After two dud movies in a row, it was a relief to watch this sweet little stop-motion animated movie about a boy and his (mostly dead) dog.
Little Victor Frankenstein is a geeky kid, a loner in the little town of New Holland. His best friend is Sparky, a sweet dog of indeterminate breed. When Sparky gets hit by a car, Victor is inconsolable, but inspired by his science teacher… gosh, look at the kid's name, the movie's title, and the picture over there on the right. Can you guess what happens next?
But once that happens, Victor finds it impossible to keep Sparky's secret to himself. His classmates, desperate to outdo Victor's achievement for the upcoming science fair, determine to replicate his feat. Their experiments turn out badly, but also hilariously. And there's also (of course) a mob with torches to persecute poor reanimated, misunderstood, Sparky.
The movie is filled with imaginative characters and little shout-outs and gags from old-time movies and TV. New Holland's mayor, for example, is named "Burgermeister", and he's a dead ringer for Burgermeister Meisterburger, the memorable bad guy from 1970's stop-motion Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town. (If you watch the movie, check out IMDB's connections page to see how many you caught and how many you missed.) (Actually, they miss a few themselves. Bambi Meets Godzilla anyone?)