Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Frankenweenie in 175 Words or Less

Photobucket At least I'll always have Weird Girl and Mr. Whiskers, eh? They were far and beyond the best thing about Frankenweenie, which I wanted to love a lil' bit more than I did. As usual with Mr. Burton it's the little character quirks and designs that delight, while the story leaves you ever so slightly wanting. Whereas the original live-action short felt ace at just half an hour (bonus points for Shelley Duvall goodness), the padding to get this one up to feature-length sticks out all willy-nilly like Sally's autumnal padding after she leaps from her tower in The Nightmare Before Christmas. For better and for worse it plays like a Tim Burton Retrospective, with hints of Christmas and Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands and even Ed Wood (hey there Martin Landau) stitched together to keep it bopping along. (As an aside, the brilliantly funny speech Martin Landau's teacher gives about the importance of science in the face of the mindless thought-police is definitely making the video that will accompany Tim's eventual honorary Oscar.)



Heather said...

I thought Weird Girl and Mr Whiskers were the best part of it. At one time I was so bored I started to see how may references to other movies I could figure out - Godzilla, Wizard of Oz, Princess Bride. The animation was (mostly) really well done but the story was tedious and painful. And the ending was a bit too Disneyfied for me.

zyzzyva said...

I agree that Weird Girl and Mr. Whiskers were the best parts.
So much so, that I took real issue with [uh, spoiler i guess?] how they dispatched with the 'bat-cat' at the end. I understand the vampire/stake allusion, but I felt it was entirely too cruel given the orignal [awesome] character. Especially considering it wasn't his choice to become "evil" (I use quotes since none of the creatures really did much to qualify as actually evil...) I felt the ways the other monsters were dealt with made more sense (essentially just taking away/back the electricity used to revive them). Was there no budget left to have him struck by The Lightening at the top of the windmill and *pop* Mr. Whiskers and the dead bat are separate again? Not all endings need be perfectly happy, but I felt it definitely could've been handled better...

On another note, while I understand the desire for the eventual Godzilla reference, I really did not appreciate the lazy Japanese stereotype. At least he wasn't the only ethnic stereotype employed, and it could've been Mickey-Rooney-worse... However, it was disheartening that his line readings elicited some of the biggest laughs from the audience at our showing.

Jason Adams said...

Yes THANK YOU for pointing that out about the Toshiaki character, zyzzyva - the audience I saw it with was laughing too, and it made me really angry.