ON paper Tim Burton's latest film Frankenweenie is a classic boy and dog tale.
But behind the scenes this gothic-flavoured comic fantasy is a dark yet charming reflection of Burton's own childhood growing up in California.
From the director who brought the dark and weird tales of Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd to screen, Burton shows a bit of heart in this film.
Frankenweenie is a stop-motion horror parody which is an expanded version of a 30-minute, live-action short Burton made for Disney in 1984.
His bosses at the time told him he "wasted company resources" on a film too dark and scary for kids and fired him.
Almost 30 years later, Burton has 'resurrected' the film to bring together a masterpiece that fans would adore.
A young boy named Victor is traumatised when his beloved dog, Sparky, is hit by a car and killed.
Victor transforms his attic into a laboratory and uses the next lightning storm to zap Sparky back to life.
As is true of most of Burton's films, the look is a key selling point.
Bravely, Burton insisted on photographing Frankenweenie in black and white, similar to Corpse Bride.
Frankenweenie is a charming and dark film perfect for Burton fans and adventurous young adults.
- Starring: Charlie Tahan, Winona Ryder, Martin Short
- Director: Tim Burton
- Rated: PG
- Stars: 3.5 out of 4 stars