Bringing a corpse back to life is often (if not always) extremely creepy. But in Tim Burton’s new film Frankenweenie, resurrection is just as cute and endearing when it involves a boy and his everlasting love for his dog.
Set in the fictional town of New Holland, Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) is a bright and curious boy who doesn’t have many friends. Spending much of his time cooped up in the attic doing science experiments, the only companion he has is his beloved dog Sparky.
Together, the two are inseparable. So much so, that Victor’s caring parents (voiced by Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara) convince him to make friends and try different things.
Everything changes when Sparky dies unexpectedly after an accident. Trying to deal with his grief in science class, Victor is suddenly inspired when his eccentric teacher Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) shows how a dead frog’s limbs still work when electrocuted. Motivated, Victor rushes back home to devise a plan to bring his dog back to life.
When the plan works and Sparky lives, Victor tries to keep his resurrected pet a secret. But when Sparky gets out, havoc breaks and it’s up to Victor to save the day.
Things I loved:
It just wouldn’t be a Tim Burton film without some quirky characters, and with their bulging eyes and oversized heads, these ones are especially so. Some favourites that come to mind are Victor’s classmates, Edgar (Atticus Shaffer) and Weird Girl (also voiced by Catherine O’Hara), who try to tamper with his scientific discovery.
Winona Ryder on the other hand, seems to play the sanest character on the bill as Elsa Van Helsing. She holds the most sympathy for Victor during his loss, but is way too distracted dealing with her tyrant uncle, who just so happens to be the town mayor (also voiced by Martin Short).
But the most interesting character in the movie is none other than science teacher Mr. Rzykruski. Sounding like a European Dracula, he steals the show, applying strange and unsettling teaching methods to his class.
The Special Effects
I’m not a big fan of 3D because I find it hardly ever works. But coupled with the film’s beautiful set designs and art direction, Frankenweenie is worth seeing in another dimension.
Despite being in black and white to pay homage to Old Hollywood, this film never ceases to amaze me. While it’s a stop-motion animation, at times the scenes are so real you can almost feel the sweat dripping from the characters’ faces.
This is one of those interviewer oopsies that makes you cringe. Martin Short stopped by the Today Show to promote his new movie Madagascar 3. Kathie Lee Gifford questioned the comedian about his wife and their marriage, not realizing that she died years ago.
Gifford issued an apology via Twitter later that day. “I send my sincerest apologies to @MartinShort and his family,” she wrote. “He handled situation w/enormous grace and kindness and I’m so grateful.”
On the show Gifford asked: “And you and Nancy have one of the greatest marriages of anybody in show business. How many years now for you guys?”
Short brushed it off and answered nonetheless: “We … have … married … 36 years.”
“But you are still like, in love?”
“Madly in love, madly in love,” said Short.
The conversation continued like this for a while and Short just moved right along.
Gifford found out after the show that Short’s wife died from ovarian cancer in 2010. This is an awful mistake to make but it shows what a calm and composed person Short is.
Watch it here:
JustJared has confirmed the death with Martin’s manager Marc Gurvitz. The cause of death has not been disclosed.
The Just for Laughs Festival will kick off its second year in Toronto at the Wintergarden Theatre on Wednesday night.
CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos (try to say that ten times fast) hosts Wednesday’s festivities, The All-Star Ethnic Show, a showcase of ethnic comedians.
The show hosted by Strombo will feature comedians from Canada, the U.S. and Britain. Most noticeable is Shaun Majumder whose previous roles include “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” and in the film, “Harold and Kumar”.
A gala will also be hosted by comedian and “SCTV” alum Martin Short. Other comedians at the festival who have gala hosting duties include Jason Alexander from Seinfeld and Jimmy Fallon from Saturday Night Live.
The festival runs from July 23 to July 27.
Canadian comedy fans had better do some crunches to prepare for some serious laughs.
“SCTV” alums Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty, Martin Short and Harold Ramis, are performing for a second time tonight at the Second City Theatre in Toronto.
According to the CBC, the reunion is part of the Benefit of Laughter, a fundraiser for Second City’s staff members who need help financially.
Combining some classic sketches and improv sets, the reunion could become an annual event if it is successful.