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Is “Frankenweenie” Too Scary for Kids?

October 13, 2012

Bruce Fretts: I just took my 11-year-old daughter, Olive, to see the new Tim Burton cartoon, Frankenweenie, about a boy who brings his beloved dead pooch back to life. So, Olive, here’s the question: Is Frankenweenie a dog?

Olive: What? I don’t get it. What’s the pun?

Bruce: Sometimes, people call bad movies dogs.

Olive: Oh, okay. Yeah, it was awful. It’s a children’s movie, and nothing funny happened. I almost fell asleep. Little children probably will, too.

Bruce: I did fall asleep, but luckily, you had some Gummy Worms to wake me up. The problem might be this is based on a short film Tim Burton made when he was first starting out as an animator at Disney. It was a live-action film, and now he’s remade it as a stop-motion film. But I don’t think there was enough story.

Olive: And it was all in black and white. It just bored me!

Bruce: I liked the black and white. Because it was supposed to look like an old monster movie. So I thought that worked, but I didn’t think there was enough story to fill even 80 minutes, which is pretty short to begin with.

Olive: It was so just boring. I don’t know what else to say. I just couldn’t take it.

Bruce: I didn’t think it was really a movie for kids.

Olive: No, it wasn’t.

Bruce: Disney is releasing it, so you think it’ll be a kids movie, but it’s more for grownups. It’s more scary than funny.

Olive: It isn’t even scary, though! What’s scary about it?

Bruce: Well, there are various creatures that are brought back to life, not just the boy’s dog. There’s a half-bat, half-cat that kinda creepy, and sea monkeys…

Olive: But I don’t feel that would scare adults. Maybe little children. I just feel like it was made for no one! Nobody would like it.

Bruce: I liked some of the voices in it, like Atticus Shaffer, from The Middle.

Olive: Me, too. You gotta love him.

Bruce: He plays Edgar “E” Gore, who’s a hunchback. They try to incorporate all these characters from classic horror movies. I don’t know if you got that.

Olive: I got Igor, but I didn’t get anyone else.

Bruce: The boy is Victor Frankenstein, and the dog next door, the poodle…

Olive: Yeah, she was Mrs. Frankenstein.

Bruce: Right, the Bride of Frankenstein. Because after she gets shocked, she’s got the white stripe in her hair. The next door neighbor is Van Helsing from the Dracula legend, and his niece is Elsa Van Helsing. She’s voiced by Winona Ryder, who was in Burton’s Edward Scissorhands. But I always feel like Burton is more concerned with the visuals and the music and the mood and doesn’t bother to tell a good story.

Olive: It didn’t compel at all. It was just kinda there. Eighty minutes seemed long to me. I was like, “When will it stop?” I was constantly checking my watch. The only character I liked was the dog, Sparky.

Bruce: He wasn’t cute, even before he became undead. He was kinda grotesque.

Olive: He didn’t have to be cute. It was just the things he did that were awesome.

Bruce: Tim Burton doesn’t really do cute—that’s why he didn’t fit in at Disney. He wanted to draw all these weird things. But it was hard to care about Sparky.

Olive: It was a waste of all those years it took to do the stop-motion animation.

Bruce: So are you mad at me for taking you to see Frankenweenie?

Olive: Yes, I’m very mad at you, Daddy.

Bruce: Will you ever forgive me?

Olive: No. Well, yeah, probably. If you get me a parrot.

Did Frankenweenie have you in stitches? Post a comment?

From → Kid Stuff, Posts

  1. CDizzyFoReezy permalink

    I went and saw this movie with a kid and I loved it, but he did not. He got bored and the movie didn’t seem to hold his interest. He said he wanted to leave up until the very end. I liked the movie but I wouldn’t say it is a kid’s movie.

  2. jmen permalink

    Really creepy and scary
    Not for kids
    Shame on disney

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