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  • Alternative view 1 of Frankenweenie
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3.7 4
Director: Tim Burton

Cast: Charlie Tahan, Winona Ryder, Martin Landau


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Tim Burton's 1984 short film Frankenweenie is resurrected for the big screen with this stop-motion 3D remake, which once again centers on a boy (Charlie Tahan) who reanimates his dead terrier and the suburban fallout that occurs because of it. Big Fish screenwriter


Tim Burton's 1984 short film Frankenweenie is resurrected for the big screen with this stop-motion 3D remake, which once again centers on a boy (Charlie Tahan) who reanimates his dead terrier and the suburban fallout that occurs because of it. Big Fish screenwriter John August provided the script for the Walt Disney production.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Tim Burton is not a man afraid to look to the past. A quick glance at the director's filmography reveals a fistful of adaptations, remakes, and reboots -- for a guy with a strong, distinctive narrative and visual style, he seems remarkably eager to put his own stamp on other people's stories. But with his latest project, he is for the first time rethinking one of his own concepts. In 1984, when Burton was an animator for Disney, he directed a short film that put an idiosyncratic twist on the story of a boy and his dog. Spending too much of Disney's money on the 30-minute Frankenweenie got him booted from his job in the animation department, only to launch his successful directorial career a year later with Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Now he has remade that live-action short into a full-length animated feature, and the new Frankenweenie is an alternately sweet and dark-humored comedy that's fun, visually striking, and reveals how little Burton's inspirations and obsessions have changed over the past 28 years. Frankenweenie concerns Victor (voice of Charlie Tahan), a boy who is good-natured but shy, and prefers to make homemade monster movies with his Super-8 camera than play outside with other kids. But Victor has one true and loyal friend -- his dog Sparky. His parents (Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short) fret a bit about their son, and dad persuades him to join a Little League baseball team despite his disinterest in sports. Trying to impress a cute girl next door named Elsa (Winona Ryder), he manages to hit a home run, but it has unexpected consequences -- Sparky chases after the ball, runs into the street, and is hit by a car. He is emotionally devastated by Sparky's death, but the next day at school, eccentric but enthusiastic science teacher Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) shows how electricity can make a dead frog jump and Victor gets a big idea. Using household gadgets to create a lab in the attic worthy of the family's last name of Frankenstein, he is able to reanimate Sparky, who seems like his old self beyond a few errant stitches that cause him to leak water and occasionally lose his tail. All is well until his creepy neighbor Edgar (Atticus Shaffer) gets wind of Sparky's new life and tries to persuade Victor to help him with a science-fair project. Edgar and several of his friends discover his notes and bring back some of their own deceased pets, but while Victor acted out of love, the other kids are driven by ambition, and as a result their experiments are a great deal more problematic. Frankenweenie was created using stop-motion animation (with an occasional digital assist), giving the picture a look that will be familiar to fans of Burton's Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The film's design motifs walk a tightrope between the expressively spooky (Edgar looks like he could have been drawn by artist Big Daddy Roth, while the other characters are charmingly grotesque in Burton's trademark style) and the skewed suburban tableaux of the 1984 original (as well as Burton's later works Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood). The film also tosses in visual references to dozens of vintage horror and sci-fi pictures, from the Universal Studios classics of the 1930s to monster flicks of the '50s and '60s (and at one point, Victor's mom and dad cuddle on the couch as they watch Christopher Lee in Horror of Dracula). It's not hard to see a bit of Burton in the horror-loving Victor (though Burton's drive to bring things to life is thankfully different), and if anything, the director's affection for this story and his empathy for Victor's love of Sparky shines brighter in this animated interpretation than it did in the original short (itself one of Burton's most underrated works); he certainly has greater control over the look and feel of New Holland than he did in 1984. Burton, cinematographer Peter Sorg, production designer Rick Heinrichs, and their team of animators have made Frankenweenie a quirky but engaging visual feast, while the movie has a core of warmth and bittersweet sentimentality despite its cloudy tone. The filmmakers are aided immeasurably by the excellent voice cast (most of whom take on several characters), particularly a con brio Martin Landau as Mr. Rzykruski and Winona Ryder as Elsa, who seems to be channeling her lovably off-kilter Lydia from Beetlejuice (especially when she sings of New Holland's "modest homes at modest prices"). At its best, Frankenweenie feels like an expansion of Burton's original short rather than an effort to rethink it, and if it adds a certain amount of visual trickery and thrills to the tale, its heart is still the relationship between a boy and his dog, and it still pulls at the heartstrings no matter how strongly you resist.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Walt Disney Video
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Special Features

Blu-ray Feature Film + Bonus: Original Short: Captain Sparky vs The Flying Saucers - View One Of Sparky's Favorite Home Movies Minatures In Motion: Bringing Frankenweenie To Life - Take An In-Depth Tour Of The London Set, And Meet The Filmmakers And Artisans Whose Work, Imagination, And Heart Breathe Life Into The Film Original Live-Action Frankenweenie Short: PG Plus All DVD Bonus DVD Feature Film + Bonus: Frankenweenie Touring Exhibit - Explore The Artistry Of The Film's Puppets, Sets And Props In A Showcase That's Traveling The World Plain White T's "Pet Sematary" Music Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlie Tahan Victor Frankenstein
Winona Ryder Elsa Van Helsing
Martin Landau Mr. Rzykruski
Catherine O'Hara Mrs. Frankenstein,Gym Teacher,Weird Girl
Atticus Shaffer Edgar "E" Gore
Martin Short Edward Frankenstein,Mr. Burgemeister,Nassor,Mr. Frankenstein
Robert Capron Bob
Conchata Ferrell Bob's Mom
James Liao Toshiaki
Tom Kenny Fire Chief,Soldier,Townsfolk

Technical Credits
Tim Burton Director,Producer
Allison Abbate Producer
John August Screenwriter
Tim Browning Art Director
Danny Elfman Score Composer
Don Hahn Executive Producer
Rick Heinrichs Production Designer
Chris Lebenzon Editor
Karen O Songwriter
Mark Solomon Editor
Peter Sorg Cinematographer
Alexandra Walker Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Frankenweenie
1. Victor & Sparky [:31]
2. Mr. Wiskers Had A Dream [1:58]
3. Science Fair, Baseball [:12]
4. Electricity [2:43]
5. The Experiment [4:35]
6. Alive [1:16]
7. Edgar Knows [4:14]
8. The Second Experiment [1:59]
9. Mr. Menace [1:56]
10. Wrong Motives [5:05]
11. Secret Revealed [1:35]
12. Expaeriments Gone Wrong [5:02]
13. Dutch Day Mayhem [:24]
14. Taking Out The Monsters [:22]
15. Always In My Heart [3:52]
16. End Credits [2:48]
17. Chapter 17 [2:31]
18. Chapter 18 [:15]
19. Chapter 19 [4:15]
20. Chapter 20 [1:00]
21. Chapter 21 [3:28]
22. Chapter 22 [2:30]
23. Chapter 23 [2:40]
24. Chapter 24 [4:19]
25. Chapter 25 [4:02]
26. Chapter 26 [2:59]
27. Chapter 27 [2:38]
28. Chapter 28 [4:22]
29. Chapter 29 [2:56]
30. Chapter 30 [3:14]
31. Chapter 31 [:05]
32. Chapter 32 [:03]
33. Chapter 33 [6:43]
34. Chapter 34 [:04]


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Frankenweenie 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story...great dog story!
Nadina85 More than 1 year ago
I am an unabashed fan of Tim Burton's movies. Big Fish, The Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands, The Nighmare Before Christmas --- all works of cinematic art. Frankenweenie is no exception. The man is a genius, especially when it comes to animation. For all the limitations that animated movies have to offer, Burton excels at creating an essence of creepy originality and gothic creativity. Frankenweenie is much inspired by some of the more classic horror films, only its told in a more kid-friendly manner. That's not to say that the movie is completely age-appropriate but Burton does a decent job of dealing with the more serious issues in a darkly humourous way. I will admit, at times there are those familiar echoes, script-wise, but it's touched by Burton's unusual eccentricity which keeps it from feeling too monotonous. In it you'll find the usual cast of characters, of course, but what makes the film so unique is the addition of Victor's loveable, yet horrifying dog. Sparky will steal your heart with his adorable mannerisms and gruesome quirks. If I had one big criticism of the film, it's that there wasn't enough characterization into Victor. Frankenweenie barely scratches the surface on questioning his actions which renders the plot as somewhat hollow. The voicework was outstanding, featuring the return of several Burton alums and the music is eerie perfection. I loved the dark atmosphere of the stop-motion which adds layers to the story's creepiness. And perhaps even more remarkable is subtle homage to films of horror movie's past. Though I wouldn't say Frankenweenie was my favourite Burton film, I found the ending be a bit too empty, it still found a place in my heart with it's quirky charm and extraordinary vision. Frankenweenie might be just as ugly as the original story, but its definitely not lacking in heart. Featuring stellar voice talents, remarkable animation and one very cute puppy, this film is a winner for families and those that share a mutual appreciation for classic horror. Not quite a masterpiece, but still a wonderful achievement for one of my favourite directors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't received my dvd yet. It was shipped on January 21. 15 business days later and I still haven't received it. B&N has the worst customer service. After sever emails with no responses, I called them. It was a huge waste of time. The only suggestion the CS rep offered is that I should call customs. Why couldn't she do it for me? Well, apparently, once it's shipped its no longer a B&N concern. She didn't even offer a phone number to assist me with calling customs. B&N has the worst customer service, I will never order from them again! If you enjoy ordering online and appreciate good customer service, visit amazon. I always receive free shipping and I get my items within 3-5 days.