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Frankenweenie (2012)

tomatometer

87

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 198
Fresh: 173 | Rotten: 25

Frankenweenie is an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story.

85

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 6

Frankenweenie is an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story.

audience

70

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 64,874

My Rating

Movie Info

From creative genius Tim Burton comes Frankenweenie, a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life-with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor's fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new "leash on life" can be monstrous. A stop-motion animated film, Frankenweenie will be

PG,

Horror, Animation, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy

Tim Burton, John August

Jan 8, 2013

$35.3M

Walt Disney Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (198) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (173) | Rotten (25) | DVD (4)

Tim Burton's most enjoyable movie in a long time.

January 7, 2013 Full Review Source: CNN.com
CNN.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Burton's best film since 1994's Ed Wood or even 1990's Edward Scissorhands.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: The Atlantic | Comments (4)
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a Tim Burton film with something to say. And that's a rare and precious thing.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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The stop-motion animation - a favorite tool of Burton's - is given loving attention, and the character design is full of terrific touches, such as the hulking flat-topped schoolmate who looks a bit like a certain man-made monster.

October 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The best thing about an animated monster movie with this much heart is: It's alive. In the best possible way.

October 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This 3-D, black-and-white "family" comedy is the year's most inventive, endearing animated feature.

October 5, 2012 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (4)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Don't be surprised if everyone you know under the age of 13 declares this their new favorite Halloween film.

July 20, 2013 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

It ranks among Burton's most personal films, encompassing familiar themes of loneliness, isolation and an insatiable need for love and acceptance.

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

... a padded short story that didn't require embellishment... looks very weak directly compared to the sheer brilliance of the similarly themed ParaNorman.

March 23, 2013 Full Review Source: MovieCrypt.com
MovieCrypt.com

The real audience here is Burton fans (add an extra star to this review if you're a Burton fan).

February 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Standard

A remake of not one Tim Burton movie, but all of them.

January 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Actively frustrating and a tedious experience to endure.

January 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

"Frankenweenie" is not just cute, it's weird. And, I love it.

January 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

A bittersweet and delightful bit of animated fare...

January 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Compared to the shorter and more to the point original, the expanded Frankenweenie is padded and less focused, meandering from a simple path of what was a clever parody/homage.

January 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Toledo Blade
Toledo Blade

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie embodies the excitement, innocence, awkwardness and imagination of childhood.

January 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Austin American-Statesman
Austin American-Statesman

Extended to feature length, the premise doesn't thin out but gains substance and momentum.

January 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

"Frankenweenie" isn't Burton's best work, but it's still a solid outing for the strange, death-obsessed director.

January 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Disney should've had more faith in this premise back in 1984, when it mattered, instead of shocking it back to a bigger life now...

December 17, 2012 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Victor's relationship with Sparky is lovely, even when the revivified dog corpse is stitched together with thick black thread and his tail or ear falls off.

December 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Time to Play Magazine
Time to Play Magazine

While not a true original in its own right, and therefore not a classic, it is still classic Burton with his creepy, kooky trademarks, so we'll take it.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Maintains the legitimately dark tone of the original short while expanding the narrative in a pleasingly Scissorhands-esque direction.

November 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Ultra Culture
Ultra Culture

In the very best sense, the film is wall-to-wall eye candy.

November 2, 2012 Full Review Source: 3AW

'Frankenweenie' is far from his best, but it is a timely reassurance that the old Tim Burton still exists and may be able to work his black magic again.

November 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Beautiful, technically astonishing animation and the emotional whack of a lightning bolt cannot quite hide the stitches holding together a paucity of ideas and humour.

October 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Audience Reviews for Frankenweenie

I am not the biggest Tim Burton fan...and I thought that this was just ok. Nothing to brag about...
September 14, 2013
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

So. This made me cry! Even if one knows this is about bringing a dog back to life, one might not think about how the dog might have gotten into that situation to begin with... But charming and sweet and odd and lovable.
June 24, 2013
Julie

Super Reviewer

Frankenweenie 2012 marks a return to form for Tim Burton and also sees him going full circle. When a story is as good as Frankenweenie is it is worth telling it twice though I suppose. It's nice to see the passion to be honest, it's obviously an old project he has felt was unfinished so he developed it further. I think his self-indulgence has probably been his downfall of late but it's nice to see him working on one of his own stories, rather than a re-working of someone else's. I really liked it, it's got that Tim Burton style that his recent films have been lacking. It's nice to see him working with old friends too, the cast is a whose who of past collaborators which shows a level of loyalty and support you don't often see. I am quite glad Johnny Depp isn't in it to be frank, it's about time other actors got the full Burton treatment for a change and it clearly works. I hope this marks a return to greatness and that the quality continues!
April 16, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Tim Burton has occasionally been involved in animated movies throughout his career, having served as producer on "The Nightmare Before Christmas", "James & The Giant Peach" and "9". However, the only time he's actually been behind the camera on any of them was "Corpse Bride" in 2005 and his animated short in 1984 "Frankenweenie" - of which this is a feature length expansion of. Some may feel that he's treading old ground here but there's no doubt that this is still a highly successful endeavour.
Victor Frankenstein is a lonely young man who's best friend is his energetic dog, Sparky. When Sparky is run over and killed by a car, Victor is devastated but he refuses to give up hope of spending time with his beloved friend again. Inspired by his science teacher, he decides to rig up a laboratory and harness the lightning to bring Sparky's corpse back to life. His attempts are successful but it soon causes havoc within his neighbourhood.
Burton has came in for a critical panning from many people of late (myself included). The major issue being his seeming inability to change his idiosyncratic style. With this latest venture into stop-motion animation, he has answered his critics in style and it makes you wonder whether he even should change his approach when the results can be as good as this. Here, his gothic idiosyncrasies are entirely suited to this homage to director James Whale and his classic horror movies "Frankenstein" and it's follow-up "Bride Of Frankenstein". He also throws in some references to horror stars Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Vincent Price and includes a whole host of quirky characters - the one that stood out for me the most was 'Mr. Whiskers'; a cat who can predict the future of others by the shape of the shit left in his litter tray.
Burton's decision to film in gorgeous monochrome really adds to the proceedings and gives Mary Shelley's classic literary tale his own spin and he (and us) has a lot fun in doing so. It also has a similar off-key suburban setting like Burton's earlier film "Edward Scissorhands" and shares the same balance of that film's darkness and macabre humour. Younger children may balk at the unravelling of the darker tale but older kids and adults can revel in it's decent into a reanimated, monster B-Movie which is entirely fitting and in doing so, never loses it's sense of fun.
A lot of animated films these days have an appeal for children and adults alike and the balance that Burton achieves here is proof that that's not about to change anytime soon. One of 2012's very best animated films and one of Burton's best for quite a while.
March 25, 2013
MrMarakai

Super Reviewer

    1. Victor: Nobody likes scientists.
    2. Mr. Rzykruski: They like what science gives them, but not the questions, no. Not the questions that science asks.
    3. Victor: [thinks for a second] Actually, I have a question.
    4. Mr. Rzykruski: He, he. That is why you are a scientist.
    5. Victor: I was doing my experiment, my project, and the first time it worked great, but the next time it didn't. I mean, it sort of worked, but then it didn't. And I don't know why.
    6. Mr. Rzykruski: Then maybe you never really understood it the first time. People think science is here [points to his head], but it is also here [places his hand on his chest]. The first time, did you love your experiment?
    7. Victor: Yes. [thinks of Sparky licking his hand]
    8. Mr. Rzykruski: And the second time?
    9. Victor: [Thinks of the invisible fish] No. I just wanted it over.
    10. Mr. Rzykruski: Then you changed the variables.
    11. Victor: I was doing it for the wrong reason.
    12. Mr. Rzykruski: Science is not good or bad, Victor. But it can be used both ways. That is why you must always be careful.
    – Submitted by Spencer P (14 months ago)
    1. Mr. Rzykruski: People think science is here [points to mind] but it also here. [touches heart]
    – Submitted by Blockbuster D (15 months ago)
    1. Mr. Rzykruski: The first time did you love your experiment?
    2. Victor Frankenstein: Yes.
    3. Mr. Rzykruski: Ah. And the second time?
    4. Victor Frankenstein: No, I just wanted it over.
    5. Mr. Rzykruski: Then you changed the variables.
    – Submitted by Blockbuster D (15 months ago)
    1. Mr. Rzykruski: Science is not good or bad Victor, but it can be used both ways. That is why you must always be careful.
    – Submitted by Blockbuster D (15 months ago)
    1. Mr. Rzykruski: They like what science gives them but not the questions no, not the questions the science asks.
    – Submitted by Peter S (16 months ago)
    1. Edgar "E" Gore: Your dog is alive!
    – Submitted by Daniella G (17 months ago)
View all quotes (15)

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October 25, 2013:
Parental Guidance: Halloween Edition
Greetings, parents seeking guidance. Since Halloween is coming, I thought I'd devote this week's...
January 10, 2013:
Parental Guidance: Horrid Henry: The Movie and Frankenweenie
This week, the three big releases -- Gangster Squad, Zero Dark Thirty, and A Haunted House -- are...
October 5, 2012:
Tim Burton, Martin Landau, and Winona Ryder Talk Frankenweenie
The director and his stars discuss this weekend's 3D IMAX stop-motion undead extravaganza.

Foreign Titles

  • Frankenweenie (DE)
  • Frankenweenie (UK)
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