Hello. Movie monday means let's discuss the latest movie seen by Sarah. Not let's stuff ourselves with cookies and watch a movie right this minute.

I honestly cannot say that The Nightmare Before Christmas was the movie of my childhood. That prize would have to be humbly accepted by another Disney movie. [try Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or Dumbo, and check my closet in 1997, for an array of articles themed either one of these.]

In fact, I only ever heard of Tim Burton's fascinating stop-motion in my third year at university, during animation class. We were watching the making-of, with those little Jack puppets and the thousands of little Jack expression heads, one hundred of which would have to be used for the purpose of creating perhaps one animation -say about thirty seconds- of Jack's head [fascinating, I know! You must, as always, be warned at the inaccuracy of my numbers and calculations*] and I wished I had thousands of interchangeable little heads to use when when people asked why I looked sad. [I am not sad! I just happen to have eveybrows that fall on the sides, naturally giving that insufferable suffering expression.]

Regardless, since that instant, I fell in love with Jack. The same way Rose fell in love with Jack. Except, my Jack was already dead, wore a cooler suit, and was taller, and leaner. I fell in love with Jack and The Nightmare before Christmas easily became one of my most favorite movies ever.

Which is why I was thrilled to watch Frankenweenie, Burton's latest stop-motion animation.
Black and white, with zombie-like faces, the only thing making me reluctant to start the movie was that fact that the hero was not a human, but a dog. I love animals, I really do. [No, I really do, I swear.] But I was curious to see how the dog alone could drive the movie itself.

As expected, my prejudiced thinking meant that I had to eat my words just one hour and a half later.

What was there not to love about the movie. Nothing, really.
The strong bond between Victor and Sparky made me long for a pet. You realize to what extent the magic of love [the one Harry's mother projected upon Voldemort's spell] works**.

And the movie, though made for kids [and I like to think that I am still one,] managed to move me [not that I am difficult to be moved. I'm heavy, yes, so if you push me maybe I'll be difficult to move, but I can be moved, sentimentally. Why are we suddenly talking about this?]

The story may trump the viewer with its dark and perhaps [seemingly] unfriendly, non-mass-market-oriented packaging, but the movie abounds with sweetness and love. Besides the [beautiful] characters, with the dark circles under their big eyes, the perfect setting, [Edward Scissorhands, anyone?] the stunning animation, I don't know what else to say.

Every time I recall that what I am watching is a stop motion animation, my heart leaps because I imagine the animators playing with these little characters. Molding them to their actual shape, before moving them according to each movement they make following the story board, and then watching the short little success of that brief piece of animation. How much pride does it bring! [And how jealous it makes me! But let's keep that a secret between us***]

Do I recommend the movie? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. You'll feel the love and the amount of emotion that Tim Burton manages to convey in one black and white animation, while others, with millions of thousands of colors, still fail [Ok, no need for drama, not fail, just, really do not convey as well.]

And thank woof.

*THEY ARE WRONG and I have no idea what I'm talking about. But you get it, right? Jack's coming to life cost the animators putting and pulling back his head a billion times.
**the magic of love is indeed real, but fiction, sci-fi, and bringing back the dead, on the other hand, are not.
***us: a pronoun that refers to me and you, and by you, what my head imagines are billions of readers, but what is actually the case are three of four of my faithful followers.


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