Tim Burton has once again created a quirky set of characters and a familiar story line in his Frankenstein inspired movie, Frankenweenie.
While death and the horror movie go together like candy corn and costumes, this tender little movie brings the love of a boy for his dog and the shock of sudden loss to a new generation of kids and their parents.
While certainly not Old Yeller or Charlotte's Web, Frankenweenie gives you a chance to have a down to earth chat about the natural process of death to your children. In this tale, Victor Frankenstein is an average school age kid who suffers at the hands of bullies in his school.
Just like many adults, Victor finds the love and friendship he longs for with his lifelong buddy, Sparky. The animation is fantastic as Sparky has all the mannerisms of a real live dog. When Victor's parents encourage him to get out and join the kids his age playing baseball, a tragedy happens: little Sparky is hit by a car.
Just as in real life, the shock and grief stun Victor. His parents are loving but somewhat distant and unable to comfort Victor. This echoes what happens to even adult pet owners a the death of a beloved pet. It can be very hard to find someone who says the right things. Who hasn't had an experience like this?
Enter the strange and fascinating new science teacher, a spitting image of Vincent Price for the adults in the crowd. Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau), explains how lightning and electricity can be harnessed and the challenge of a science fair brings Victor out of his sadness. What if he could use electricity to bring Sparky back? Lon Chaney would be proud.
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