Frankenweenie Blu-ray + DVD Review
Kidzworld covers the home entertainment release of Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie”
By: Lynn Barker
What does a very smart boy do when his dog dies? Well, bring him back to life, of course!
Young Victor Frankenstein (voice of Charlie Tahan) is a smart loner kid who tinkers in his attic workshop and makes his own 3-D films starring his beloved dog Sparky. Victor is so devoted to Sparky and his films that his parents advise him to get outdoors and play some sports. Victor actually does hit a baseball with real power but the happy moment is ruined when Sparky is hit by a car while chasing Victor’s homerun ball. His parents tell him “If we could bring Sparky back, we would”.
A boy and his dog
When Victor’s creepy/cool science teacher Mr. Rzykruski (voiced by Martin Landau) shows his class how to use electric current to make a dead frog’s legs still move, Victor rushes out, brings Sparky home, hooks him up to some metal whizbangs and draws lightening down with a kite. It works! Sparky, a little worse for wear, springs back to life!
Victor’s weird and competitive classmates, hoping to win the school science fair, copy him and reanimate or transform a bag of “Sea-Monkeys”, a dead hamster/mummy, a fish, a turtle, a bat/cat and more animals that become larger or more threatening by the minute, putting the entire town in danger. Can Victor and Sparky put things right and save the day? Will Sparky return to the afterlife or stay with Victor?
Sparky, Victor and family and Sparky's girlfriend
In this Blu-ray/DVD/3-D Blu-Ray and Digital Copy combo pack, you get it all!
Short: “Captain Sparky Vs. The Flying Saucers” – In this adorable home movie made by Victor and starring his dog, aliens attack and Sparky, as a space cadet, saves the day even if he does chase the local weird cat “Mr. Whiskers” in the middle of the movie. Really cute but so short!
Victor, Sparky and the live action Sparky
Miniatures In Motion: Bringing Frankenweenie to Life – We’ve covered the process of stop-motion animation (using movable puppets shot on miniature sets) before but it’s cool to see how Director Tim Burton and Disney do it. This featurette covers the origin of the story, puppet building, painting and clothing, miniature sets and cute, teeny props and the 20 times the team re-built Sparky until Tim was happy with him. Using the right colors to register well in black and white is an interesting discussion.
Frankenweenie Touring Exhibit – This exhibit of puppets, props, sets and artwork traveled all over the world including last year’s Comic Con in San Diego, Ca. Cool but you’ve already seen much of this in the “Miniatures” featurette.
Victor, Sparky and family watch his 3-D movie
Original Live Action Frankenweenie Short Film – I’m soooo glad they included this. I believe it was also on one of the Nightmare Before Christmas DVDs but having it here is perfect. It’s a real treat to see the entire live action version of the story that Tim Burton directed way back in 1984. Watch it after you see the animated version. Many of the story points, scenes and shots match although the film is much shorter. It is just delightful to watch!
Music Video: Plain White T’s in their black and white version of the song “Pet Sematary”- quirky, weird song but a fun video.
This good-hearted and fun film is well worth adding to your home entertainment collection and this complete set gives you some great viewing choices and entertaining extras. I’m especially glad that we get the entire live action short film Tim Burton made years ago that lays out the basic story.
Weird Girl voiced by Catherine O'Hara
The voice actors do an amazing job. I really love Catherine O’Hara as the voice of Weird Girl especially. If you are a classic horror or sci-fi film fan, you can get into the film maybe more than others but if you ever loved a pet, you’ll want to watch the adorable doggie and his “girlfriend” Bride of Frankenweenie over and over. I would wish for more extras; maybe interviews with the voice cast, watching them record and more with Tim Burton but we’ll go 4 stars.
Frankenweenie Blu-ray + DVD Rating:
The Cover Art
Courtesy of Disney