A stop-motion animated movie in black-and-white and 3D. Who’d think of that? Try Tim Burton, the undisputed wizard of odd who’s been yearning to do a full-length feature of the live-action short he made in 1984 when he toiled as an animator at Disney.
Well, now Frankenweenie is here, and it’s a honey, a dark and dazzling spellbinder that scares up laughs and surprising emotion. Only Burton, inspired by his own time growing up different in suburban California, could envision this Frankenstein-inspired tale of a boy scientist named Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan) who invents a machine to bring his dog, Sparky, back from the dead. It’s not just his parents (Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara) who are horrified. The whole neighborhood is in a spin, especially Edgar “E” Gore (Atticus Shaffer), a deformed pal of Victor’s. Burton’s artistry is on par with his animated imaginings in Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Getting creeped out has never seemed this totally cool.