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

New Movies

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...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

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.