Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dog Dies in the Beginning - Thoughts on "Frankenweenie" (2012)

Movie # 65: "Frankenweenie" (2012)

So here's the good news about "Tim Burton Presents Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie': a Tim Burton Joint".  If you miss the earlier, weirder Tim Burton, he is... actually, no, he's not back in this movie.  Indeed, the included trailer for "OZ: the Great and Powerful" shows that he's still--

What?

Sam Raimi?!

No kidding?

Well, hell, knock me over with a feather!  Oh, wait, Burton's listed as producer, so there's that.

Anyway, the Tim Burton we miss isn't exactly back in "Frankenweenie".  But "Frankenweenie" is by far the most Tim Burtony of the recent Tim Burton movies.  It's not the most inventive thing he's ever done (it's an extended dance remix of one of Burton's own short films after all), but it's the first film in a while where it feels he actually put some heart into it.  Heck, there's even a nice little exchange in "Frankenweenie" about that very idea.

So everything about "Frankenweenie" is perfectly fine.  The animation is very good, the voices are nice, all the references to classic monster movies are clever, and the characters are delightfully weird.

Really, the only thing "Frankenweenie" did wrong -and this isn't even the fault of the movie itself- is that it arrived in theaters only about a month and a half after "Paranorman".

It's downright unfair to compare the two, isn't it?  Netflix sent me both movies within a week of each-other, so I was watching "Frankenweenie" with "Paranorman" very fresh in my mind.  And, man, that's really unfair, because I loved "Paranorman" so much, it left "Frankenweenie in the dust.  It had a far better and more profound story, much better characters, and far, far better animation and effects (those Tulle clouds!  Norman's translucent ears!  Ye gods, that final showdown!)  It's face-meltingly beautiful and it p*ssed the "Wah, think of the CHILDREN!!!" crowd right off (to which one can only say, great job completely missing the point of the movie).  Come to mention that, "Paranorman" really has more in common with "Rango", not least because it's very probable that it will be my favorite animated feature of the past year.  Stay awesome, Laika.

So, there's my review of "Frankenweenie": it's perfectly okay, but it's just okay.

For more posts in this ongoing series, go here, or click the Chronological Disney Animated Canon tag below.

-----

Art of the Day! Trophius is a weird Pokemon; part giant tortoise, part dragon, part... tree...  Here he is holding the Sharp Beak item, and looking weirder than usual.

Sharp Beak!

1 comment:

raptor_044 said...

"to which one can only say, great job completely missing the point of the movie"

1stly, sorry for the really late comment. I was waiting until I got around to watching the movie & forming my own opinion b-4 reading your review (You've been very influential to me).

2ndly, in reference to the above quote, that reminds me of a similar experience my friend had. When he watched "WALL-E" in theaters, he overheard an obese guy talking about how great it would be to live like the humans on the Axiom.

-JD-man