Unfortunately, that also spills over to the acting and pacing of the movie. Whether intentional or not, there is a somewhat stilted feel to the dialogue and delivery, as if a dash too much of B-movie spices was thrown into the pot. It doesn't help that the film is more or less delivered as a drama. Scant touches of humor work their way in here and there, but for the most part every character is playing it a little too straight. And when you have comic veterans like Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara in the roles of Victor's parents, why not use those talents? If you're waiting for a little silliness as levity to the story, you might be waiting a while. But more odd is that the pacing of the film is almost intentionally slow, as if it was decided that a seventy-minute film should be stretched out to eighty-three (not counting the credits). No regular Danny Elfman musical numbers to transition from scenes and sections, just slow bike rides and walks to conversations.
I don't mean to give the impression that the movie is bad, because it certainly isn't. But it does feel a bit dry for the genre at times. There are so many good elements to the film - including some of the most impressively detailed stop-motion animation and set design I've seen - that it really shines a light on those other parts that aren't up to code. If this was a live-action film, the story, acting and pacing would make it thoroughly mediocre, even with its intriguing premise. But the stop-motion work here is so phenomenal that you can get lost in it alone, and it's able to raise some of these other less remarkable elements into a whole that is both good and enjoyable. I just wonder what could have been if all the pieces had been cinched up that tightly.
Video / 3D
This is a beautiful looking film, and its transfer to Blu-ray is absolutely stunning. There's your summary. The crispness of of the image reveals every little detail of the animation and models, including a couple of things they may not have intended for you to see. But most impressive is the color range of this black-and-white image, where meticulous design models and art direction come through even if you can't see the original colors (although if you watch the main bonus feature, you'll find that many of these were carefully constructed to imply a specific color scheme). No artifacts or encoding aberrations to speak of, just a sumptuous feast of an immaculate image.