October 22, 2014
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Frankenweenie
Don Fowler
4 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(The genius of Tim Burton)

Tim Burton is a genius when it comes to making offbeat movies.

Using an animated stop-motion technique, plus black and white film and 3D, he has created a spooky effect, similar to "The Nightmare Before Christmas," creating a film for all ages ... except the very young.

A tender tale of a boy and his dog, "Frankenweenie” is no Lassie. Victor Frankenstein grieves when his dog, Sparky, is run over and killed by a car. He blames himself and becomes even more of an introvert. Victor's weird science teacher (voice of Martin Landau) demonstrates the power of electricity in making a dead frog appear to come to life.

Victor goes to the spooky pet cemetery and digs up his pet, hiding him in his attic, where he operates on him using a variety of electrical appliances and the power of lightning. Sparky comes to life and Victor is overjoyed. But Sparky doesn't want to remain hidden in the attic and goes out into the neighborhood, where he is discovered by the eerie young Edgar E. Gore (Get it?). He actually looks and acts like Frankenstein's Igor.

Edgar and his pals start their own experiments with turtles, fish, bats, cats and Sea Monkeys (remember them?), with disastrous results, as the hideous creatures come to life and go on the attack. It's Victor and Frankenweenie to the rescue in a wild and satisfying ending.

The movie is filled with clever references to old horror movies that will probably go over the kids' heads but will be appreciated by adults.

Rhode Islander Robert Capron is the voice of one of the children.

It's silly, but it is a lot of fun. Rated PG, with scenes that may scare the younger set.


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