Family Film Guide: 'Frankenweenie'

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The Post-Gazette reviews movies from a family perspective:

Rated: PG.

Suitable for: Elementary-school children and up, particularly if the younger ones don't scare easily or won't be too upset by a beloved pet dying, being brought back to life and facing death once more.

What you should know: This animated movie is from director Tim Burton and is in black and white and, where available, 3-D. It costs more to see any movie in 3-D and requires moviegoers to wear glasses throughout. It's about a boy whose beloved dog, Sparky, is hit by a car, dies, is buried and brought back to life by his master, a 10-year-old boy who harnesses the power of lightning.

Language: None.

Sexual situations and nudity: None.

Violence/scary situations: This is where the movie earns its rating with the death of the dog (sensitively conveyed but obvious), the exhumation of Sparky and his return to life along with creepy or odd looking classmates modeled after classic monsters or actors. Other dead pets come back as scary versions of their old selves, either growing as tall as a dinosaur or becoming part vampire bat. Someone tumbles off a roof, is carted away by ambulance and is treated for a broken arm. A fire is life-threatening, a mob appears with torches and Sparky faces death a second time but remember it's a fantasy.

Alcohol and drug use: None.



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