Film: Frankenweenie

05FRANKEN_SPAN-articleLargeTIM BURTON is notorious for his quirky Gothic melancholy, and his latest creation, Frankenweenie, is no exception.  The film returns, much to the joy of obsessive Tim Burton fans (amongst whom I am proud to count myself), to his gloriously gaunt trademark stop-motion animation.  Frankenweenie is in black and white, an allusion to Hammer Horror style films that brings a subtle comedy to the film, and also differentiates it from other contemporary releases.  Although Tim Burton films are usually placed in the “children’s” category, there is always a deeper and darker level to them that gives them an edge and infuses them with a meaning that makes them so watchable and memorable.

Frankenweenie explores the trauma of losing a childhood pet, but adds a grim twist when young Victor Frankenstein becomes a mini version of his namesake, leading to dire consequences and perhaps too many re-animated pets for one small town to come to terms with.  The film is an emotional rollercoaster (thanks to it being released by Disney), with scenes that will melt even the iciest heart, bring tears to even the most cynical eye, and inspire laughter, although perhaps at the most unusual and gruesome of moments.  The setting of the film can only be described as “Tim Burton-esque” (i.e. encourages thoughts along the lines of “I’m so glad I don’t live there”), and the characters are just as carefully crafted and memorable as those in earlier Burton gems.  Frankenweenie is far-fetched, heart-warming, and, best of all, filled with the kind of loveable gloom that makes Burton such a popular director.