I am a Tim Burton fan. Really, I am. The fact that I've been disappointed by everything he's made since BIG FISH, and a fair amount of what he made before that (PLANET OF THE APES) hasn't changed that fact. In my barely-a-review of DARK SHADOWS I hinted at how I've basically put my fandom on the line by getting excited for FRANKENWEENIE.
Well, I'm still a fan. I loved it. Sure, there are the Burtonesque excesses, where he'll go down a side path just for some sight gag or visual splendor without moving the plot forward. But at least now it feels like he's inviting you into his toybox rather than jumping into someone else's and throwing the toys around. And I liked how it celebrates science and children's natural wonder. There's something to be explored there about how curious children turn into close-minded adults. And I liked the blatant references to classic horror movies (particularly the burning windmill straight out of the end of FRANKENSTEIN.)
Oh yeah, the plot--if you didn't already know--young science genius Victor is heartbroken when his dog is run over by a car. But when his crazy science teacher shows how the nervous system runs on electricity, he digs his dog up and uses one of the frequent lightning storms to reanimate him. Then wacky hijinx ensue. Oh yeah, and it's stop motion animation (the original short it was based on was live-action.)
Anyway, good job, Tim Burton. I am still (and probably always will be) a fan. I'm willing to allow a few more silly, indulgent "reboots" like PLANET OF THE APES, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, or DARK SHADOWS if you at least make something as fresh as FRANKENWEENIE every once in a while.
Running Time: 87 minutes
My Total Minutes: 299,315