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

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The Corpse Bride

  • Mar 16, 2011
  • by
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 have seen Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit and as good as it was, I don't think it should have beaten out this because I think this was better.


The Corpse Bride centres around the arranged marriage of Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) and Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson). The marriage was arranged by the families, who each had something to gain and couldn't care less about the happiness of Victor and Victoria. But to Victor's surprise, Victoria is a lovely charming young lady who would be great to marry. However, he fumbles his way through the vows and accidentally lights the dress of Mrs. Everglot on fire. He is in the woods practicing his vows when he accidentally places the ring on the wrong tree branch. For that three branch happens to be a finger on the hand of a very dead woman named Emily, who thinks they are now married.

Emily leads Victor into the world of the dead which is much more lively than the "dead" world of the living. There, he meets all sorts of wonderful characters and gets to know Emily better. He still wants to marry Victoria and his parents are out looking for him to convince the snobbish Everglots that he didn't walk out so the wedding will go on. I think its funny that the world of the dead is more lively than the world of the living, and the technical work really shows in that, but we'll talk about that later.

There's also the problem of Lord Barkis Bittern, a rival for Victoria's marriage. Victoria can't stand him, and rightfully so, because it turns out he killed Emily for her money and he intends to do the same to Victoria, only he doesn't know that she doesn't have any money. That's why she's marrying Victor, who does have money. Wacky adventures ensue, and the movie manages to be both humorous and sympathetic at the same time. I won't give away the ending for those of you who still haven't seen it, but it is one of the most beautiful bits of animation i have ever seen.

The visual style of this movie is of course, gleefully macabre, as per any Tim Burton film. I have this on DVD, and I've seen all the bonus features on how they did the claymation work for the movie and I applaud every single person who dedicated their time and effort to the claymation of this film because it looks beautiful. I loved that the difference between the world of the dead and world of the living is that the dead world is in colour and the live world is in black and while. That represented a great irony for me and it gave the movie a bit of a deeper message. All in all, the visual style was great. I'm not sure if this got nominated for best visual effects, but it definitely deserves it.

The voice casting and characters were also quite wonderful as well. The three mains are Johnny Depp as Victor, Emily (not Emma, Emily) Watson as Victoria and Helena Bonham Carter as Emily. They all turn in great performances and the auxiliary voice cast like Joanna Lumley, Christopher Lee, Albert Finney, and Tracey Ullman all turn in good performances as well but that's pretty much all that can be said for voice acting, so I'll move along with the songs. I love Danny Elfman's style, and why he didn't get nominated for his original score in this is a shock and a horrible snub. He also proves that his songwriting skills have not faltered with time since Nightmare Before Christmas as these songs are wonderful.

All in all, The Corpse Bride is not as good as TNBC (which I don't consider a Tim Burton film because HENRY SELICK directed it, not Burton), but it still holds a firm spot as my favourite Tim Burton film and for good reason. It has a creative plot and characters, is darkly whimsical, has stellar animation and music, and it has a deeper emotional context. I would definitely recommend this film to any fans of his work, plus those who are fans of dark comedy and all around darkness while still having great romance. Simply a great film.

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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 …
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 …
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 …
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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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