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

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.