Corpse Bride

"Good"

Corpse Bride Review


Comparisons between Tim Burton's stop-motion endeavors The Nightmare Before Christmas (which he co-wrote) and Corpse Bride (which he co-directed) are inevitable and unfair. The former will always be the Neil Armstrong of this particular animation genre, the first feature-length example of its kind that injects a challenging medium with creativity and heart.

Bride, now the Buzz Aldrin of Burton's stop-motion movies, strains under the effort to duplicate Nightmare's success, but it simply lacks that new-car smell. While still inventive in parts, it's nowhere near as innovative. Burton and collaborator Mike Johnson are content to walk an established path where the superior Nightmare feverishly broke hallowed ground.

The divide that separates the projects runs deeper than that, though. Nightmare, simply put, is a much better movie that benefits from an unusual and imaginative story, captivating characters blessed with depth, and a memorable soundtrack showcasing Danny Elfman's macabre sense of humor.

Bride takes us on a safe trip back to Burton's familiar animated universe populated by bulbous, bell-shaped bodies propped on brittle twigs for legs. In this drab corner of the globe, Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) awaits details on his arranged marriage to Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson), a symbolic gesture that stands to benefit both families financially. Though he connects with his bride-to-be, Victor can't master his vows. His temporary uncertainty plunges our tormented hero into a foreboding forest where he accidentally proposes to a skeleton and unleashes the spirit of the dormant Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter).

Though Burton adopts the same visual theme, his animation techniques have improved. Character movements are fluid, and the color scheme ironically bursts to life when Victor follows his new bride back to the land of the dead. The animation's icy blues harken back to Burton's Batman efforts, particularly the Penguin's lair from Batman Returns. The film pays tribute to its predecessors, stenciling "Harryhausen" on the side of a piano and crafting Peter Lorre's likeness on a worm that lives in the Bride's skull. The story holds Grimm inspirations, and the dark humor hints at best of Nightmare without ever approaching its level of uniqueness.

We keep thinking, hoping, and praying that Bride will aim higher, but it never happens. The humor, from start to finish, overdoses on groan-worthy puns. Only two scenes stand out for their energetic choreography and imaginative conjuring, and both involve Burton's creatures from beyond the grave. Between these all-too-brief excursions, three screenwriters - John August, Pamela Pettler and Caroline Thompson - stumble through a routine marital-miscommunication storyline that, without clay, could serve as a cliché fest for the likes of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Runaway Corpse Bride, anyone?

Aka Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.

Why's it so quiet in here?



Corpse Bride

Facts and Figures

Run time: 77 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd September 2005

Box Office USA: $53.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $117.2M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Fresh: 156 Rotten: 31

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Victor Van Dort (Voice), as Corpse Bride (voice), as Victoria Everglot (voice), as Nell Van Dort \ Hildegarde(voice), as Pastor Galswells (voice), as Bonejangles (voice), as Finis Everglot (voice), as Barkis Bittern (voice), as William Van Dort \ Mayhew (voice), as Maudeline Everglot (voice), as Elder Gutknecht (voice), as Black Widow Spider (voice), Enn Reitel as Town Crier \ Maggot(voice), as General Bonesapart (voice), Stephen Ballantyne as Emil (voice), as Mrs. Plum (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.