My kids' DVD review of Frankenweenie
Critic's corner

My kids’ DVD review of Frankenweenie

14 February 2013 | 1:30 pm

Settle in for a kids’ review of Tim Burton’s animated flick, Frankenweenie, which has just been released on DVD.

My son surprised me by nagging me to see Frankenweenie. It has to be said that the horror genre has not been a speciality of his in the past unless it’s around 9 o’clock at night when the “I’m too scared to go to sleep” moaning begins. Still, he was adamant that he wanted to see this film, having heard that it involved resurrecting a dog and bringing him back to life (which it most certainly does).

Victor the child-genius loves his dog Sparky more than he loves people (geniuses often do). When Sparky is run over in a car accident, Victor digs up his corpse and brings him back to life with lightning and, it has to be said, love. When Sparky gets out of control, terrorising the neighbours and inspiring other kids to resurrect their own pets, Victor has to convince everyone that sewn-together Sparky is still the loyal dog he always was.

I quite like Tim Burton – really I do – but this was all a bit draggy to me. I usually love a kids’ film and have been known to sneak into several by myself, but this one left me (pardon the pun) cold. Burton has taken a very simple, very charming short story and dragged it out into a full-length movie feature. Which is actually exactly what happened – the film began as a sweetly macabre 1984 Burton short film and Disney just couldn’t leave it alone.

Fortunately, much of both the sweetness and the macabre have been saved and Frankenweenie still produces a lot of laughs and those special Burton ‘aww’ moments just when you need them. Bottom line, though – another Tim Burton stylised horror number that’s all talk and no trousers.

Max, 8

“I didn’t think it was scary at all, even Lottie would have handled it. I would definitely have brought Sparky back to life. He’s a good dog.”

Arabella, 7

“I really didn’t like this movie. I didn’t understand what was going on and it was creepy.”

Lottie, 4

Did not watch this one. Not even in the morning so she would have all day to forget about it before bedtime.

And that’s a wrap from me and my fellow esteemed reviewers. We give it 3 stars and a round of applause for retro styling.

DVD extras:

  • Footage from the Frankenweenie touring exhibit.
  • The music video for the Plain White T’s cover of The Ramones’ “Pet Sematary”.
  • Director’s commentary.

Blu-ray also features:

  • Animated short – “Captain Sparky Vs. The Flying Saucers”  (very cute).
  • Making of featurette – “Miniatures In Motion: Bringing Frankenweenie To Life”.
  • The Blu-ray version also features the original 1984 Frankenweenie short film.

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