Earlier this year, Tim Burton remade his 1984 live-action short, Frankenweenie, as a feature-length stop-motion adventure, to some of the best reviews of his late career. It was a shrewd maneuver, because it reminded the critics (and audiences) who've savaged Burton the past few years for repeating himself that when the guy is on, he's capable of magic. Specifically, it reminded everyone that this is the dude who made The Nightmare Before Christmas. A big-hearted, goth-pop fantasia also rendered in jaw-dropping stop-motion animation, the 1993 film is such a wondrous achievement that, in retrospect, if Burton wants to do nothing but regurgitate his past until he quits the business, he's more or less earned the right. Nearly 20 years later, the movie's ability to inspire awe hasn't lessened, despite the many imitators born in its wake. I mean, it basically created the aesthetic of Portland's Laika studios all by itself.

  • Showing at: Laurelhurst.
  • Best paired with: Ninkasi Sleigh’r.
  • Also screening: Looper (Academy, Laurelhurst).