Corpse Bride

"Good"

Corpse Bride Review


"Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" returns the director to his roots in the giddy macabre, and what an entertaining homecoming it is.

Using old-fashioned stop-motion animation (which Burton has improved upon since his first foray in "The Nightmare Before Christmas") to create atmospheric scenes populated by hoity Victorian caricatures and oddball creatures from a wonderfully weird underworld, the movie spins a fairytale fable of shy, awkward young Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp) whose arranged marriage to shy, pretty young Victoria (Emily Watson) is derailed when he accidentally gets hitched to a curvy, wide-eyed -- and decaying -- corpse (Helena Bonham Carter).

Although he's fallen in love with Victoria on first sight the night before they're to be wed, Victor is nervous about being thrust into 'til-death-do-us-part by his social-climbing nouveau riche parents and her family of snobbish but flat-broke aristocrats. Nervously practicing his vows in the creaking, snow-frosted forest on the outskirts of his gray industrial village (after fleeing the rehearsal ceremony), Victor slips Victoria's ring onto what looks like a naked branch sticking up from the frozen ground.

But it isn't a branch at all. It's the withered hand of a recently murdered young bride, who rises from her makeshift grave to say "I do," complicating poor Victor's life to a twisted and amusing degree.

The titular girly-ghoul has cold blue skin that no longer covers her whole bodacious body, or even her whole face -- a fact that Burton and co-director Mike Johnson (from TV's claymation comedy "The PJs") use to spooky effect when needed. Yet her innocent, milk-saucer eyes make her strangely beautiful -- even if one of them is popped out from time by a friendly maggot who sounds like Peter Lorre. So much of the corpse bride's heartbroken soul comes out in the film's stupendous animation that there's more personality in her body language and her pained, curious, expressive face than in the voice Bonham Carter provides.

Every one of the film's vivid characters has equally physicalized personality traits, be it Victor's downcast eyes and spindly, stick-figure frame, the severe local bishop's extra-tall miter and extra-long chin and nose, or the exaggerated features and comical pomposity of Victoria's rotund father (Albert Finney) and vampirical mother (Joanna Lumley). Many of them seem inspired by Terry Gilliam's cartoons from his "Monty Python" days.

Full of light-hearted dark comedy and harmless, Halloween-y, PG-rated putrefaction, "Corpse Bride" follows Victor into a simple but spectacularly realized Hades -- full of singing-dancing skeletons and friendly severed heads -- where the confused, lovesick corpse bride has a hard time coming to terms with Victor's desire to return to his mortal love. Meanwhile, in the world of the living, a sinister dandy (deliciously voiced by Richard E. Grant) with striped pants and a bulbous, buttock-shaped lantern chin has designs on Victoria, which suits her stuffy folks just fine.

Blessed with memorably iconic characters and a creative, if fairly predictable, plot loosely based on a Ukrainian folktale, "Corpse Bride" is quick (75 minutes), droll, and destined to be a perennial Halloween favorite. The picture's only weak point is a handful of fun but forgettable musical numbers by Danny Elfman, Burton's most favored composer of histrionic movie scores.



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.