Dori Edwards, Global Animal
Famous director Tim Burton relates to animal lovers alike in his new film Frankenweenie. The family film centers around Burton’s understanding of the “special relationship” between humans and animals and the unfortunate truth that our companions “don’t usually live as long as people, so therefore (we) experience the end of that relationship.” In Burton’s newest blockbuster, Vincent Frankenstein endures the loss of a beloved friend when his dog Sparky is unfortunately struck by a car.
With the tedious work involved in creating the first black and white stop-motion animation movie, including two years of filming 24 frames per second, Director Tim Burton and the entire crew did justice to the human-dog bond. By combining his experience with his childhood dog and his favorite movie Frankenstein, Burton created a “very personal kind of remembrance.” This memoriam, however, was not only for him. Frankenweenie universally applies to anyone who has been lucky enough to know ‘man’s best friend.’
A compassionate animal lover, myself included, can never be ready for the loss of their companion.We all wish we had more time. In a twist on Burton’s favorite childhood blockbuster, young Frankenstein’s lightning fueled resurrection of his dog Sparky allowed him to have exactly that. If only we were all boy geniuses.
Humor and thrill also come to life with the reawakened Sparky and audiences will appreciate the childhood desire to have our furry, or scaly, friends live forever. When Victor’s friends discover he has successfully zombified his dead dog, they hurriedly dig up their loved ones in attempt to reconcile with them, or to claim the best experiment at the science fair (those kids we aren’t a fan of.) However, havoc ensues when the kids’ trials go awry and mutant pets abound in New Holland city.
Although we cringed at the kids with motives other than the innocent love of their best friends, the chaos stemming from the mutation invasion created a platform to illustrate the dedication between a boy and his dog. Victor and Sparky fight for one another in moments of life and death just like the many real life person-animal duos who will put their life on the line for one another. While Victor patiently puts Sparky back together when his tail falls off or uses jumper cables to recharge the electricity keeping him alive, Sparky protects the boy from the giant turtles and were-rats. But mostly, they give each other the unconditional love only this type of relationship can.
The dark animation and theme of death does not make Frankenweenie a film for one wishing to see rainbows and unicorns, but if you’re hoping to add a little love to your Halloween night, families will enjoy the clever juxtaposition Burton creates between the life love gives and the love death brings. Frankenweenie may not be your typical love story, but if you love animals, you’ll understand the lengths one will go for these amazing beings. Though it is unfortunate we cannot all extend the lives of our loved animals, we can all understand that whether alive in presence or not, these companions will always live in our hearts, as Mrs. Frankenstein so wisely tells her son.
We give Frankenweenie a 4 out of 5 paw rating.
Frankenweenie opens in theaters this Friday, October 5.
You can Frankenweenie-fy your own pet at the link below. Have some fun!