In making Frankenweenie, the new stop-motion, black-and-white, feature-length expansion of his 1984 short film, Tim Burton seemingly has several intentions, not the least of which is returning to the good old days when he actually made great movies. Granted, that might be more the desired effect from his onetime fans than the rich and, most likely, content Burton himself, but let's stick with it here. One of the writer-director's hopes for Frankenweenie that's indisputable, however, dates all the way back to his childhood days in Burbank, CA: Inspiring little kids to embrace the classic black-and-white monster movies that he grew up loving, namely the James Whale-directed Frankenstein (1931).
The world of Frankenweenie has more than a few direct references to, and cues taken from, that Boris Karloff genre staple. A young boy named Victor Frankenstein (Wink No.1) grieves after his beloved dog, Sparky, suddenly dies. Using his knack for science, Victor brings Sparky back from the dead in a big, creepy laboratory (Wink No.2), after which the undead, but still lovable, pooch gets chased by townsfolk armed with guns and torches (Wink No.3). Oh, and there's even a friend of Victor's named Elsa van Helsing (Wink No.4).
Will Frankenweenie motivate a new generation of youngsters to beg their parents to buy the epic new Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection Blu-ray box set? Let's hope so. If not, though, there's always these other 10 Child-Friendly Movies to Turn Your Kid Into a Horror Fan. Who knows, you just might be living with the next Tim Burton.
Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)