With Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie pulling elements from various horror films, it’s worth wondering for parents if the movie is suitable for children.
- Frankenweenie is a dark, humorous film that includes scary images and thematic elements, making it unsuitable for young viewers.
- The film revolves around the loss of a beloved pet and deals with themes of grief and death, which may be overwhelming for children.
- Despite some unsettling moments, the majority of children are likely to find Frankenweenie heartwarming and appreciate its blend of humor and love.
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The stop-motion film Frankenweenie is loosely based on Mary Shelley’s gothic horror novel Frankenstein, sparking concerns from parents about whether the film is suitable for kids. Released on October 5th, 2012, the film follows a boy named Victor Frankenstein, who uses electricity to bring his cherished dog, Sparky, back to life after a tragic accident. Frankenweenie was first made in 1984 by Tim Burton as a live-action comedy horror featurette. Following its completion, Disney fired Tim Burton over Frankenweenie, as the company felt he was wasting resources on a film that did not suit their target audience.
The original Frankenweenie was shelved until Burton found success with Beetlejuice and Batman, leading Disney to bring to life his earlier idea, The Nightmare Before Christmas, which included his 1984 Frankenweenie as a DVD special feature. In 2007, Burton was brought on by Disney to direct two films, resulting in a full-length stop-motion rendition of Frankenweenie. With the film being infused with various horror elements from famous works, there are a few aspects of the film that parents should be aware of before letting their kids watch Frankenweenie.
Why Frankenweenie Is Rated PG: Scary Images & Thematic Elements
While Frankenweenie is rated PG, many scary elements are presented in the film. Though most are done in a humorous, slap-stick sort of way, these elements often involve a certain level of violence. The film is in black-and-white, setting an ominous tone, and showcasing eerie-looking characters that may be unsettling to young viewers. The overall tone of the film is dark, as it involves the resurrection of many of the town kids’ pets.
There’s a particular moment where a bat and a cat undergo an accidental mutation during the resurrection process, that could be frightening to young viewers. Additionally, the film features moments of name-calling, using terms like “stupid,” “weird,” and “insane,” though it avoids major expletives. At its core, the story revolves around the love between a boy and his dog, making it a heartwarming narrative.
Frankenweenie’s Main Premise Could Be Too Much For Younger Viewers
Beyond the horror aspects, the main story involves a young child experiencing the tragic loss of a beloved pet, which may be overwhelming and personal for some young viewers. Tim Burton drew from his own childhood experience of his dog being diagnosed with distemper, which left Burton with a grim outlook on their relationship, knowing he could lose his dog at any moment. He used this feeling for Frankenweenie, which could potentially be distressing for children who have pets or who have lost them.
The primary themes revolve around grief and death but are told in an unconventional way that blends humor into the darkness. While the narrative may be overwhelming for younger viewers, Burton navigates the darker themes with sensitivity, enabling children to comprehend and appreciate the story of love and loss. Though certain elements could be unsettling for some children, the majority are likely to find Frankenweenie more endearing than horrifying, appreciating its blend of humor and love, as it portrays the deep bond between a boy and his dog.