Sunday, June 15, 2008

It Rises to the Occasion

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride carries on in the dark, romantic tradition of his classic Edward Scissorhands and Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Set in a 19th century European village, this stop motion, animated feature follows the story of Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp), a young man who is whisked away to the underworld and wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride, while his real bride, Victoria, waits bereft in the land of the living. Though life in the Land of the Dead proves to be a lot more colorful than his strict Victorian upbringing, Victor learns that there is nothing in this world, or the next, that can keep him away from his one true love. It's a tale of optimism, romance and a very lively afterlife, told in classic Burton style.

Title: Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
Release: September 23, 2005
Genre: Animated
MPAA Rating: PG
Writer: Tim Burton, John August, Caroline Thompson
Director: Tim Burton & Mike Johnson
Music By: Danny Elfman
Produced By: Tim Burton & Allison Abbate
Distributed By: Warner Brothers Family Entertainment
Run Time: 76 minutes
Official Site

Tim Burton is a man the word “creepy” is synonymous with and The Corpse Bride only solidifies that fact. True, it is a bit gruesome at times but the songs and the personalities of the characters shine through so strongly that it’s impossible to dislike this wonderful film.

A lot like Nightmare Before Christmas but even better, this is a stop-motion animated film that just happens to be a kind of macabre reunion of all Burton’s favorite people he’s worked with like Johnny Depp (Victor), and Helena Bonham Carter (Emily, the Corpse Bride) whom he is now actually married to.

The animation is awesome of course (clay figures like Nightmare Before Christmas) but it's really the music that moves the movie along. Danny Elfman and Tim Burton's styles mesh together well. Elfman is the creator of this hauntingly beautiful, jazzy soundtrack. My favorite song would have to be Tears to Shed but the one that I think is the most fun and show how lively the dead really are is Remains of the Day. Just like Tim Burton has a very recognizable look to his films, Elfman’s sound is incredibly unique and what makes him one of my favorite composers of today.

While this movie is still a little gross, even gruesome at times and certainly macabre, it still somehow is manages to be kid-friendly and yet adults can enjoy it as well. I think Tim Burton himself describes it best: "Rather than make [death] this dark, unspoken thing -- which is kind of how I grew up -- I always liked the idea that it was more a celebration. It feels more positive, somehow, and more spiritual and right to me," he said.

Besides the usual Wikipedia and pages I also found an interview with Graham G. Maiden who was the supervisor for the puppets who make up the Corpse Bride characters and some original unused storyboards by Dean Roberts. I also found an interview with Johnny Depp about the film (text).




  1. I too enjoyed this movie. Very entertaining. I liked Nightmare Before Christmas better ("Kidnap the Sandy Claws" is one of the greatest songs EVER) but this was a worthy inclusion into Burton's pantheon of creepy animated movies.

  2. This is such a nice movie, and Nightmare Before Christmas is too.

    The characters are great in this one, I liked Victor and I thought the corpse Bride was so cute.

    great review!

  3. I have a Corpse Bride doll,throw blanket and small figurine(all of Emily,the bride)to show my love for this movie.

    It's much more of an adult orientated plot than Nightmare Before Christmas(which is probably why it did better on video than in theaters)but still just as sinisterly sweet.

  4. Ha, this brought back so many memories for me! Even today if I visit a daycare, I will find my way to their little library and look for a Dr. Seuss book and pull it out to read....



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