankenstein and companion Sparky bond in Walt Disney Picture's Frankenweenie.

photo courtesy of CNN Entertainment
Victor Frankenstein and companion Sparky bond in
Walt Disney Picture's Frankenweenie.

Running time: 87 minutes
Directed By: Tim Burton

Moviegoers looking for an entertaining and season-appropriate film need look no further than Tim Burton's black-and-white animated feature Frankenweenie, which was released to theatres earlier this month. Burton's dark and macabre vibe of the film, brought to life through his old stop motion animation style, as seen in The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride, will make all Burton fans feel at home while at the edge of their seats.

Although Burton's Frankenweenie is injected with an equally zany and off-the-wall story line, audiences will immediately find themselves in the midst of a very heartfelt film based on the themes of friendship, death and acceptance. Viewers will fall in love with the relationship formed between man—a young kind hearted outcast, both in and out of his home, named Victor—and his best friend, Sparky, whose name comically accommodates to his zealous personality. Shortly after viewers become enamored with Victor's peppy companion, he meets an untimely demise. Young science enthusiast Victor, unwilling to give up on his life-long companion, concocts an idea to reanimate his beloved pal. The electric revival of Sparky really kicks off a string of wacky events that involve invisible fish, a giant turtle monster and a cute gerbil mummy. The homage to the horror classics is apparent throughout the film, adding an interesting element to the viewing pleasure. The picture is peppered with bizarre and eccentric characters from the Asian science fair rival to the weird girl that always has her clairvoyant cat by her side. These characters really drive the film forward and often add a touch of humor to lighten the grim, somber mood.

Frankenweenie delivers aspects that every audience member can relate to, and will leave you rooting for Victor and Sparky throughout the entire film. Anyone who has ever lost a pet or loved one will commiserate with Victor on his journey to keep his best friend by his side no matter what obstacles he must face.

Despite the film's seemingly kid-centered audience, many parts of this film will resonate resoundingly with a more mature audience making it a movie that, even if dragged to the theater by a younger sibling or child, the adult will most likely find equally entertaining, if not more. Burton masterfully blends elements perfect for people of all ages. If you haven't made your way into the cinema, sat in those chairs and kicked back for a while to be entertained by Frankenweenie, then you are missing out on a great family-friendly film.

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