Teen science wiz Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) is the loneliest soul in town. His dog, Sparky, is his best - and only - friend. One day, Sparky is fatally struck by a car, leaving Victor bereft. Inspired by his science teacher Mr Rzykruski (Martin Landau), he brings Sparky back to life with a bolt of lightning.
This tempts hunchbacked classmate Edgar "E" Gore (Atticus Shaffer) to blackmail Victor into revealing his secret. Soon the entire town knows about the revitalising power of lightning and harnesses it to bring back all manner of animals, which wreak havoc on the town.
Disney loves to squeeze every last ounce out of an idea. Frankenweenie might have passed as a highly sophisticated short (or YouTube clip), but as a full-length film - in which Burton seems to be too overly committed to parody and homage - it falls short.
The attention to detail in the puppets is painstaking, but that can't save a film with a protagonist who is, ironically, as lifeless as a corpse.