And Frankenweenie (2012) is Still Boring | 5 Year Anniversary Celebration


– [Sarah] I’m not here to kink shame Tim Burton, I guess. Like. You know, but at the same time, – [Sorella] I’m not following.
[Sarah laughs] – Hello everyone! This is my friend, Sorella! Some of you longtime viewers
probably remember her because she’s been in another video. – Three years ago?
– It was four years ago. – Four years ago.
– It was 2015. [exaggerated silence]
– Yikes. [Sarah laughs]
– Back in 2015, during the Chilling Challenge, which was a Disney themed
Halloween challenge that Paige and I did, where we did a video every single day of October, we watched Frankenweenie
(2012) for the P&S Watch series. When I originally suggested this
idea that you come back, and we redo that video, you were very hesitant I think?
– I know. I feel like two times is two times too many.
[Sarah laughs] For this particular movie.
– But I assured you that we would not have to react in real time to it. That we could
just have a discussion about it afterwards. So we are taking
the Christravaganza approach. We have already watched the movie.
We are coming to you…live… right after having just watched the movie!
[Both laugh] – This is live.
[Both laugh] – We’ve had some wine, we’ve had some pizza, and most
importantly, we watched Frankenweenie (2012). Again. [exaggerated silence] It’s still bad. I think the biggest thing about Frankenweenie
is that it’s not so much that it’s bad, it’s that it’s boring. It’s, like, a dramatically boring movie
for a movie that seeks to reference so much horror pop culture. – Yeah, and it doesn’t seem like it’s
trying to be that way, unfortunately. So. I don’t know, you just leave it
feeling kind of disappointed. I feel like, from someone that doesn’t know
so much about Tim Burton, but also has watched a significant amount
of, like, his children’s movies, I was expecting something kind of, like,
fantastic and interesting and funny, even if it has, like, a similar aesthetic.
[Sarah laughs] – Yeah.
– Just as a casual viewer. – Watching, like, the opening credits made me think, “Wow. All of it’s coming back to me! “All of the Burtonmas research! All of the
movies that I watched for Burtonmas “like, are coming back to me!” ‘Cause I’m like, “Op, there’s Rick Heinrichs! He’s
the production designer! “Like he is for every Tim Burton movie!” – And those things mean nothing to me. – That’s okay. That’s really okay. I did really, really like the opening castle. I like how Disney will change the opening castle logo – [Sorella] Oh yeah!
– [Sarah] to kind of match the movie. And I think it’s cute. I liked it.
– I did too. – That’s like, maybe, the most that I
felt for the entire movie. – Except for the exploding cat. Although we knew that was gonna happen this
time, so it wasn’t quite as much of a surprise. – But it’s still, like, shocking!
– [laughs] It was! – I had forgotten about the fact that the
cat-bat gets, like, impaled at the end. Because I had thought, like, “Oh that would be a horrifying image for a children’s movie!” And then it, like, appeared! And we
get a very clear shot of the cat going lifeless and limp, like,
around the stake that it’s impaled on! And I was like…
– And it fell in, like, slow motion from the ceiling! – Disney deaths of, like, villainous characters
are very often shown, like, off screen or they usually fall to their death because it’s a way that you
can kind of indicate that death has happened without showing it. Tim Burton’s like, “Nope!” [Both laugh] Impaled on a stick! – Yup.
[Sarah laughs] – When was Frankenweenie released? – [Siri] Which one?
[Sorella laughs] [Sarah sighs]
– Rude. – This Frankenweenie movie came out n 2012. It is, of course, based on the
short that Tim Burton released in 1984. And that short is about 30 minutes long. – [Sorella] Which sounds about right.
– [Sarah] Yeah. This movie is an hour and 27 minutes. I think that the biggest thing is
really just that you can tell that this is something that was based off of a short. The idea itself is cute and interesting.
– Mhm. – And it’s very well suited to the short film. And when you try to turn that into a feature-length film, at least here; I’m not saying it couldn’t possibly be done; I just mean that, like, I don’t know if Tim
Burton has the capacity to, like, envision, ideas like that that can fit into an hour and a half. – Yeah.
– At least not now. Tim Burton, really, has added a lot of cultural value in terms of, like, the original
things that he made, like, in the 90’s. But past that, I don’t think that
he’s contributed a lot that’s very original. Like, a lot of it is pastiche. Or, not even pastiche. It’s just imitation. – Right.
– Like, of his own work, or work that has come before him. Work that he admires. I think a very good example of
that is the fact that, like, the main antagonist in this
movie is a character called- literally called Burgermeister.
– Right. – Which is a reference to the Rankin/Bass character. That character’s name is also Burgermeister, and this
character looks exactly like that other character. There’s homage, and then there’s copying. I think he does a lot of both of them, not really realizing that part of Homage is making sure
that there’s enough of your own material for the work to stand on its own.
– Yeah. I agree. It kind of makes me wonder what
he saw from the original short and thought, “This needs something extra.”
– I think, when it’s that short, it’s a very cute, not troubling idea that you know, this boy gets to keep his dog. But, like, in the full-length movie, when
they’re trying to, like, maybe say something else about death and whatnot, it’s a weirder
ending because at the end it just feels like “Okay, so this boy, like, gets to
hang onto his childhood pet, “and not really learn how to deal with death.” – We talked about it a bit while
watching the movie, but like, I don’t really know what the message
was supposed to be. Was it supposed to be about coping
with grief? Or was it supposed to be about what is Science and how is it powered by love? [Sarah laughs]
– By your emotions! – Or is there some other message?
I feel like it was, like, a bit… I don’t know, like, about commiserating about America. Which is unsurprising, but… None of it really hit. – I think it thinks it’s saying
something really interesting. I think it’s very symbolic of a lot of
Tim Burton’s issues as a filmmaker. You’re basically just watching a lesser
version of the thing that it’s imitating. It’s trying to be a copy of the things that
Tim Burton himself loved as a child. This movie is basically just
references on references on references. We have Elsa, who’s named after Elsa Lanchester, who’s
the actress who played the Bride of Frankenstein. We have the Bride of Frankenstein in this movie. References to the, like, Universal
Frankenstein adaptation. We have like, a character who very much
looks like Boris Karloff. We have a character who looks
almost exactly like Christopher Lee like, playing a loving authority figure. Like- [laughs] There’s just a lot going on here.
– I’m not really sure who the target audience is for that, too, besides himself [Burton]. You know?
– Yeah. ‘Cause you had mentioned that
there’s, like, this real tonal like, inconsistency in the movie.
– Yeah, it was just hard to tell whether or not it was geared toward a younger or
a more mature audience. Because I feel like, watching it
as an adult, it’s a little… – It’s not engaging enough.
– It’s not engaging enough, you notice the inconsistencies
in a way that a child wouldn’t. – Yeah.
– But then I’m not sure that a child would enjoy it so much, either.
– Yeah. And it’s certainly not visually interesting enough. We enjoyed the black and white.
– [Sorella] Yeah. – [Sarah] It was a fun choice, like-
– [Sorella] Especially for stop motion, which I feel like, typically, is
so vibrant and beautiful. – I think it lends to the atmosphere
very well, but I think that unfortunately, everything else
in the movie is so muted. – The acting, their expressioins.
– Yeah. Yeah, and it’s not that these people can’t, like, act well. But clearly they were
directed in a way that was just like, “Okay, now sound, like
you’d rather be anywhere else.” If that’s what you’re going for, I
guess it’s fine, but like, I think the execution, and the way
it all comes together is just very boring. And like you said, like, the horror elements and the graphic, like, violent scenes
are, like, so disturbing that I don’t think a child
– Yeah! – would really enjoy it. I mean, I
think a really good example of a horror movie that’s kind of made for the
middle-school demographic is probably, like, Paranorman. Have you seen Paranorman?
– Yeah, no I liked that one! – I think Paranorman’s a wonderful
movie. I love it so much. The thing about Paranorman is that
it also has a very muted color pallet, and it has, like, certain choices
in terms of, like, it’s voice acting, but I still think it’s a very, like, vibrant, and like, a movie that’s full of life. And I
think Frankenweenie lacks life. – Yeah, no I would agree with that. I do want to say, I think, like, the characters
that have the most life are the ones that were reanimated. They kind of run around
and have, like, exciting action sequences. – Yeah. I agree with that.
– But everyone else… All the humans in the town
are just kind of, like, reacting, like [Gasps inanimately]
Sparky… [Sarah laughs] – Y’all know I love John August. I talk about how much I love John
August in the Aladdin video! And I also mentioned that, like, “Oh no…Franken- “Frankenweenie…he wrote Frankenweenie. Oh no.” I wanted to watch this and see, like, if it was really a
writing problem or if it was a performance problem, and I think the answer is that it’s all of it. Like, it is both extremely heavy-handed
in its message about how, like, Americans are, like, afraid of Science
because they don’t understand it and therefore, they try to, like, stop
kids from learning things because they’re scared of the knowledge
that they don’t have. Here’s the other thing is that, like,
that doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s just very heavy-handed about that idea, and then it completely drops
it once the science teacher leaves. – Exactly, and then, like, the redemption
isn’t about them coming to accept science, it’s more about the cause and effect
– The one exception. – of the dog saving the girl, and then-
or saving Viktor at the very end, and then, “Oh, it did good, so…” – That’s especially kind of a harmful
trope of, like, “Oh, well. We like THE ONE. “of this group.” I just wrote
down, “It’s just a bit weird.” [Sarah laughs]
– It’s just a bit weird. – I wrote down, “Catherine
O’hara sounds so normal.” She sounds like such a normal human being. [Laughing] And it’s really unsettling.
– Yup. – Because she plays, like, the mom.
And Martin Short plays the dad. They’re just both so bland. And I mean, that’s
part of their purpose in the story. At the same time, i feel like there’s
supposed to be an arc there. Like they’re supposed to be boring at
the beginning so they can be great at the end. But there’s no…
– They’re not even that great, yeah. The dad just says, “Adults don’t always
know what’s right,” and it’s like… You new that the whole time?! [Sarah laughs]
Should’a said it. – [Sarah] Sorella is wearing the same
outfit as Viktor at the funeral. [laughs]
This is Queer culture. – You need more button ups.
[Sarah laughs] – Oh yeah, I wrote, “Christopher Lee cameo!” [dreamily] Christopher Lee appeared in the movie! He appeared and he was Dracula, and it was great! I’m not saying that I’ve watched the Christopher
Lee “Bite” compilations on YouTube, [awkward silence] but I’m not saying I haven’t. [Sarah laughs, embarrassed] The scene that they play is one of the
scenes in the “Bite” compilation that I may or may not have seen.
– Coincidentally, the parents were, like, edging closer to each other during that scene.
– [yelling] I know! So kinky! Their arc-
– We see you! [Sarah laughs] – But like, Christopher Lee, my
radiant Vampire husband. Great as ever. Love him. [Laughs] We liked
the way that Igor crawled through the window [laughing] in the school! I loved
that bit of animation, it was very funny. The weird girl who, you pointed out,
could be a Twin Peaks reference. – Oh yeah. The blonde girl with bangs. The only thing I could think of about her is that she
might’ve been a reference to Log Lady from Twin Peaks, just from stroking her cat that way,
and her cat foretold prophecies about the dog. – Okay, there was that one guy who
was wearing a graphic tee at the [laughs] at the meeting.
[Sorella agrees] – He referenced something modern,
so, like, was he a time traveler? – Because the rest of the town is
very distinctly, like, 1960’s. [Sorella agrees]
The blonde girl is, like, so unmoved by the fact that her cat all of the
sudden turns into a demon bat. – I know, she just watches it fly around
the room. All the kids in the movie it seemed like they cared a lot more about their
pets than they did about each other, or about their parents, or about anything that
was happening in the movie. Except for the Science Fair. They really
– Yeah. – had feelings about the Science Fair.
– They were very excited about the Science Fair! And then the
Science Fair doesn’t happen! – Yeah, no it doesn’t! The song does happen. Briefly. The song in which she kind of sings about
this, like, terrible town that they live in. – [Sarah] You felt personally attacked when I likened it to – The sad girl indie I’ve been listening to.
[Sarah laughs] At least they played good indie music at the end. – Yeah! There was a really nice song
– Karen O. – at the end! We liked that! It might’ve been the
– The best part of the movie. – Yeah!
[Both laugh] – Yeah.
– I remember that we talked about this when we filmed the last video, back
in 2015, but it bears mentioning here. Another one of the things about
this movie being very, like, representative of Tim Burton’s, like,
problems as a filmmaker, also comes down to the way that he
uses disfigurement, disability, race, and gender to an extent, in just the way that
he, like, views those things, and that they have really not progressed since, like, how he
viewed them in the 1960’s and maybe the 1970’s. – It just seems like they’re used as oddities.
– Yes. – Like another, like, visual symbol
of something that’s kind of strange and weird to be viewed as, like, anything
else that he uses that is also strange and weird. – Yeah. The fat kid is used as a Guinea
Pig in a science experiment that goes wrong. He’s clearly the one that’s not very bright. Then you have Edgar, who is this
disfigured kid who has a hunchback. He is also not very bright, and
he’s very, like, pitiful. Well, one, [he] blackmails Viktor. But also-
– Is just kind of creepy and obsessive about it. Trying to manipulate him.
– Yeah. – Mhm. And then Takiyashi is, like, “Wow!” He’s basically the “Sneaky Asian” stereotype. For the people who’re gonna
interpret this in bad faith anyway, I mean, there’s nothing I can do to stop you, but like, it’s not that, like, fat or disfigured or Japanese
people shouldn’t be allowed to, like, ever be portrayed to have negative
traits, it’s just that, like, they really are just meant to be, like, physically, like, odd and unsettling in this movie, where
Viktor is meant to be the sympathetic main character. And Viktor is, like, meant to be
the…not “normal” but, like, the “lovably odd” character. As opposed to the Sneaky
Japanese kid, the fat dumb kid, and the disfigured creepy kid. Like, they are not lovably weird. They are just weird. That’s kind of
about where Tim Burton’s, like, feeling about “outsiders” ends.
What was it you said about suburbs? You were like, “It’s like growing
up in the suburbs. Is this oppression?” [both laugh] – If you invited me to watch it
again, I would probably say no. – That’s fair. I’m not gonna ask you to do that. [Sorella laughs].
So. Thank you so much for coming! – Thanks for having me!
– Yeah! I-I know that you didn’t really want to do this, but I appreciate you doing it anyway.
– It’s okay. It’s okay. – Yeah.
– I’m glad for the chance to reappear. – That was Frankenweenie (2012), directed
by Tim Burton, based on- [yelling] oh my god! I have to talk about the Mary
Shelley thing! Just really quick, because Paige has already talked
about the Mary Shelley thing in her Frankenweenie video. This
movie, in the same fashion that the 1984 short does, all that is credited
in terms of what the movie is based on and what the idea is based on is just that
it’s “based on an original idea by Tim Burton,” [gasps, sputters] That’s bullshit! This is not an
original idea! This is Frankenstein! It’s called Frankenweenie! [Sarah sighs]
– I don’t know. – There’s-
– Maybe he woke up one day and he was like, “I just came up with this out of my own brain.” – “It’s not Frankenstein!” – “It’s Edward Scissorhands, part 2!”
[Sarah laughs] – We were talking about how Edward Scissorhands
is basically the better version of this movie. – Plus knives, but somehow minus violence. – That was a thing that Tim Burton
did in this movie as well that is just really, really weird because you find that in most of the things
that so blatantly borrow from source material that is already there, something
like, you know, Frankenweenie to Frankenstein, they would credit Mary Shelley for
creating, like, the characters and the ideas. He’s still Viktor Frankenstein. Yeah.
– Right, and we have the Frankenstein-looking character. Instead, she just got her name on
a gravestone and became a turtle. – Thank you all so much for watching! If you
liked this video, be sure to give it a thumbs up. And leave a comment below with either your favorite
Tim Burton film, or if you like Frankenweenie, let us know what you like about it, and I’m
sorry that you had to watch this video where we bashed Frankenweenie pretty
much the whole time. – I thought you were gonna say, “If you
like Frankenweenie, I’m sorry. [Both laugh]
– I mean… Yeah, but also, I get it! And if you liked this video and
you’re not already subscribed, go ahead and subscribe for more videos
on Disney and intersectional feminism. And make sure that you
ring the bell for notifications because we are not really posting these 5th
Anniversary videos in any kind of particular day or schedule. You just have to be
paying attention to your notifications. One of us will see ya real soon! I don’t expect everybody to know all about- there’s no more wine in my glass! – Yup. – I probably shouldn’t have more. [Sarah laughs] It’s good! Thank you for bringing ths! – You’re very welcome.

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Comments

  1. I got what you said and clearly understood it. Its not wrong to portray minority people as negative, except when its all that they're portrayed as solely negative. Just like Maven of the Eventide said in one of her vampire reviews "Being horny is nothing wrong, except when its your only character trait". And in Tim Burton movies, minority people (including people of size and gender) are mostly shown in a negative light (be they gluttons, untrustworthy, sneaky, shrill).

    I use to think Burton was cool, but he hasn't changed and his movies all follow the same ideas of his. As an aspiring writer, I take lessons from people like him, mainly to not repeat their mistakes or take cues from them.

  2. That shout out to Paranorman almost made me cry. Paranorman is one of my favorite stop motion films ever and it does not get enough recognition. It is so well made, the twist at the end is great, the acting is amazing, everything just aaagh I love it. I was Norman's age when it came out and I loved it, and now I'm 18 and I still love it. I will watch it every time Freeform has it on for 31 Nights of Halloween because I have no self control when it comes to that movie.

  3. I was so excited for this movie before it came out cause I'm a big fan of the Universal movie monsters and I loved the live action Frankenweenie short film. But the 2012 one was really forgettable compared to the live action one, which is insane to think because the 2012 one had multiple movie Universal monster pet creations and a Gamera reference and the fact that I prefer stop-motion to live action generally.
    I think it just wasn't as good because none of the characters in the stop-motion movie really left an impact and felt stock; in the live action I felt like having a real dog acting on screen did a lot to make Sparky feel like a pet you care about and the acting from the little boy who played Victor made him way more impactful than the stop-motion one who was completely overshadowed by the other kids who were all more interesting (except his dreary love interest who I literally forgot existed till rewatching this video).

    I also can't help but remember the fact that the Cat died in the 2012 one in such a horrific way when the little girl who owned the cat clearly loved her pet, so it was just fucked up that Victor has Sparky and gets to have his pet while the girl with the cat ends up losing her pet. It's kind of a depressing note to end the movie on.

  4. One of the resident cripples of the P&S comments here, 👋 dropping in to say: it isnt that we cannot be portrayed as having negative characteristics, or with complicated storylines, or as multidimensional beings. It is that Burton ALWAYS uses us as this way to bring forth this primal ingroup/outgroup mentality in his audience which is incredibly harmful because–here's your hot take for the day–WE GET TREATED LIKE THAT ALL THE DAMN TIME IN OUR DAY TO DAY LIVES.

    For people like myself who are clearly and obviously profoundly disabled, there isn't an interaction I have in my day to day life which is not colored in some way by the way that society sees disability and disfigurement. People walk into my life all day every day with some really harmful preconceptions and ideas which are at best obnoxious and exhausting, and at worst literally put me in real harm. I don't really need some abled cis white dude appropriating my reality as a lazy trope for movie shorthand as "weird = creepy = baaaaaad" just because he thinks he's oppressed since he grew up feeling weird compared to the other kids.

    Not that I dont want a whole lot more disabled and disfigured stories being told, mind you. I just, you know, want them told by those of us who actually live these lives. 😘

  5. I've just realised that I have blocked out this entire movie except that I liked the aesthetic… Which makes sense cause I was a 14 yo fat Japanese goth kid when I watched this. Like learning how much Burton's movies mock people like me (non white, fat, disabled, depressed, female) has been such a depressing yet interesting journey. And accepting that I can like his work but not like him

  6. Also paranorman is one of the greatest kids movies to ever exist, and I love it so much, and it's the perfect horror movie for kids 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

  7. Honestly I'm glad you guys keep making videos about this movie because I was always kinda bummed that my low tolerance for animal death in movies made this a no go for me, and now I don't feel like I missed much after all.

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