Before things took off with "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" and "Beetlejuice," Tim Burton made a live-action black-and-white film, in 1984, called
Just about everything we now know as Burtonesque — passionate devotion to '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s Hollywood, English and Japanese horror; the "Leave it to Beaver"-but-sinister vision of American domestic life; the black humor, always in the corner of the societal outcast and the idiosyncratic artist — was there from the beginning.
Burton took the
The new, expanded but not improved "Frankenweenie" arrives in theaters this week, again directed by Burton, from a script by Burton's frequent screenwriter
In the vein of "Mars Attacks!" (not one of my favorite Burtons) "Frankenweenie" has a somewhat jaded and uneasy air, which seems an odd thing to say about a movie that does, at heart, believe in its boy/dog love story. But there it is.
You name it, you've seen it in earlier Burton films. The images of manicured, slightly antiseptic suburbia? Straight out of "Edward Scissorhands." The "sad, underslept" faces of the characters (my son's phrase) are very much in line with the sallow lineup of "Corpse Bride." The growling authority figure Mayor Burgemeister comes right out of "Nightmare Before Christmas."
The key archetypes in "Frankenweenie" adhere closely to the best-known of the classic Frankenstein films, James Whale's 1931 original and the 1935 "Bride of Frankenstein." Victor's
I like what actor
'Frankenweenie' -- 2 1/2 stars
Running time: 1:27