Let’s be real: Tim Burton hasn’t exactly been churning out hits lately. Between Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows, it’s hard to have a lot of faith in the man anymore. What seemed to be passion projects seem more and more to be sad shadows of his former work, the sort of things generally reduced to mockery. Seeing Burton revive an old project might have once been exciting, but now it brings with it the dread that something once cherished might be completely ruined by whatever it is that this man has become.
So what, then, is Frankenweenie? Disney fired Burton when he brought his original short to them, unsure of what to do with his odd stylistic choices and a zombified animal. Over twenty years later, the short is back in a full length, paid for by the team that rejected it initially. Was it Burton that changed, or simply the material? What would have to differ in order for Disney to change their minds? Would Burton fans rejoice at his return to form or sadly shake their heads yet again at his lack of inspiration?
As it turns out, Frankenweenie might be just what both Burton and Disney were looking for, and the audience comes out on top.
Director: Tim Burton
Release Date: October 5th, 2012
The movie is absolutely gorgeous. Burton’s drawing style is stunning, and it comes to life wonderfully in the movie. The characters have a charming sort of creepiness to them, oddly proportioned and standing out against a classic backdrop of fifties suburbia. They are true to Burton’s original art style, down to the etched-in pencil lines around their oversized eyes.