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
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.
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: 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: 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: Mild insults: "stupid," "crazy," "no friends."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue
Fan Reviews provided by
Revival from Alice by WatchItandReviewIt
The only reasons why I'm voting this as "Must Go" is because it was ten times better than Alice in Wonderland, which seemed too edited for Tim Burton and because there's nothing I would change about it. You know it's a Burton film as soon as it starts, which is why I particularly like his films. It's smart, funny, and creative. It's even dark, in Tim's own kind of way. I suggest you go see it.
Tip: You may compare this to ParaNorman, but I will be honest and say that I had much more fun seeing Frankenweenie than that. Just a tip for those trying to decide between the two, since I've heard friends debating.
Sad and Uplifting! by Movie_Buff_86
Tim Burton is back at it again with his newest creation "Frankenweenie." You will laugh, you will cry, but most important you will understand the bond between an animal and an owner. They are part of your family, and they hold a place in all of our hearts. A young boy goes through that feeling of losing a dog, and will do anything to bring him back. He will use Science that he learned from his teacher to hopefully bring back the dog from the grave. This movie could be scary for young children, and is not your typical happy movie that you would expect. It is a good movie, and you should go check it out. I know how it is to lose a pet, so it brought back many feelings i had when my dog and cat died. If only i can bring them back. This is a dark, scary, and normal movie we expect from Mr. Burton. Go see it! You will shed a tear.
Good movie by jmurtha80
Thought it was a good movie. Not quite as good as a Nightmare before Christmas, but a great movie that is definitely geared towards younger children.
Not what i expected by Pjengineer
frankenweenie is not like an ordinary disney movie. I understand tim Burton helped direct it and believe me he is an amazing director but this, this i felt like they were rushed to make a halloween movie. I thought the whole black and white setting was really cool but some of the stuff to me was... weird. This movie is not for little kids I would recommend 9+ but any younger they will probably get nightmares. I wouldn't go see it, i really don't think it's worth it.
Hit and Miss by brianecahill
This film suffers from uneven plotting, and an identity crisis: is it supposed to be funny, creepy, heartwarming or scary? It seems to try to be all of them, and in the process fails to truly be any of them. It needed more humor (i.e., more Edgar, and more of the new teacher). The beginning was engaging, with a lot of character interaction. The middle was plodding and dull at times. The end was a traditional monster movie. I can't say it's for little kids, given the deaths and monsters, and it wouldn't hold their attention anyway. I'd say this one is really only for Tim Burton fans.
10 and up big guideline by lelahgainey
I'm a big Tim Burton fan as it is, so i loved the movie that reason. Being a stop-motion black and white film was a classic feature i loved. Typical animal death scene was heart breaking and tear jerking to say the least. Story line was good and the voice actors were spot on with their characters. Some of the scenes however such as one of the ending scenes, was a little graphic and some younger kids may not take well to it. Over all it was a great movie though.
Captivating by LaceyHutts
Took my two year old and three year to see this show and they loved every minute of it. They couldn't take their eyes off the movie. It was creative and heart felt.
ok for 5 years+ by cooldadmark
Ok movie for 5 years + , my son thought it was very funny, he found there to be some boring parts where the movie dragged on a bit, but overall he liked the movie.
My 5 year old recommends going to see this movie.
Great by XeroNecross
Based on Tim Burton's original movie he created a very well remake of a live-action film into stop-motion. Black and white through out the whole film makes it feel like your watching an older movie and the theme is Frankenstein. Of course. Main character pulls a hat trick brings back his dog gets tricked into showing how he did it now all the other kids are doing it and when they do... Hits the fan.
This film is fantastic and cute. Lots of cliché's. Something you should watch at least once.
Another amazing Tim Burton film! by maryjo-allen1
WE took our 5 year old daughter to see this movie. She was in love with it as we were too. The story line is great...we creid, we laughed and we were scared. I can not stop thinking about Sparky!