Frankenweenie (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Frankenweenie</strong> (2012)

(On Cable TV, September 2013) There’s something intensely familiar with Tim Burton’s Frankenwwenie, and that’s a good thing: After nearly a decade in the wilderness, here he is revisiting old obsessions and directing a film that’s close to the goth-suburban aesthetics of his early work, most particularly the classic Edward Scissorhands.  Inspired by two short films from Burton’s early career, Frankenweenie depicts a boy’s adventures after resurrecting his pet dog.  His secret doesn’t hold, his friends all try to emulate him and soon enough the entire neighborhood has problems with undead pets.  Filmed in sharp black-and-white stop-motion animation, Frankenweenie becomes homage to Frankenstein and Burton’s work, obviously, but also to sub-genres of horror cinema including kaiju monster cinema.  It’s not exactly a breath of fresh air, but it’s competently executed, somewhat charming for audiences with some horror-film background and a welcome return to form for Burton after a string of mystifying misfires.  It’s worth a look, even though it may ultimately prove to be forgettable.

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