Frankenweenie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. From start to finish, the image looked great.
At no point did sharpness falter. The movie always presented crisp, concise visuals, and I discerned nary a hint of softness. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and I saw no signs of edge enhancement either. Print flaws werenít a problem as the movie lacked any specks, marks or other defects. It remained wonderfully clean and fresh.
Black levels looked terrific, as the movie always demonstrated deep, rich tones. Contrast was excellent, and shadows also appeared smooth and appropriately delineated. Across the board, this became an appealing image.
While not quite as strong, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Frankenweenie also worked well. Because the movie didnít feature a lot of slam-bang action, I didnít expect a lively soundfield. However, the five speakers filled out the room well and added a lot to the package.
The score presented solid stereo imaging in the front and also meshed to the rears with good involvement. Some isolated dialogue came from the various speakers, and effects added a nice sense of the surroundings. The elements cropped up in all the appropriate locations and formed a vivid feel throughout the flick. The smattering of more active sequences Ė most of which appear in the climax - used the spectrum to positive effect and worked well.
Audio quality was satisfying. Speech seemed natural and crisp, with no edginess or issues connected to intelligibility. Music was bold and dynamic. The score presented nice oomph and showed fine clarity, and effects were similarly well-defined. Those elements sounded accurate and vivid at all times. This was a solid soundtrack that added to the film.
An original short called Captain Sparky vs. The Flying Saucers lasts two minutes, 26 seconds. This lets us see another one of the stop-motion flicks Victor creates. Itís cute but not much more than that.
Two featurettes follow. Miniatures in Motion: Bringing Frankenweenie to Life goes for 23 minutes, six seconds and includes comments from producer Allison Abbate, director Tim Burton, executive producer Don Hahn, animation director Trey Thomas, puppet hospital supervisor Andy Gent, puppet designers/developers Peter Saunders and Ian MacKinnon, modeler Josie Corben, junior model maker Paul Davies, art director Alexandra Walker, director of photography Peter Sorg, assistant art director Barry Jones, lead painter Roy Bell, foliage and small props Maggie Haden, lead animators Antony Elworthy and Tobias Fouracre, and animation supervisor Mark Waring.
We learn a little about the filmís roots/development but mostly examines the animation process. We hear about character design and storyboards, the creation of the puppets, sets and props, lighting and photography, and the stop-motion animation. ďMotionĒ covers a nice array of technical topics in a satisfying manner. Itís too bad we donít get a commentary for the whole film, but this nonetheless acts as a solid overview.
Frankenweenie Touring Exhibit fills four minutes, 36 seconds and lets us see a show that promoted the film. Exhibited at Comic-Con and elsewhere, we see the collection of Frankenweenie artifacts it displayed and also hear a few remarks from Abbate, Burton and Hahn. It gives us a decent look at some of the original stop-motion components.
Next we find the Original Live-Action Frankenweenie Short from 1984. It runs 30 minutes, three seconds and offers an enjoyable film. While itís not great, itís mostly successful and entertaining. Itís also fun to compare the two versions and see how they differ.
We also get a Music Video for ďPet SemataryĒ by the Plain White Tís. They offer their take on the song the Ramones recorded for the 1989 Steven King-based film. Itís an utterly toothless take on the song, but the videoís mildly interesting; while itís mostly a mix of movie clips/lip-synch, it has decent production values.
Disc One opens with ads for Wreck-It Ralph, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and The Muppet Movie. These also show up under Sneak Peeks along with promos for Once Upon a Time, Peter Pan, Disney Parks, Planes and Return to Neverland. No trailer for Frankenweenie appears here.
Disc Two provides a DVD Copy of the film Ė with two of the Blu-rayís extras Ė and Disc Three gives us a Digital Copy of Frankenweenie. Finally, Disc Four delivers a 3D Blu-ray Copy of Frankenweenie. Maybe someday Iíll get a 3D TV, but right now, I donít have that capability, so I canít screen this version. Nonetheless, I wanted to mention its inclusion.
28 years after the original short film, Tim Burton reworks Frankenweenie with mediocre results. While I respect and admire the artistry of the appealing stop-motion animation, the story and characters lack much to make this an enjoyable ride. The Blu-ray delivers excellent visuals, solid audio and a few interesting supplements. Maybe someday Tim Burton will return to form, but Frankenweenie gives us another disappointment.