Lessons From 'Frankenweenie': How To Be a Mad Scientist

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So your dog got hit by a car. You can cry about it, you can blame Martin Short (it kinda was his fault) or you can take matters into your own hands. That's what young Victor Frankenstein does to bring his beloved pooch Sparky back from the grave in Tim Burton's feature-length stop motion animated film "Frankenweenie." He does it by following in the footsteps of the classic mad scientists that came before him.

So, if you find yourself looking to reanimate a corpse (or to make yourself invisible or a wolf or something) here are three things you are going to need to make that happen.

A Laboratory

And not just any laboratory, a properly pronounced laboratory. (Heavy on the first OR if you were having trouble.) A true mad scientist can't just book time in the dormitory common room. He or she needs a place to lay out the things that bring inspiration. Maybe a novelty mug bought at a truckstop? (Good place for pencils.) Plus a lamp. Cheap overhead lighting just sucks up all creativity. Once you've marked your territory you'll be ready to spit in the face of the Fates and commit all the hubris you want.

Tesla Coils

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You'll get double duty out of this one. Not only will it keep you in league with Nikola Tesla, one of our greatest mad scientists (he spent his last days talking to pigeons, if my memory of that Wikipedia entry I half-read serves me) but it will provide you with the much needed dramatic blue sparks at pivotal moments in your scientific endeavors. What good is a mad scientist without chaotic bolts of lightning zipping around the place, offering a visual representation of the barely contained, dangerous sparks of pure genius?

It may seem like a difficult think to get ahold of (they aren't sold at Wal-mart) but, hey, if Jack White can make one, how tough can it be?

Crazy-Ass Hair

The "Frankenweenie" kid doesn't have this, but I imagine it is because he is still subservient to his mother when it comes to the make and model of his coiffure. If you are going out as your own, however, into mad scientist territory, tufts of hair just itching to stand on end is certainly the way to go.

Keep in mind the loopiest mad scientist of them all: a nutcase by the name of Einstein. This whackadoo seemed to think that time and space were actually part of the same cosmic fabric, and were relative to one another. This maniac would have you believe that if you travelled in a rocket at light speed for a year or so you'd come back to earth and it would be generations later. (Whether or not Apes would be in charge, he didn't get into.) Anyway, he was able to sell the public on this hooey for no other reason than the fact that his hair was all over the place. Look it up.

Okay, with these three elements in place, you are prepared to violate God's law and manipulate Reason and the Scientific Method for your own personal (and probably nefarious) gain. A word of warning, though, that this will most likely backfire and you'll end up even worst off than you started. Unless you are a movie like “Frankenweenie” that completely wusses out on any sort of meaningful ending and promotes a bad moral to children, but to that, as they say, no spoilers.

Come back every Thursday for more intergalactic musings on Planet Fanboy and follow its fearless leader Jordan Hoffman on Twitter!

VMAs 2018