Frankenweenie Blu-ray heads for Planet X

Posted by CB Droege

While Frankenweenie didn’t make my list of the top 5 movies of 2012, it was still an excellent film, and certainly one of the best stop-motion projects ever done.

The film represents the return of Tim Burton to his creative roots. His few recent movies  touched on a certain homogenized pop-culture framework, but Frankenweenie harkens back to the days of BeetleJuice and Edward Scissorhands; the palely macabre days of his peak.

The film is a clever, funny, and incredibly evocative story, which plays as a cautionary tale against the use of science for personal gain. It sets out to be a darkly humorous take on Frankenstien and succeeds on all counts.

The animation is meticulously crafted, and perfectly emotive. The way they get raw emotion out of these puppets is uncanny. The Blu-ray’s special features make this even more impressive, especially the feature titled Miniatures in Motion, which takes the viewer through the creation process of the film, showing off the creation of the puppets, the building of the miniature sets, and the nearly superhuman levels of determination and patience that goes into creating a feature length stop-motion film.

That’s not the most touted feature here however. The disc also contains Captain Sparky vs. The Flying Saucers. This short is a fun and clever piece that further develops the pre-death relationship of Sparky and Victor. In it, Victor and his reanimated pup sit down to watch as old film that they had made together back when Sparky was alive. In the film, Sparky is the hero who saves the planet from an invasion from Planet X, led by the neighbor’s fluffy white cat.

We have this preview for a taste:

The disc also contains a short feature detailing the roaming Frankenweenie art exhibit, at which fans can go and see the remaining puppets on pieces of the sets, and the original Frankenweenie live-action short staring Barret Oliver. It was interesting to come across this again, since I’m not sure I had seen it in over fifteen years. It was surprising to see just how much of what went into that original short made it into this feature-length version. Everything is a lot more developed, and more care is taken with every element, of course, but almost every shot in the original appears, reproduced, somewhere in the film.

Frankenweenie is a great addition to the library of any lover of monster films, or even just of great animation. The best way to get it is in the just released 4-Disc combo pack, which includes a Blu-ray, a 3D Blu-ray, a DVD, and a digital copy.