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Frankenweenie Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Burton's back in black. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    It is nonetheless imaginative in a highly familiar and ultimately tedious way.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Frankenweenie is a love story between a boy and his dog. It is also a beautifully crafted homage to classic horror films, a study of grief and a commentary on the mysteries of science and those who narrow-mindedly fear its advances.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Frankenweenie is a cool little flipbook of historical Burtonian style. It even brings back old friends, including "Beetlejuice's" Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara.

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  • See all Frankenweenie reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Burton's creepy young Frankenstein is perfect for tweens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tim Burton's black-and-white, stop-motion animated film Frankenweenie is the feature-length version of a short he made early in his career. Like most of Burton's films, Frankenweenie's tone is dark and creepy and will likely scare kids who are sensitive to the macabre. On the other hand, this tale of a very young Frankenstein who reanimates his beloved pet dog is a great introduction to the horror genre for older kids and tweens who are ready for some scares -- like when a group of kids reanimates various pets that go wild (one ends up as big as Godzilla) and terrorize the town. Pets die in the movie, and the resulting grief is depicted realistically.

  • Families can talk about the Frankenweenie's scare factor. Are the frightening scenes too much for little kids, or are they funnier than they are scary? Who do you think they're intended to appeal to?
  • Do you think kids will get the movie's references to horror movie characters? Why do you think Tim Burton's signature style is so dark?
  • Would the movie have the same impact if Sparky was a different kind of pet? What's the appeal of dog movies?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Science and scientific thought are encouraged, but it's also important to have the right motivation behind a scientific project -- i.e. intention and purpose matter. Victor reveals himself to be a brave and loving friend. Grief over a pet's death is depicted in a realistic manner. Parents support their son, even though they don't fully understand why he made certain decisions.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Mr. Rzykruski is a brilliant science teacher who encourages independent thought, study, and observations and helps Victor see the value in working wholeheartedly toward a dream. Victor is sensitive, loving, and smart. He's willing to stop at nothing to help bring his best friend, Sparky, back to life. And later he's brave enough to help save Elsa.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The movie has a generally dark and frightening tone, augmented by the often-suspenseful music. Most of Victor's classmates are creepy looking, especially the tall and freaky sounding Nassor and the "children of the corn" lookalike with her cat that makes prophetic, letter-shaped poop. Several scary sequences, including an invisible reanimated fish that bites and the entire last part of the movie, when reanimated pets, giant sea monkeys, a mummified creature, and a Godzilla-like turtle terrorize New Holland and its townsfolk. Pets die, and other pets turn into monsters that smash and destroy.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Parents hug, a mother reads a romance novel, and Sparky flirts with the neighbor's dog, Persephone. Victor and Elsa are sweet in a flirtatious way.

  • language false1

    Language: Mild insults: "stupid," "crazy," "no friends."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable