|Victor Frankenstein loves his dog Sparky|
Burton's love of the classic black and white Universal monster movies is on display. Adults may get more from the film than their child chaperones, as they spot homages to Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Werewolf and many more. Classic horror film actors like Vincent Price and Boris Karloff are also paid tribute via the voicework. There's also a nod to Rankin Bass in the character of Mr. Bergermeister. The voicework is excellent, with such actors as Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short, who voice multiple characters, and Winona Ryder, Conchata Ferrell, and Martin Landau, among others.
|Victor's classmate Weird Girl has a psychic cat, Mr. Whiskers|
The essential story of a boy and his dog remains touching, but what puts the movie over the top are the incredible puppets and visuals. Period cars and sets with amazing details will make for repeated viewings. Much of the movie is told from Sparky's eye-view. The look of the characters are similar in style to much of Burton's other work, like The Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and even Edward Scissorhands. In Frankenweenie that signature style has been tweaked a bit, exaggerated almost to the point of the grotesque. But somehow it all works. I can't remember enjoying a Tim Burton movie as much in a really long time. And if you're lucky enough to go to a theater that is giving away an exclusive IMAX print with Burton's original sketch of Sparky, be sure to grab one. I sure did.