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89 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not too creepy, and TONS of heart. Our sensitive children approved.
Our children, ages 6 (daughter) and 9 (son), are typically scared or upset fairly easily. My son generally shields himself from upsetting or frightening things by covering his eyes and ears or walking out of the room. Our daughter usually tries to be brave, but regrets it and has nightmares. For example, the Disney version of "A Christmas Carol" is way too much for...
Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I cannot make your heads bigger!"
I had to work at trying to like this film. In the end, that chore proved too difficult and I came away unimpressed. Eh. It had a few fun moments. Loved and bought the fantastic score by Danny Elfman. Thought the dog was adorable (alive and dead-ish). Loved the reference to Gamera. Liked the boy (Victor Frankenstein as voiced by Charlie Tahan). Thought his parents...
Published 14 months ago by Einsatz


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89 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not too creepy, and TONS of heart. Our sensitive children approved., October 26, 2012
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Our children, ages 6 (daughter) and 9 (son), are typically scared or upset fairly easily. My son generally shields himself from upsetting or frightening things by covering his eyes and ears or walking out of the room. Our daughter usually tries to be brave, but regrets it and has nightmares. For example, the Disney version of "A Christmas Carol" is way too much for them to endure. However, even certain "tense" portions of otherwise harmless fare such as the Tinkerbell films can cause them concern. (Not sure why... they are just really sensitive that way.)

At any rate, we thought for sure that this film would be a "no go" for our kids because of the themes surrounding the death of the young boys dog, as well as the "monster-like" animals brought back to life and the overall creepy vibe of the film. However, while at a recent trip to Disneyland, we took them into a special Tim Burton/Frankenweenie exhibit which gave an overview of the film and showed some of the sets used in the actual picture. To our surprise, our kids expressed interest in seeing the movie. Because our son especially loves stop-motion films and even makes his own, we thought we may try to go ahead and take the kids.

Anyway, to skip to the punch line... OUR KIDS ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! In fact, it's all they talked about for the next week. They were not frightened or upset by it at all. It is not overly creepy or macabre, neither is it a horror film on any level. Still, I was unprepared for how much of a liking our children took to it. Maybe seeing the sets in person, and being aware of some of the behind the scenes stories helped. However, I can say that this movie has TONS of heart. And, it is absolutely a modern day classic. My wife and I enjoyed the film as much (or more) than the kids because of how well it is made along with the fun references to other classic films. (How many can you pick out?) :-)

Seriously, this is one of the best films we have seen in a long time. It's a shame it didn't do as well as it should have at the box office. However, we're certain that it will find a following on video. It is an absolutely charming film, impeccably crafted, and infused with tons of heart and soul. It is certainly a piece of work the filmmakers should be proud of. And, it is definitely a gift to audiences around the world.

We give it our HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. Enjoy!!!
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray has nice bonuses including the original "Live Action" 30-minute short!, January 4, 2013
There are already nearly 30 reviews of the film here on Amazon but this will be the FIRST one for the DVD and BD version. A few folks asked about whether the original 30-minute "live action" film version will be on the DVD. Let me state up front that YES it is on both the 2-Disc Blu-ray combo pack and the 4-Disc Combo pack (which is exactly the same as the 2--Disc one except it adds a 3D BD - you need a 3D TV and player to use this - an a digital copy)! This is a wonderful bonus because it's never been on DVD format before (and for some - like me - it was something completely new.)

Before I provide some more details, I'll state that I've not seen very many Tim Burton films so I came at this one different than those already big Burton fans. I did enjoy it a lot and I'm not a fan of horror films (I love Mel Brooks but "Young Frankenstein" is one of the few Brooks films I don't care for.) Now on to the info you can use.....
At times this film looks like it is CGI animated but it is actually a stop-motion film done with puppets. While the first 20 minutes - maybe even 40 - are "cute" and might appeal to all ages - the original death of Sparky - no spoilers here, you know he is going to die so he can be brought back to life - is even done "off screen". But then things get , well, I'll say, creepy. And very young children might get scared. Let's just say that if they are old enough to be able to watch the original "Frankenstein" they'll be fine with this. But I'm not a parent, so I'm only giving guidance here.
The score by Danny Elfman - who does nearly all of Burton's films - provides most of the soundtrack. There are quite a few scenes with no dialogue; the animals (dogs and cats) don't talk like they do in Disney films. The film is in "black and white" but I'd define it better as "grayscale" and the images on my MUCH older TV were crisp and sharp on the BD.

Now to the bonuses - of which there are five:
First comes an "original short" ( 2 ˝ minutes) titled "Captain Spraky vs the Flying Saucers". Cute but virtually a throwaway
Next is "Miniatures in Motion" - a really interesting "making of" featurette that runs 23 minutes.

Next comes a 4 ˝ minute featurette on the touring exhibit of Art from Tim Burton films. Okay but more of a promo

The other great bonus comes next. The aforementioned original FILM version of "Frankenweenie" directed by Burton and starring Shelley Duvall and Daniel Stern. It runs 30 minutes and is great to see after the stop-motion 80 minute film.
Last comes the "music video" of the song "Pet Sematary" by the band Plain White T's. Okay only cause it's there.

Well there you have it. If you saw the film in the theaters and really liked it, you'll find the "making of" and "orifinal film" nice bonus features. If you haven't seen the film, these bonuses will add to your understanding and enjoyment of the film. It did mine.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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53 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horrifically delightful, October 2, 2012
"Frankenweenie" is Tim Burton's first stop-motion animated film in seven years, his first film not to feature Johnny Depp in nearly a decade, and his first film not to feature his wife Helena Bonham Carter since "Sleepy Hollow" back in 1999. There also aren't any big musical numbers or songs in "Frankenweenie," which seems a bit odd after watching the Tim Burton produced "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Corpse Bride." It's also a massive improvement over Burton's other film released earlier this year; the remake of the TV series from 1966 "Dark Shadows."

"ParaNorman" seemed to beat "Frankenweenie" to the punch by nearly two months, but the main difference is that "ParaNorman" is centered around zombies where "Frankenweenie" is more "Frankenstein" influenced. There are countless horror influences in both films, but "ParaNorman" is a bit more adult in comparison and makes you laugh out loud more often whereas "Frankenweenie" mostly just makes you snicker but certainly has a lot more heart.

This is the first time in a long time that Danny Elfman's score for a Tim Burton film doesn't feel overly cliché or obnoxious. Maybe it's because this is coming from a dog owner and from someone who loves dogs, but it was really easy to relate to Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan) and his relationship to his dog Sparky. Tearing up is also something that doesn't happen very often, but it occurred every time Sparky was brought back to life while that somber piece of Elfman orchestration tenderly picks its moment to sucker punch you in the chest. Boys that age often look to their dogs as their best friend, but in this case Sparky is Victor's only friend and they're inseparable. Sparky's never ending energy, his ability to amuse himself, and the way he dances whenever he's happy only makes you feel for the character even more.

Most of the characters in "Frankenweenie" have these really tiny mouths and it's kind of boring to watch them talk. Victor's next door neighbor and mayor of New Holland Mr. Burgemeister (voiced by Martin Short) has this incredibly animated mouth though. His round shape helps, but his mouth movements are so extreme and fluid. The same can be said for Victor's new science-obsessed teacher Mr. Rzykruski (voiced by Martin Landau). Similar in appearance to Vincent Price, the outstretched shape of his head along with his long and awkwardly shaped teeth have you fixated on him the entire time. His eccentric speeches about lightning and the townsfolk being too stupid to comprehend science cements the fantastic nature of Mr. Rzykruski.

The classic horror movie references are all over the place; "Pet Sematary," "An American Werewolf in London," "Dracula," and countless references to the original "Frankenstein" including author Mary Shelley. You also can't go wrong with a "Gamera" or "Godzilla" reference.

The frustrating part of "Frankenweenie" is that there are many factors that feel like a safe zone for Tim Burton since he's done them so many times in the past. While the Danny Elfman score only enhances the experience, many may think otherwise since Elfman has been Burton's go to musical director for his entire career. Many of the secondary characters in the film are really familiar, as well. When you first see Mr. Burgemeister's niece Elsa Van Helsing, she looks exactly like Lydia from "Beetlejuice" so you automatically know it's Winona Ryder before she even speaks. The black cat that shows up at Sparky's grave looks exactly like the Keith David voiced cat from "Coraline." A rat is brought back to life with electricity and turns into this monster that looks nearly identical to the werewolf in "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

There is this fantastic story about the relationship between a boy and his dog at the center of "Frankenweenie," but a lot of people won't be able to look past what they see as typical "Tim Burton fluff" to fully enjoy it. If you enjoy it and your friends don't, just ask them, "When was the last time Tim Burton had a cat in his movies who could foretell the future with its poo?"

"Frankenweenie" isn't as good as "ParaNorman," but it's certainly more charming. Tim Burton has created an enchanting animated film that is suitable for all ages that is quite possibly his most accessible film in the last decade. Amusing from beginning to end, a heartwarming relationship at its core, and its love for classic horror worn on its sleeve, "Frankenweenie" is one of Tim Burton's best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Age Tim Burton, February 24, 2013
There’s been a lot of chatter over the last decade or so (at least since his Planet of the Apes remake) claiming that Tim Burton is washed up, out of the game, finito. For a long time it was easy to dismiss these naysayers as nostalgia worshipers, people who hold their childhood experiences so close to their own hearts that nothing can compare to the movies they loved at age thirteen. On the one hand, this chorus of doubters conveniently ignores the fact that during Burton’s supposed period of decline he somehow managed to direct Big Fish and Sweeny Todd, two of his absolute best films that pull Burton’s bag of tricks into new territories. But after the dual duds of Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows it has become increasingly difficult to ignore these doubters. Where Dark Shadows was inoffensively mediocre, Alice in Wonderland stands as perhaps Burton’s worse film and yet simultaneously his most successful at the box office (Adam Smith you have failed us).

Frankenweenie, which is based on a live action short film Burton directed while working for Disney, could have gone one of two ways: it could have drawn an unflattering comparison between the Burton of old and the Burton of the new millennium, or it could have showcased a talented director going back to the well and delivering up some of his old magic. I’m happy to say that Frankenweenie is much more the latter than the former. Unlike Planet of the Apes or Alice in Wonderland, which felt like a Burtonesque paint job was hastily plastered onto someone else’s movie, Frankenweenie is a wonderful encapsulation of Tim Burton’s obsessions with surprisingly little regard to audience reception. Like the best family films, Frankenweenie brazenly straddles the line between heartwarming and offensive.

At its core Frankenweenie is a basic retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic monster tale with the mad scientist of Switzerland switched out for a bunch of suburban kids. The main character is even named Victor Frankenstein in one of several subtle and not so subtle allusions to classic monster movies. But Burton is far less interested in gothic literature of the 19th century than he is in b-movies of the mid-20th century. In typical Burton fashion, Victor is an awkward outcast who has a love of science but no real friends except for his dog, Sparky. When Sparky one day gets loose from his leash and gets hit by a car, Victor is naturally despondent. But after a lesson by his equally strange science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski, on the affects of electricity on dead animals, Victor decides to resurrect his beloved dog.

Much of Frankenweenie plays out like Tim Burton’s love letter to Tim Burton. It feels almost as if he too is performing a type of conjuring act, resurrecting his old self for one more film. The movie is a loving assemblage of b-movie tropes and allusions, from analog mad scientists to Japanese kaiju. A good number of the references will likely go over the heads of the younger set. And the dark humor Burton and his team find in the concept of a walking, rotting corpse often comes across as a lighter version of Cronenberg’s body horror. But these choices are refreshing because they show us that Burton is making this film largely for an audience of one: himself. Perhaps the most audacious creative choice was the fact that the movie is filmed in black and white. It’s difficult enough to release a film for adults in black and white anymore, much less one that’s ostensibly a family film.

But of all the movie’s characters, the one that interested me the most was Mr. Rzykruski, voiced by Martin Landau who previously turned in one of the best performances of his career in another Tim Burton joint, Ed Wood. I often have a problem with Hollywood’s depiction of teachers in films. Too often they come across as self-help gurus (see Dead Poets Society) or they are tasked with saving inner city youth (see Dangerous Minds). Rarely are films interested in teachers who, you know, actually teach their subject. We only see Mr. Rzykruski a few times, but judging by his classroom demeanor, he is interested in little more than showing his class how the world works. There are no gimmicks. For him, science should be interesting enough. Later in the film, the parents come together in a meeting to denounce what he is teaching in their school and demand that he resign. Rzykruski takes this opportunity not to defend himself, but to in insult the parents and condemn them for being so ignorant.

This scene is in-keeping with Burton’s distrust of the public. Think of the moment in Edward Scissorhands when the community starts turning on Edward or how easily the Penguin manipulates the people of Gotham in Batman Returns. In Burton’s world, the public is always one little push away from becoming an ignorant mob. This depiction of a teacher who stands up to the parents of his pupils is also refreshing in a culture that has decided to lay all of society’s problems at the feet of public school teachers (see Won’t Back Down). If only teachers would listen to politicians and meet the demands of largely arbitrary testing criteria, then all of our economic and social ills would be solved. But here Frankenweenie clearly tells the parents to get out of the way of teachers and let them actually teach.

For anyone who has pined for the Tim Burton of old, then Frankenweenie should be refreshing. Most children’s movies provide rather routine pabulum as life lessons. Similar to The Nightmare before Christmas, a film that was about failing at your life goals, Frankenweenie doesn’t trade in easy lessons. Perhaps the movie’s message could be best summed up by Victor’s father who tells his son, “Sometimes adults don’t know what they’re talking about.” I think we can all agree that this is both an unconventional message in a children’s movie and that as a statement it is largely true.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Tim Burton, October 7, 2012
I just went and saw this and enjoyed it so much that I'm writing my first ever review on Amazon about it. Check out C. Sawin's review (no affiliation) for a more in-depth look. From a personal perspective, I found it touching, funny and done in classic Tim Burton style (great story, great visuals, faceted quirky characters who are lovable because of their quirks). It definitely feels more like -him- at his truest nature and has his own funny quirkiness all over it, much like Nightmare, Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride, and his Vincent short (vs. Alice, Batman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). At its heart is a sweet story of a boy's love for his dog, Sparky. Around that is an array of characters that reference horror movies, a tribute to Vincent Price (whose brief monologue at the town meeting is hilarious), mainstream townspeople who end up coming to Sparky's aid, and a delightfully odd girl (seems like Luna Lovegood done in Tim Burton style) with her even more odd cat (who has fortune telling poop). I went to see his artwork exhibit at the MoMA and LACMA and this movie is very much along the lines of his drawings and doodles, which is what I consider to be classic Tim Burton, like who he is as an artist for himself. I highly recommend you go see this movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Heartwarming Movie, April 25, 2013
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This review is from: Frankenweenie (2012) (Amazon Instant Video)
Even though the subject matter was a little weird, it was a movie about the love between a boy and his dog. I loved it! Yes, I would recommend this movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool!, March 23, 2013
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I love Tim Burton, and in my opinion this movie is cool. It has a story, I love the fact that is in black and white. just the setting, scenery and creativity in this movie make it a keeper. I am glad I got to have this movie in my collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frankenweenie, March 11, 2013
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Great family film, Tim Burton does it again with a retelling of his original live action short. stunning on blu-ray and even better in 3D! Make it a movie night with the family with this heart felt film.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, January 28, 2013
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Made me laugh, made me cry twice, said to my friend "I hate this movie" because it made me cry. But the ending was FANTASTIC!!!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, January 12, 2013
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Frankenweenie (DVD)
Frankenweenie was a great movie about a reltionship between a boy and his dog.
I have to say, it was very emotional. I found myself brought to tears by many scenes, and other times I felt happy. A must watch!
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Frankenweenie (2012)
Frankenweenie (2012) by Tim Burton
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