Perhaps Tim Burton should solely focus on doing animated movies, since it's the only thing he still manages to do right, after a long streak of disappointing live action movies.

Besides, Burton's visual style is perfectly suitable for animated movies. The environments, the exaggerated characters, its set design, it all fits in well within an imaginary fantasy world, or rather said something that could be called Burton's world. And it's also definitely true that Burton's knowledge and understanding of the classic horror genre help to make this a perfectly fine and enjoyable movie to watch!

Some of the horror references are blatantly obviously, while some of the others are better hidden and more clever. This basically means there is something for everybody to enjoy within this movie. The more casual moviegoer can catch on to all of the obvious references, while the more hardened classic horror fan can marvel at some of the references this movie makes. And of course people who have absolutely no clue what the movie is referencing at, such as young kids which this movie still mostly got aimed toward, can simply enjoy it for its story and light horror elements. The movie or Burton doesn't ever tries to impress you with its knowledge and understanding of the genre but it really is more subtle and obviously loving toward it. You could call it a homage, though the movie foremost still remains a straightforward genre movie of its own.

Thing that I especially loved about the movie was that everything seemed to be horror about it. All of the characters for instance have a classic horror look to them, expect for the movie its main family, who appropriately and not so very subtly are called the Frankenstien's (yes, stien- not stein). Also of course the visual look and atmosphere of the movie are perfectly dark, without becoming cold or bleak, or anything else of that sort. It perfectly uses the black & white cinematography to set up the right atmosphere and tone for the movie, though the fact that's entirely in black & white seemed to have scared of some people and kids in particular, fore "Frankenweenie" wasn't the box office hit they were hoping for.

The story itself is pretty simple and straightforward. But I don't know, I sort of liked it that this movie didn't featured a bigger than life type of plot in it, in which its main character had to become an unlikely hero and safe the world from getting destroyed. It's simply the story about a boy who tries to bring his beloved dog back to life, so they can live happily ever after. There also really aren't too many other distractions in the movie such as a love story or any other dramatic elements. The movie always moves right toward its goal and luckily in the process manages to be entertaining and also definitely interesting enough. There is still plenty going on in this movie, also thanks to it's many very rich, unique- and also certainly unique looking characters.

The movie also shows that using stop motion can be just as impressive and in some ways better, than a CG animated movie. It's flawless looking really, especially when you start comparing it to earlier Burton stop animated, like "The Nightmare Before Christmas". It really once more proofs the genre is far from dead and also doesn't stand still in its further development.

Definitely way better and more entertaining than any of Burton's recent live action outings!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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