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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tim Burton's black-and-white, stop-motion animated film Frankenweenie is the feature-length version of a short he made early in his career. Like most of Burton's films, Frankenweenie's tone is dark and creepy and will likely scare kids who are sensitive to the macabre. On the other hand, this tale of a very young Frankenstein who reanimates his beloved pet dog is a great introduction to the horror genre for older kids and tweens who are ready for some scares -- like when a group of kids reanimates various pets that go wild (one ends up as big as Godzilla) and terrorize the town. Pets die in the movie, and the resulting grief is depicted realistically.
  • Families can talk about the Frankenweenie's scare factor. Are the frightening scenes too much for little kids, or are they funnier than they are scary? Who do you think they're intended to appeal to?
  • Do you think kids will get the movie's references to horror movie characters? Why do you think Tim Burton's signature style is so dark?
  • Would the movie have the same impact if Sparky was a different kind of pet? What's the appeal of dog movies?
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