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2005 stop-motion-animation film directed by Tim Burton and voiced by Johnny Depp

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Not Quite Enough For Young Or Old

  • Dec 3, 2005
Time Burton's "Corpse Bride" is a nice film, but just doesn't come quite together for the audience. I brought my daughter of four years to check this flick out. I didn't mind doing this since I've enjoyed almost all of Burton's films. The story, though somewhat garish, is a simple case of mistaken intentions. Johnny Depp's character, Victor, is so nervous to get married to a young woman named Victoria (Emily Watson) that he fumbles his lines during the rehearsal. Embarrassed after a clumsy series of events, he runs out into the forest to practice his lines. While going through the motions, he inadvertantly awakens a corpse bride named Emily (Helena Bonham Carter). She thinks he is intending to marry her and takes him as her husband.

As the story unfolds, we learn that Victor does have feelings for Victoria AND he feels sorry for poor Emily. We also learn that there is a dark villain with alterior motives using Victor's misfortune in his favor.

The characters are all quite wonderful, especially since they are voiced by the likes of Christopher Lee, Joanne Lumley, Richard E. Grant and Tracey Ullman. The humans, in typical Burton fashion, live in a dull world of greys and blacks while the dead are having a vibrant and colorful party down below. The addition of Scraps the dog was also fun, especially for the children.

The set design was brilliant. I have no complaint there. The stop-motion animation was perfect and at its quirky best. Notice the name of the piano manufacturer on the front of the piano when Victor and Victoria first meet. It reminds everyone where all of this stop-motion animation began. Burton definitely knows who deserves credit and he makes it clear on the piano.

My only real complaints are that the songs in the film felt uninspired and the story seems torn between being a children's folktale and a comedy. There were times during the film that I caught myself checking my watch. There were also times when my daughter got a little antsy in her seat and wanted to explore the theater. It seems like it would have been a wonderful children's tale, but it takes the storyline almost too seriously for children to really enjoy it. Even the scenes with the dancing skeletons became quite ho-hum after awhile. As far as adults are concerned, once you adjust to the wonderful, stylized look of the film, you're left wondering when this film will get funny or at least a little silly. In short, Burton seemed to interested in making this BOTH an adult and children's flick. Plenty of other films make this work, like "The Incredibles" and "Sky High." Unfortunately, Burton tried just a little too hard.

In closing I have to say that this isn't a bad film, it just gets a wee bit boring for the kiddies and the oldies while it attempts to attract both at the same time. Brilliant scenery, full of atmosphere, but a dull storyline make "Corpse Bride" worthy of three stars. I'd rent it or check it out at the discount theater (like I did) before buying it.

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More Corpse Bride reviews
review by . May 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I was so excited when i saw the ads for this movie, not only is it a brainchild of the one and only Tim Burton but it is done in stop motion animation! The Nightmare before Christmas is my all time favorites. I was suprised however that Disney did not pick up this project givin the amount of money they have made on Burtons other ventures. This is the story of victor who is in an arranged marriage with victoria when he accidently finds himself married to the dearly departed emily. After victor and …
review by . February 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
When love is enough to set someone free...
Getting married is always a joyous occasion, regardless of who one is getting married to, it seems! Well, at least when it comes to this quirky animation (rather than calling it a horror one!), love and marriage seem to be the theme. Death too.       At times, I wonder if kids will understand such adult themes. Then again, if they can understand Harry Potter, then all is well ;-) Animation has certainly come a long way since Cinderella and Snow White! This one is nothing …
review by . March 16, 2011
This is my personal favourite Tim Burton film for many reasons. I think Tim Burton is a brilliant director and he reached his zenith of epicness with this film. The Corpse Bride has a highly original story, a string of talented Tim Burton regulars (including Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter), stellar claymation, and Danny Elfman's kick-ass score and songs. Plus, viewers who enjoyed the rest of his movies will enjoy the delightful macabre tone of this film as well as the overall charm. I …
Quick Tip by . February 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
This is certainly a quirky kind of animation but I do like it. Just watched it on TV after midnight, kinda right for the time of the night! Love the scene where they were playing the piano and I do like songs. Love transcends death, or does it?!
Quick Tip by . August 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
not quite the love story that the nightmare before christmas had, but still amusing and well written. i love stop motion films.
review by . May 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Doesn't play dead     Cons: Too many plot holes     The Bottom Line: Corpsey!     Corpse Bride would have been an anime movie had it been created in Japan. Not just for the obvious reason, but because the Japanese have a genuine respect for the animated medium while Americans tend to see animation as a decent way to keep the young'uns quiet for 90 minutes. The Japanese use animation to the fullest imaginative extent they possibly …
review by . December 19, 2008
It's odd that Tim Burton's Corpse Bride should be released the same year as Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Perhaps it was just an unfortunate coincidence that the two films, both of which are stop-motion animation and feature the vocal performance of Helena Bonham Carter, came out in 2006. Both films are great and are award-worthy (W&G won the "Best Animated Feature" award).      Johnny Depp voices the prim and proper Victor who is to be married …
review by . November 08, 2008
Corpse Bride
Victor van Dort, son of wealthy but title-less fishmongers, is to marry Victoria Everglot, daughter of a titled but impoverished family. Victor stumbles through his wedding lines during rehearsal, and wanders off into the woods to practice. Unfortunately, Victor finally gets the lines right and awakens the corpse bride, a girl who died on her wedding day and has been waiting for her husband to return. The corpse bride, Emily, rises from the earth in front of Victor and accepts his vows.     Emil …
review by . November 22, 2008
If The Nightmare Before Christmas had your gruesome juices flowing   Or stop-motion animation stops your heart   Head off to Amazon my dears (Your favorite on-line merchant)   And drop the lovely Corpse Bride in your cart     Johnny Depp, Christopher Lee and Helena Bonham-Carter   Team up for this short movie `bout a bride   Betrayed by her betrothed on the eve of their betrothal   She dies, but never puts her hopes …
review by . November 08, 2005
Pros: Fabulous visuals, animation, caricatures. Mercifully, it was only 76 minutes long.     Cons: Absence of a plot. Absence of character development. Predictable ending.     The Bottom Line: Very uneven movie. I was impressed with the visuals and animation in the beginning, but completely unimpressed with the plot and character development that ensued.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. Last …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this movie


Corpse Bride
(often known as Tim Burton's Corpse Bride) is a 2005 musical stop-motion-animation fantasy film directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton. It is set in a fictional Victorian era village in Britain. Johnny Depp led an all-star cast as the voice of Victor, while Helena Bonham Carter (for whom the project was specially created) voiced Emily, the title character.
The film was nominated in the 78th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature, but was bested by Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. On a technical level it was shot with a battery of Canon EOS-1D Mark II digital SLRs, rather than the 35mm film cameras used for Burton's previous stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Director: Tim Burton
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 23 September 2005
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: John August, Tim Burton
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
Runtime: 76 Minutes
Studio: Warner Bros Pictures, Tim Burton Animation Co.
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