They say that every dog has its day, but after Disney released 26 year-old animator Tim Burton on the grounds that his live-action short was too scary for whippersnappers, few reckoned on him having his. Too dark his 30-minute short may have been, but 28 years later, and countless box office smashes under his belt, the Magic Kingdom decided to give the kid another chance. Which was nice. The result is Frankenweenie, a feature-length version of the same film Disney wanted to put to sleep.
After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor (Charlie Tahan) harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life - with just a few minor adjustments. With Victor at school, Sparky decides to visit a few of his old stomping grounds, but his excitement in being back means that Victor's fellow students, teachers and the entire town soon learn that getting a new leash on life can be monstrous.
The sprogs might not like it, but for old-school horror fans, dog lovers, and those that prefer scissorhands to golden tickets, Frankenweenie is the dog’s biscuits. With countless nods to some of horror’s greatest monsters, the beautifully realised boy and his dog tale, and that dark, quirky humour (especially in the final act) that works best when it’s animated, Burton’s open-to-question return to a minor classic results in a wistful, witty and wonderful film – top dog! DW