(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Frankenweenie. "The Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss II plays in the background throughout)
Doug (vo): Frankenweenie is not a particularly exciting movie, but is a particularly weird movie, the right kind of weird, the weird I really enjoy. A satire obviously of the classic Frankenstein, but also kind of its own strange thing with its own weird sense of humor and this beautiful-looking stop-motion world.
Story[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Young Victor Frankenstein and his dog are the best of friends. He hangs out with him, plays baseball with him, they even make, get this, stop-motion films together. Wow. I'm trying to think if I've ever seen a stop-motion character watch a stop-motion film before. It's a little surreal. The dog is sadly hit by a car and they have to bury him, but Victor hears about the power of electricity and what it can do. He decides to run an experiment to see if he can use lightning to bring his dog back to life, and, of course, that's exactly what happens. But with the science fair coming up, some of the other kids think that he might have an unfair advantage. I mean, cheating death is rather impressive. So a slew of colorful characters decide they're gonna do the same thing, and thus, all sort of weird monster animals start running amok throughout the neighborhood. Will Victor and his dog save the day while also getting his homework done on time?
Review[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Yeah, it's that kind of film, and honestly, that's what I expected, and I'm glad I got. It's funny, because the way films like this usually work is that they start off as animated shorts and then they're turned into live-action, full-length films. Here, it started off as a live-action short, and was turned into an animated full motion picture. However it happened, it turned out a very charming, albeit not particularly surprising film.
(Several characters are shown)
Doug (vo): This movie mainly exists to show off a bunch of very strange and colorful characters, colorful in that, I mean, it's black and white, but you know what I mean. The designs on all of them are fantastic, and their personalities match just how strange they look. There's a girl whose cats poop omens, there's a hunchback boy whose smile never seems to leave his face, there's a creepy scientist who constantly insults how stupid everybody is. And most of the film is just watching them interact off each other. For some, this might be seen as too boring, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't understand. But for me, these people are just so odd and so weird-looking and so eccentric that I just adored it.
(Various clips resume showing)
Doug (vo): It's funny that I missed this one when it came out. I think I was just kind of riding that Tim Burton low where he was just kind of turning out mediocre project after mediocre project, and I just thought this might be another one. But I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Even the designs really lend themselves to the tone of the film. When I saw Corpse Bride, though I thought it was okay, I didn't think that the facial expressions really lent themselves to the songs and the emotions. They seem to all have just one expression, and in a story like that, you need much more of a variety. Here, those blank, strange expressions are perfect. It's kind of like Bob's Burgers, they're just such odd people that you enjoy seeing them have little-to-no reaction while they're doing incredibly weird things. If anything, it makes a lot of the comedy funnier.
Final thought[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): Is it a spectacular story or a spectacular feat of animation? Not really. I can't even say I laughed that hard throughout the majority of it. But it's just the right amount of that bizarre atmosphere that I can't help but really enjoy. I don't know. It's the little kid in me that still enjoys old-fashioned Halloween movies and shorts and so forth, ones that love paying homage to classic monsters, but are kind of doing their own unique thing as well. I don't recall any Frankenstein movie ending with a cat and bat getting zapped by lightning and turning into a weird hybrid. (A specially-made marketing poster of a made-up film called Return of the Vampire Cat is shown) But in this movie, you just kind of say, "Of course that would happen." It's probably not for everyone, but if you have even the tiniest interest in seeing this, check it out. It'll make your imagination come alive.
(A scene showing Victor reuniting with Sparky after bringing him back to life is shown)