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

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Corpse Bride: Great animation......boring plot.

  • Nov 8, 2005
  • by
Rating:
+1
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 night, I went to see Tim Burton's Corpse Bride with my husband and our eleven year old son. I have positive memories of Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, so I had high hopes for this newest of Burton's films. Alas, my hopes were dashed.

The film started out well enough. In the opening scenes, we learn that it's time for the wedding rehearsal of our leads, Victor (the voice of Johnny Depp) and Victoria. This marriage was arranged, for financial and social gain, by the parents. Victor and Victoria meet each other only briefly, right before the rehearsal, but they are smitten and quickly develop affection for each other. Victor is too nervous at the rehearsal, and keeps botching the vows. In embarrassment, he runs off to the dark forest. There, he practices his vows, even putting the ring on a thin tree branch sticking out of the ground. However, most unfortunately, this "tree branch" is really the extended gnarled finger of a dead woman, Emily, who, with her new ring, claims that she is now Victor's wife.

Victor is instantly sucked into the world of the dead, where skeletons are everywhere. The rest of the film consists of Victor's desperate attempts to disentangle himself from marriage to the corpse, and attempts to return to the land of the living. Meanwhile, Victoria and the parents are figuring what to do, with a wedding set to begin, but no sign of the groom.

Now, the first half of the movie was a treat to the eyes. The characters were wonderful caricatures, especially the parents. The animation and visuals were unique and dazzling.

However, the second half lost me completely. I lost count of the number of skeletons and other morbid figures that were dangled in front of my eye. Spiders and maggots. Endless jokes about corpses and death. Except that the jokes weren't terribly funny.

To be fair, even the second half of the film had some clever and adorable moments. At one point, the corpse bride, Emily, is tearfully singing her sorrows over what could the "other woman" (Victoria) possibly have that she herself doesn't have....she answers her own question....the other woman has things such as "a heartbeat" and "a pulse"....but Emily's pals comfort her by saying those things are "overrated". I have to admit, that song was cute and very humorous.

Also, Victor is reunited with his dead dog in the land of the dead, and this leads to some sweet moments and cute lines, such as when Victor asks him to "play dead".

The ending was farfetched and uncreative. A few silly actions are taken, and suddenly everything that was wrong, is magically right again, and they all "live" (pardon the pun) happily ever after. Very predictable. Yawn.

During the second half of the movie, there were so many visual effects, piled one on the other, that they seemed like a cartoonish gimmick very quickly. Also, the plot, what little there was of it, dragged on. Character development was clearly not a priority. I found that I simply didn't care if Victor made it back to Victoria or not.

The corpse bride herself was visually interesting for awhile, with her blue skin, bony skeleton, the hole in her cheek, and the one eyeball that kept popping out. However, even that became dull after awhile.

Basically, after the first half, I kept looking at my watch, and was happy that this movie was only 76 minutes long.


Is the film appropriate for children and did your son like the movie?:
My eleven year old son thought the movie was "ok". (He can be a kid of few words). The movie is rated PG. There are no issues with language or sexuality/nudity. Very young children could be frightened of the images of the dead folks.

If you are a die-hard Tim Burton fan and can be satisfied with great visuals and animation alone, then you might enjoy the movie. If you actually need an interesting plot and characters, you should just skip this film.

If you found this review to be helpful, please consider taking a moment to join Epinions. Then, you can rate my review. Thank you. Diana

Recommended:
No

Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 9 - 12

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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 . December 03, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
About the reviewer
Diana ()
Ranked #792
Just your basic mother, wife, doctor, email addict. Oh, and I have a bunch of hobbies and enjoy trying new things and meeting new people.
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About this movie

Wiki


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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Details

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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