'Frankenweenie' is a horror classic of its own

Frankenweenie, the story of a young science nerd who brings his dead dog back to life with a blast from a lightning bolt, is an expansive adaptation by Tim Burton of his 1984 live-action short of the same name.

Designed to appeal to discriminating adults and older kids, the gorgeous, black-and-white stop-motion film is a fresh, clever and affectionate love letter to classic horror movies.

Warning: It is decidedly not for little children.

Transplanting Mary Shelley's 19th-century story to the 1950s, Frankenweenie centers on 10-year-old Victor Frankenstein, a bookish loner whose best friend is his dog, Sparky. After Sparky is hit by a car, a desperate, distraught Victor applies some half-remembered lessons in electricity and reanimates the pooch. All is well until some of Victor's classmates get wind of the secret experiment and begin resurrecting all of their dearly departed pets, too, including a hamster and some Sea-Monkeys. One kid, Toshiaki (James Hiroyuki Liao) unleashes a Godzilla-like monster when his late pet turtle turns into a giant, rampaging reptile.

It's great fun.

Extras include Frankenweenie touring exhibit, Pet Sematary music video by Plain White T's. Also, on Blu-ray: the original Frankenweenie short; another original short, Captain Sparky vs The Flying Saucers; and a Bringing Frankenweenie to Life making-of feature. Also available in 3D.

Frankenweenie retails for $29.99 or $49.99 on Blu-ray.