Frankenweenie ★★★½

Very heartfelt and consistently funny from start to finish, Frankenweenie is one of the best "dog lovers" movies I've seen. I love stop motion animation and Burton's new film is another great entry in what has been an OUTSTANDING year for the format (Pirates!: Band of Misfits, ParaNorman) and is easily one of Burton's better efforts of the past two decades (Sweeney Todd remains his best film since Ed Wood).

While the stop motion is great (as expected), the 3D unfortunately feels forced and unncessary. Not a horrible addition, but not a particularly memorable use of it. I also thought the "message" parts, in favor of science (something I'm all for) were really a bit too in your face and obvious (I wouldn't have minded a more deft hand when it came to that) and Burton flat-out chickens out with the ending. Instead of the ending the film and we deserve, we get a VERY forced Mouse House happy ending that diminishes nearly everything that came before it. A full half-star gets knocked off for that and it might be more the more I think about it. If I didn't enjoy what came before it as much as I did, the ending could have really ruined the movie.

However, there's enough to like and admire beyond the disappointing ending and overall, it's a perfectly enjoyable film, not to mention a superb film at showing the dog owner relationship and what it means when a pet is loved and lost.