In episode #23, our hosts discuss James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931), Tim Burton’s short film Frankenweenie (1984) and the current feature film remake, concluding that in any form it all comes down to bad parenting and creations that just want to be loved.
Since Mary Shelley’s novel was published in 1818, Frankenstein’s monster has been reinvented multiple times, most famously in James Whale’s 1931 film adaptation starring Boris Karloff. In 1984, however, director Tim Burton and screenwriter Leonard Ripps took the old monster movie in a new direction.
In a live-action short starring Shelley Duvall, Daniel Stern and Barret Oliver entitled Frankenweenie, Burton tells the story of a young boy named Victor who tragically loses his dog to a car, but brings him back to life with lightning. You can watch the 30 minute short in full on YouTube, which if you’ve seen the 1931 version of Frankenstein is very obviously an homage. Some scenes would be deja-vu-inducing if it weren’t for the fact that the ‘monster’ is an adorable pet. This year, Burton is teaming up with screenwriter John August to make an animated remake.