Not only is this the first 3D film I've watched in black-and-white, but also the first stop-motion I've watched in black-and-white, and I'm very happy to report that the results are an all-around success. There is something about stop-motion's real world grounding that makes it come alive in 3D in a way that computer animation just can't. And it's not in an exaggerated leap-out-of-the-screen way, but simply in visually capturing real depth and space. The meticulous framing of shots and positioning of elements inherent in stop-motion create a perfectly represented, albeit subtle, 3D experience that you really can just let you immerse yourself. And it's here where Frankenweenie really shines and just becomes a joy to take in.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track didn't initially strike me as that dynamic, and I think that's somewhat by design. It's a reserved track, and in some ways seems to want to sonically harken back to mid-century science fiction. But especially on repeat viewings, it's actually very rich with little nuances of environmental depth. Surround effects are largely subtle, but occasionally will really engage (such as in the more dramatic third act). In the same way that the 3D isn't showboating with pop-out gimmicks but rather focusing on very naturalistic depth, so the audio here is very carefully tuned to deceptively beef up the visuals. In fact, the more I revisited the film the more impressed I became.
The most disappointing thing about this set is its lack of unique extras. If you already have The Nightmare Before Christmas on Blu-ray, then this release will largely net you one additional bonus item of any substance. "Miniatures In Motion: Bringing Frankenweenie To Life" (HD, 23:05) is an excellent feature on all of the behind-the-scenes work that went into the film, and should especially excite those with a fondness for the craft of stop-motion animation. It's actually one of the best snapshot looks I've seen on the different facets of production that are involved for a stop-motion film of this scale.
Beyond that, things start to feel a little thin. The touted "all-new" short in the set is "Captain Sparky Vs. The Flying Saucers" (HD, 2:26) which is not only blink-and-you'll-miss-it in length, but isn't that different from the home movie that opens the feature film. "Frankenweenie Touring Exhibit" (HD, 4:36) is an infomercial for the traveling art show from the film, and the music video for "Pet Semetary" by Plain White T's (HD, 3:53) is included as well.