Last year, I looked at the original 30 minute movie "Frankenweenie" that came out in the 1980's. You can read that post here .
In 2012, Tim Burton got a chance again (well it was made before 2012 ) and got a chance to be a feature length film. This remake is by the same guy so it's more like the first movie was his first draft and this was his another crack at it.
First off visually , the film does the same thing the first did be presented in black and white , which is a nice touch, and really gives the movie an atmosphere that honestly would feel wrong in color. (Like the Munsters) Unlike the first, this movie is stop motion presented instead of real humans. The movie's music is great background and doesn't over power it.
Second, this remake being a feature length movie means that it can flesh out it's story lines . In the original they had to have everything done in a little over 30 minutes, (or it's free!) and that's not bad it made the story a simple one, not have to veer off it's main plot focus. The first 20 minutes of the movie we get the characters backgrounds a little more fleshed out , and relationship of Victor and his dog .Sparky. Of course, the main event where Sparky is hit by a car happens at the end of the first 15 minutes. This leads to the whole reason for the naming of this movie , where Victor Frankenstein brings his dog back to life.
Third, the original movie being 30 minutes , as I stated, really had the one single form plot agenda , The A,B,C A: Sparky is killed B, Sparky brought back to life and the events that happen surrounding C. the Climax and end. In the remake movie there was a chance to add more characters and more subplots. There's a science fair plot and the results of people finding out that Victor can bring dead animals back to life is little different than the original. Spoilers here: The added plotline is with the science fair some other kids ,who want to win, find out from Edgar , a classmate of Victor's , tells them that Victor brought his dog back to life , they want to figure out how, and this causes the big problem int his movie where other kids reanimate animals and cause monsters.
Victor's parents in this movie are very supportive of their son and foster his love of science. His father does seem to want him to do other things , but also doesn't try to force him to give up science. When they find out about Sparky, like in the first movie , they are shocked and a little apprehensive but accept Sparky. In this movie when they find out about Sparky , he runs away , they go out and help find him.
They did keep Elsa Van Helsing name from the first movie in this one, but she was more fleshed out as a character here , where again in the original , due to time , was more just background , when needed. She lives with her uncle, like the first movie , who is neighbor of the Frankensteins . She is nice and cares about Victor, and her uncle makes her miserable. She also has a poodle, that Sparky has dog crush on.
Edgar , is supposed to remind us of the classic character Igor , spoiler: his main point for the story was to pretty much accidentally reveal that Victor re animated Sparky , so the other kids could re animate some animals that become monsters.
Mr. Rzykruski , is the science teacher the Victor is inspired by and he is very eccentric , but genuinely loves science and wants his students to be creative. Though this gets him fired because two kids were inspired they were doing something on the roof of their house and apparently that means teacher should be fired. (editorialized last part)
A very memorable character without a name , she is a spooky girl that who thinks that her cat , Mr.Whiskers can give predictions.
I am not going through all the characters , most of them where there to drive the plot along, though I did point out Edgar.
Spoiler: The climax of the movie veers from the first , where Victor when looking for Sparky is now trying to stop these monsters that the other kids created by reanimating creatures. The other part, the town's people chasing Sparky , like in the first movie. The reason why is a little different and the same, It's the same because they think Sparky is a monster ,though with seeing the other creatures they might in the right , at least in theory. In the original, the townspeople were chasing the dog because they thought he was a monster and misjudging the fact the dog was still the same just undead,where they learn their lesson when they help bring Sparky back to life again. Both movies have this windmill scene where Victor ends up in one, and it's accidentally set on fire by the mob. In this movie, Elsa is in the windmill , but Victor saves her. Sparky goes to save Victor while he's fighting this monster and is knocked unconscious , Sparky saves his life. Sparky is dragged inside by the cat bat ,that was formerly the weird girl's cat. After the windmill breaks down ,once again Sparky is dead. We do get the get the jump-start scene again where the town works together to bring back Sparky.
I think this is a good movie, nice and spooky and it was a nice to expand upon the 30 minute original while keeping the story the same. The animation is wonderful and love that went with black and white like the original. They didn't do any unnecessary padding/filler and everything paced well.