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17 Jan 2013

Blu-Ray Review: 'Frankenweenie' Is a Fine Stop-Motion Film With Ample Laughs

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Tim Burton directs Frankenweenie, an enjoyable black-and-white stop-motion-animation film about a family dog being resurrected ... FRANKENSTEIN STYLE. (It’s based on a short film Burton did 28 years ago.)

While the story isn’t especially electric, the art direction is superb, and there are enough good laughs to make it worthwhile. Also worth noting: Winona Ryder voices a young-girl character who looks suspiciously like Lydia, her character in Burton’s Beetlejuice.

Other voices include Burton alumni such as Catherine O’Hara and Martin Landau, once again utilizing his Bela Lugosi voice from Ed Wood. A finale sequence involving a giant, Gamera-like turtle and rabid sea monkeys gives the film a nice retro-horror feel.

The year 2012 was fun for stop-motion animation, with this film and ParaNorman. I would have to give a slight edge to ParaNorman, because that one felt so fresh and new. This one has Burton up to his old tricks. Granted, his old tricks are fun tricks, but they are old tricks just the same.

Special Features: There’s a fun look at the Comic-Con exhibit folks were able to visit last year. You also get a behind-the-scenes look at the London production. (I’m always surprised by the size of the sets for these films.) Best of all, you get the original live action short starring Shelley Duvall, Daniel Stern and a very young Sofia Coppola.

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