The next time you find yourself flicking through the cinema listings London and see nothing that takes your fancy – treat yourself instead to a night in with Frankenweenie, which is just out on DVD.

The film, nominated for Best Animated Feature at the recent Oscars, is a “stop-motion” animated sci-fi family film directed by Tim Burton and is both a parody of and homage to the 1931 classic movie Frankenstein. In the story, the young filmmaker-cum-scientist Victor Frankenstein’s academic brilliance is noticed by a number of people including his classmates, the slightly creepy next-door neighbour, his girlfriend and various other characters.

But young Victor communicates little with them – preferring to communicate in his own way with his dog. Worried by his son’s weird behaviour, his father encourages Victor to play baseball – and young Frankenstein hits a home run in his first game. But tragically, his dog is killed by a car whilst chasing the ball his young master has hit.

Our hero is, of course, heartbroken; something he demonstrates in his own way. He then becomes inspired by his science teacher’s experiments with electricity on dead frogs, and decides to disinter his beloved dog to see what can be achieved with the judicious application of a little bolt of lightning!

The results are successful and the aptly-named Sparky sets off in pursuit of a cat before exploring the neighbourhood. But Sparky is recognised by Victor’s friend Edgar, who is one crazy individual; “I know, I know, your dog is alive; you did it, you did it, show me how or I’ll tell everyone”. On it goes and Victor is forced into an unwilling partnership which sees the two raising various creatures from the dead, including goldfish.

We won’t tell you anymore as that would ruin the plot too much of course. But this is a movie much less about the story (except for little kids of course) than it is about the way it has been made. The creative process in all regards is quite superb and the humour works at different levels. It may be a little selfish by Tim Burton; it is, after all, a remake of his 1984 short film of the same name, but it is simply unmissable.