Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 3, 2012
    75
    This isn't one of Burton's best, but it has zealous energy. It might have been too macabre for kids in past, but kids these days, they've seen it all, and the charm of a boy and his dog retains its appeal.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 4, 2012
    75
    This is a more personal movie for Burton than one might initially suspect. The very fact that he elected to re-tell this story after 28 years is an indication of how much it means to him. And I wouldn't be surprised to learn that, as a kid, he had a dog named Sparky.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Oct 5, 2012
    88
    Tim Burton's best film in years.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 4, 2012
    88
    Getting creeped out has never seemed this totally cool.
  5. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 4, 2012
    80
    Burton's extraordinary powers of imagination are in dazzling bloom, from the gorgeous stop-motion animation to the goofy, homemade horror movies the children direct.
  6. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 3, 2012
    91
    Frankenweenie is a cool little flipbook of historical Burtonian style. It even brings back old friends, including "Beetlejuice's" Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 4, 2012
    100
    The movie, a simple yet immensely pleasurable tale of a little boy and his undead dog, is good enough on its own. If you know the back story, it's even better.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 7, 2012
    88
    Frankenweenie is a love story between a boy and his dog. It is also a beautifully crafted homage to classic horror films, a study of grief and a commentary on the mysteries of science and those who narrow-mindedly fear its advances.
  9. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Oct 4, 2012
    89
    Frankenweenie is that rare film that's both kid- and adult-friendly.
  10. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Oct 4, 2012
    63
    Nothing in the longer Frankenweenie is new.
  11. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Oct 4, 2012
    70
    While Frankenweenie is fun, it is not nearly strange or original enough to join the undead, monstrous ranks of the classics it adores.
  12. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 4, 2012
    63
    The entire project is carefully wrought in visual terms and more than a little familiar. Sometimes even a well-applied pair of jumper cables can't do the trick.
  13. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sep 22, 2012
    50
    It is nonetheless imaginative in a highly familiar and ultimately tedious way.
  14. 75
    You have to feel pleased just for the existence of a film like Tim Burton's Frankenweenie. A 3-D, black-and-white, stop-motion animated film, it's a one-man blow for cinematic biodiversity.
  15. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Oct 4, 2012
    90
    Frankenweenie has that youthful verve and the ghoulishness of strange kids who will some day be eccentric creators. This movie is an attic experiment for its makers to be proud of and for audiences to cherish.
  16. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 5, 2012
    75
    While the big-headed, spindly puppets don't evoke enough emotion to make the movie a must-see, Burton's 3-D design team pours its heart into the monochrome surroundings, from the suburban décor to Victor's laboratory to the carnival midway.
  17. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Oct 5, 2012
    88
    This delightfully twisted story about a boy and his (dead) dog showcases precisely what Burton excels at: blending the macabre and the heartfelt in a perfect, if oddball, union.
  18. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 5, 2012
    80
    Filmmaking is a product of the heart and the head, at least when it's at its best.
  19. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Oct 4, 2012
    75
    Frankenweenie seems like a genuine effort to pass along this love to the next generation, and if one kid who sees it goes home and demands to watch another movie featuring a giant turtle, it will have done its job.
  20. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Oct 2, 2012
    60
    Though the tale demands a darker outcome, the director disappointingly goes the Mouse House happy-ending route with a reprise of the original short film's finale - one that somehow plays with even more cringeworthy sentimentality.
  21. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Sep 22, 2012
    70
    This beautifully designed canine-resurrection saga feels, somewhat fittingly, stitched together from stray narrative parts, but nonetheless evinces a level of discipline and artistic coherence missing from the director's recent live-action efforts.
  22. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 4, 2012
    70
    He (Burton) has used that tonality deftly here, it keeps Frankenweenie visually stunning and the sensibility light. It's too bad the tale, like Sparky's wagging appendage, keeps falling off.
  23. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 22, 2012
    83
    Burton's id explodes onto the screen with a plethora of demonic mutated critters.
  24. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 4, 2012
    83
    Frankenweenie is stitched together with love and a bit raggedy, like Sparky the dog in question.
  25. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Oct 3, 2012
    50
    While Frankenweenie is pleasant enough as a curated tour through horror's past, it doesn't add much to its present.
  26. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Oct 12, 2012
    60
    It's a likable film, though not a sensational development in Tim Burton's career.
  27. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Oct 4, 2012
    100
    It is pure, retro-cinematic joy.
  28. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 29, 2012
    38
    Tim Burton's sense of playfulness feels forced throughout, and as the film progresses, any humor or inventiveness takes a backseat to tumultuous set pieces that reference Frankenstein.
  29. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Oct 15, 2012
    80
    Very sweet, very funny, really quite touching and exquisitely handmade, by a film lover with humour and a heart, for a like-minded audience.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 157 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 3 out of 36
  1. Oct 6, 2012
    10
    Yeah,the old Tim Burton is back with his best movie since Sweeney Todd.Frankenweenie is visually beautiful and very emotional,I have to say that what he done in Dark Shadows is forgiven here Full Review »
  2. Jan 24, 2013
    9
    Frankenweenie is the best animated movie from Tim Burton of all time, because apart from the typical gothic-expressionist environment and characters, we see that science is in between. First we have the signature character of this director, who in this case is a misunderstood boy without friends, although here is expanded to other people of the story, unlike most of Burton pictures. In addition to Victor, there is Elsa (animated Winona Ryder), Mr. Rzykruski (animated Vincent Price), Edgar, Weird Girl, Toshiaki, Bob and Nassor; all these characters are very well physically constructed and have a defined personality. Second, the vision of the science that brings Tim Burton to the plot is awesome, and it is defined by two things that are said by Mr. Rzykruski: people like what science gives them but not the questions that science asks; and, science is not good or bad, but it can be used in both ways. Third, the idea of gothic mixed with science gives the film a fresh air and it is reflected in the moment when the other boys have their experiments. The thing here is that with these series of creatures, we notice the different approaches to science: love of Victor, ignorance of Edgar, over-confidence of Toshiaki, superiority of Nassor, fear of Bob and accident of Weird Girl. Other great things on this movie are the use of Frankenstein elements and the outstanding application of camera, in the picture are noticeable transitions from one images to another, flip over (360 turn) and the famous vertigo effect, formed by simultaneously dolly in and zoom out. Tim Burton could have a perfect film, but the end should be different. Full Review »
  3. Oct 5, 2012
    10
    Frankenweenie. One of my favorite animated movies of this year, I think that is fresh, original -yes I know that the movie is based on the Tim Burton's short-, the movie is really interesting, the development of the story is funny, and yes I think that is one of the best movies of this year. Full Review »