Enjoy GRAND Magazine

for grandparents & those who love them

Frankenweenie may be too scary for very young grandkids!

By:  Ranny Levy – Founder and President of Kids First!

Halloween Treat ‘Frankenweenie’ a Family-friendly Scare

Wondering whether Tim Burton’s latest film, Frankenweenie, is something to take your grandkids to? It’s definitely worth paying attention to what our youth film critics have to say because as brilliant asBurtonis, several of them found it a bit macabre and frightening. One of our older girls, Talia Rashba, age 11 found it to be “heartwarming and hilarious.” Whereas Cheyenne Nguysn, age 8 warns that some parts, “will have your hair stand up.” Describing the stop-motion animation, Morgan Bertsch, age 7, shares, “All the puppets took 24 movements to just capture 1 second of film. That’s crazy!” And, says Anthony Aranda, age 10, “The 3-D is awesome because it makes everything pop out.” See their four reviews below.


Reviewed by Talia Rashba

(See her full review on video.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVBUm9iv9aE

I absolutely LOVE this movie! It is a heartwarming and hilarious movie that I thoroughly enjoyed viewing.


 Frankenweenie is a touching story about a boy named Victor and his dog Sparky. When Victor sadly loses his dog in an accident, he is heartbroken, but then he becomes determined to bring his dog back to life with the power of science. He has to hide his creation from everyone because people would freak out if they knew he had brought his dead dog back to life. But when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town have to stop the monstrous destruction of the town.

Victor (Charlie Tahan) is a smart and clever 10-year-old boy who loves science, making films and inventing things in his attic. He lives with his parents and his dog Sparky in the town ofNew Holland.

Sparky is a fun-loving and playful dog who loves his owner Victor very much. He loves chasing after balls and being the star of Victor’s homemade movies.

Mr. Frankenstein (Martin Short) is Victor’s dad, a friendly talent agent who is very outgoing and who likes to give advice to his son. He is proud of Victor’s accomplishments, but he is concerned he doesn’t have any friends besides Sparky. He would prefer his son to be more social and he encourages him to join the baseball team.

Victor’s mom, Mrs. Frankenstein (Catherine O’Hara), is a loving and supportive mother who encourages her son to do what he loves most, which is science. She loves her family, reading books and watching movies with her husband.

All of the actors’ performances are fantastic, including Atticus Shaffer, who plays Brick on the sitcom “The Middle,” film star Winona Ryder and Oscar-winner Martin Landau.

The thing I love the most about this movie is that it is a stop-motion picture. Stop-motion means that each character is a puppet and the animator must stop and position the puppet and take a picture each time, and once that is all put together, it creates filmed action. I think the stop-motion animation in this movie came out great. What’s really interesting is that all of the characters from Frankenweenie are based on Tim Burton’s very own drawings.

This movie is very funny, heartfelt and packed with action. To make it even better, this movie is in 3-D. Even though it is rated PG, there are some parts that are a little scary and, honestly, a little creepy! I really think Frankenweenie will appeal to adults because of the relatable humor. I recommend this movie for anyone from the age of 6 to 70 years old. I am giving this movie five out of five stars!

You can see Frankenweenie in theaters October 5th. Trust me, you don’t want to miss seeing this movie.


Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen

(See her full review on video.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVBUm9iv9aE

This scary stop-motion animated movie will have your hair stand up while watching this movie.

Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) is a bookworm who loves science. He lives in a small town name New Holland. His only real friend is his dog Sparky. Victor’s Mom (Catherine O’Hara) and dad (Martin Short) are both very supportive of his hobbies, which is making movies. However, his dad wants him to be outside more and play a sport. He is able to convince Victor to play baseball. This is where Victor loses his best friend, Sparky.

My favorite part of this movie is to see how Victor is surrounded by his classmates and teachers. They are Elsa (Winona Ryder); Toshiaki (James Hiroyuki Liao); Edgar (Atticus Shaffer); and Weird Girl (Dee Bradley Baker), who believes that her cat poops can predict the future. However, Victor’s favorite person is his new science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau).

Mr. Rzyskruski’s science lecture gives Victor the idea of using lightning to bring back life, and Victor is able to bring back Sparky. However, his classmates copy his formula and create “Mad Science.”

The message in this movie is science is neither good nor bad. It’s what you make of it. It can be bad if you have bad intention. It can be very good if you heart is in the right place. Science comes from the head to the heart.

The quality of the stop-motion animation is unbelievable. Each character is made out of clay and the filmmakers are able to make them come to life.

There’s awesome cinematography – the light and shadows create a very spooky, scary, horror, black-and-white movie.

The only part I did not like is when Sparky is hurt. It is too hard to watch your best friend hit by a car.

My favorite character is Weird Girl. She is so funny with her cat poops.

I rank this movie four out of five stars (due to some scary parts).

I give this an age range of 8 and up.


Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch

(See her full review on video.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0YE2ZgEFQ4


This is a great movie if you want a little Halloween fright and scare.

This was Director Tim Burton’s debut for Disney, and I must say I really enjoyed this movie but it is kind of creepy. This is a stop-motion animation, black-and-white, 3-D movie. This was originally a short that Tim Burton did in 1984. It took him 27 years to bring this to the big screen in a full-length motion picture format.

The dog Sparky is my favorite character. The way the puppeteers brought him to life and acting like a real dog is amazing. Especially when you think that the original Sparky is only four inches tall and all of the rest of the set was built around him. All the puppets took 24 movements to just capture 1 second of film. That’s crazy!

Martin Landau plays the science teacher and he does a great job. The way he describes lightning is hysterical. He is Victor’s mentor.

Catherine O’Hare, Martin Short and Winona Ryder bring the voices of the characters to life. The voices are all very believable.

This movie is about a boy, Victor, and his dog Sparky. Sparky acts like a real dog and his favorite thing to do is to chase balls. However, he does have a crush on the dog next door.

Victor Frankenstein, who is heartbroken for having caused Sparky’s mishap, decides he must see Sparky again. Once you get to know Sparky, you will see that the name totally fits him.

My least favorite character is Mr. Whiskers as vampire-cat. He is way too creepy and tries to kill Sparky.

Don’t you just hate it when people copy-cat you? Wait till you see what Victory’s classmates do. Edgar “E” Gore and Weird Girl are my favorite kids.

I enjoy how other monsters get mixed into the story. I love the whole disaster of characters, from Mummies and Godzilla to vampires, sea monkeys, rats, gremlins and all the monsters. The monster rampage through the festival is tons of fun. You’ll recognize many of your favorite monsters, too.

I give it four-and-a-half twinkling stars.

The age range is 7 and up. Anybody younger could find this a little too scary and it might make them cry.


Reviewed by Anthony Aranda

(See his full review on video.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFPAbmfFAUo

I think this movie is awesome because it has lots of action and it was really funny, too. It was even cooler because it was done in 3-D and it was also pretty neat that the whole movie was in black-and-white.

This movie is all about a kid named Victor who has a dog named Sparky, and Sparky is Victor’s best friend. Sadly, Victor’s dog Sparky gets hit by a car and Victor is really sad. One day in science class, his teacher gives him an idea on how he can bring his dog back to life. So he goes home to try it and it works!

The 3-D is awesome because it makes everything pop out. My favorite part in 3-D is when Victor brings Sparky back to life, because the thunder comes straight at me. But I wish there was more 3-D because I always feel like they don’t put enough 3-D in the movie.

The main characters in the movie are Victor, Sparky, Mrs. and Mr. Frankenstein, Bob, Weird Girl, Edgar and Mr. Burgemeister. My favorite character in the movie is Victor because he cares so much about his dog and he goes through a huge adventure to save him. He is also a really smart and funny character.

My favorite part is when the bullies and some other people use Victor’s idea and make dead things of their own come alive. Of course, the things they try to bring back from the dead don’t turn out right because they didn’t make them out of love like Victor did. The next thing you know, there’s a 70-foot turtle, a bat cat, a weird thing I can’t explain, and sea monkeys that can come on land. It is really crazy.

I would recommend this movie for ages 4 and up because my sister saw it and she thought it was a good movie. There are some scary parts that kids under 4 might not like. Overall, it is a great film and I would highly recommend this movie for you. Go out and see this in theaters on October 5th.

Talia and Cheyenne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVBUm9iv9aE

Anthony’s review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFPAbmfFAUo

Morgan’s review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0YE2ZgEFQ4


Ranny Levy – Founder and President

KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media https://www.kidsfirst.org Supporting Quality Media for Children Since 1991


KIDS FIRST! Film Festival


Granny Ranny’s Addenda

KIDS FIRST! Travel  https://kidsfirst.agenthub.net/


Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. Robert Fulghum

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Only $ 6.95

A Special eBook for New and Expecting GRANDparents

My Grand Baby ebook cover