Things go awry when the folks in town find out what Victor did. They are not a great bunch to start off with, what with the crooked Edgar "E" Gore (voiced by Atticus Shaffer), victory-fixated school nerds, Weird Girl (voiced by Catherine O’Hara) and her hilariously nuts cat, and obnoxious neighbour Mr. Burgemeister (also voiced by Short) and his annoying niece (Winona Ryder). But they become completely zombiefied as an angry mob moved by the suburban groupthink of hate and intolerance towards the Other. That’s where the movie can get a little creepy for the younger viewers (but will wake up the parents, no doubt).
Just in case parents get bored (which is unlikely, because Frankenweenie is funny) they have a number of intertextual references to play with, from the classic monster movies to The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride. The film embraces many of its influences and pays homage to Mary Shelley, who began the whole ordeal a long time ago, which is nice. By the end of the movie the references grow wider and broader, including our favourite Godzilla and the seemingly ubiquitous zombies. So fun is all around.
The transfer to Blu-ray is done masterfully here. Image is crisp and all the small details of the tiny sets and minute puppets are discernible without any difficulty – which amazes yet again, especially when we think how much time and effort has been poured into each shot. The quality of 3D lets the home viewers appreciate all that even more. The color nuances of the black-and-white picture are also astounding, actually adding to the overall visual spectacle, and not taking anything away from it. This is one picture where imagination truly runs free.
This is the best use of stop-motion animation since Coraline and Burton works with 3D beautifully instead of abusing it to bring the (already livelier puppets, when compared to their computer animated mates) even more to life. With Frankenweenie Burton really created a world to travel to, and be lost in.