Frankenweenie (2012) – 7/10 Tim Burton stop-motion animated childrens science-fiction horror movie review

Cast / crew
Director and Producer: Tim Burton
Writer (Screenplay): John August
Writer (Original Screenplay Adaptation): Leonard Ripps
Writer (Original Idea): Tim Burton
Catherine O’Hara: Mrs. Frankenstein, Weird Girl, Gym Teacher
Martin Short: Mr. Frankenstein, Mr. Burgemeister, Nassor
Martin Landau: Mr. Rzykruski
Winona Ryder: Elsa Van Helsing
Charlie Tahan: Victor Frankenstein
Producer: Allison Abbate

Frankenweenie (2012)

After Victor Frankenstein secretly brings his beloved dog Sparky back to life, when it’s discovered by classmate Edgar, it’s misinterpreted as Victor’s entry into the upcoming science fair and the other children know that they’re going to have to raise their game to beat him.

7/10

Tim Burton’s visual style remains unique but it’s his ability to extract humanity, good-naturedness and intelligence from his grotesquery that is his greatest strength. Frankenweenie has substance behind it’s style with some inventive (especially if you haven’t seen a trailer) and delightful moments, a classic speech for the wonderful Mr. Rzykruski and a consistently nice, fun tone while still providing a space for the scary and the troubles of school. The thing that stood out most to me, though, was the positive onscreen family. Firstly, it’s a complete and functional family with a mother, father and son. Secondly, the parents are considerate, responsible, authoritative, reasonable and supportive. It’s a genuinely refreshing element. However, while the movie is certainly nice and fun the tone is a bit subdued, even during the dramatic climax. It probably needed a character with a bit more life somewhere; perhaps a pint-size Beetelgeuse. Even though he’s technically dead. Well, actually dead.

This movie contains gruesome and scary scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Alice in Wonderland (2010, Dull Tim Burton Fantasy Adventure) – 3/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Tim Burton
Writer (Screenplay): Linda Woolverton
Writer (Original Novels) “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”: Lewis Carroll
Producer: Richard D. Zanuck
Producer: Suzanne Todd
Producer: Jennifer Todd
Producer: Joe Roth
Johnny Depp: Mad Hatter
Anne Hathaway: White Queen
Helena Bonham Carter: Red Queen
Crispin Glover: Stayne – Knave of Hearts
Mia Wasikowskia: Alice
Alan Rickman: Blue Caterpillar
Stephen Fry: Cheshire Cat
Michael Sheen: White Rabbit
Timothy Spall: Bayard
Barbara Windsor: Dormouse

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Fleeing from a surprise and not exactly wanted wedding proposal, Alice falls down a hole into Underland, a fantastical place she presumes is one of her strange dreams.

3/10

Unengaging fantasy adventure with largely unappealing design (Anne Hathaway’s White Queen and Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter especially). The dragon at the end is cool and Helena Bonham Carter’s Red Queen is a genuine highlight and an all-time great movie character. Everything and everyone else is dull and unconvincing. Mia Wasikowskia is bland and is saddled with a depressingly unconvincing modern-woman-before-her-time character. The decision to make the Mad Hatter some kind of swashbuckling hero is especially ridiculous and presumably only done to capitalise on Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean image. Half of Depp’s dialogue disappears into a impenetrable surprise Scottish accent, the other half makes little sense anyway, then he becomes a swordmaster. This is a disappointing dull disaster.

This movie contains violence, some graphic violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.