January 22, 2013

Frankenweenie (2012)

Catherine O'Hara, Matin Short, Martin Landau


I remember the first time I saw Edward Scissorhands. It was so dark and different from other movies - it was brilliant. Then came The Nightmare Before Christmas9Sweeney Todd, and... you get the picture. Sure, his movies continue to be commercially successful - I just don't understand how there haven't been more comparisons between Tim Burton and M. Night Shyamalan. All their movies are done in the same vein. I feel like I am never surprised by Tim Burton movies and the only variable between them is whether the movie is done in black and white or color.

This movie happens to be in black and white, which I suppose is cutting edge for a children's movie. Whether a small child would actually sit through a black and white movie is another matter. My biggest problem with the movie is how dark the plot really is. Now I'm not one of those whiny parents that complain about movies exposing their kids to violence or whatnot - even Disney movies have some pretty scary moments (uh, did anyone else have nightmares as a kid about Pinocchio turning into a donkey??). But this movie is about resurrecting dead pets. It even shows the kid digging up the body in the graveyard! I may be a colossal wuss, but this completely creeped me out. In fact, I continuously thought throughout the movie that if weren't animated, I would never watch this. 

The movie isn't totally horrible, and it does have some fun winks toward Frankenstein, which adults can appreciate. I was also appreciative that I couldn't identify any of the people voicing the characters (we all know how I feel about that). But even though I haven't seen any of the other movies nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the Oscars, I can pretty much guarantee this won't win. It was probably only nominated so the category looked like it had enough contenders. And yes, I realize animated movies are not only for children, but this movie should not have been rated PG. I can't imagine showing this to any kid under the age of 12.

Final word: The only thing that makes this movie any different from every other dark Tim Burton movie is the fact that Johnny Depp isn't in it.

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