Corpse Bride – USA, 2005 – reviews

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Corpse Bride
, often referred as Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, is a 2005 stop-motion-animated fantasy musical feature film directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton. It is set in a fictional Victorian era village in Europe. Johnny Depp led an all-star cast as the voice of Victor, while Helena Bonham Carter voiced Emily, the title character.


In an unnamed Victorian Era European village, Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp), the son of nouveau riche fish merchants, and Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson), the neglected daughter of hateful aristocrats, are getting prepared for their arranged marriage, which will raise the social class of Victor’s parents and restore the wealth of Victoria’s penniless family. Both have concerns about marrying someone they do not know, but they fall instantly in love when they first meet.

After the shy, clumsy Victor ruins the wedding rehearsal and is scolded at by Pastor Galswells (Christopher Lee), he flees and practices his wedding vows in the nearby forest, placing the wedding ring on a nearby upturned tree root. The root turns out to be the finger of a dead girl clad in a tattered bridal gown, who rises from the grave claiming that she is now Victor’s wife.

Spirited away to the surprisingly festive Land of the Dead, the bewildered Victor learns the story of Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), his new “bride,” murdered years ago on the night of her secret elopement. Emily, as a wedding gift, reunites Victor with his long-dead dog, Scraps.

Meanwhile, Victoria’s parents hear that Victor has been seen in another woman’s arms, and become suspicious…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“While the script slightly creaks in setting up this love triangle, the simplicity of the story – realised in exquisitely gothic design – is among its greatest strengths. It doesn’t rely on the pop culture references and incessant wisecracking of Pixar toons, instead drawing you into a cosy world of Dickensian gloom cheered up with show tunes and a few mischievous twists.” BBC Movies

“If Charlie And The Chocolate Factory was Burton’s big picture for 2005, this is his miniature. With its brief running time, tight little story and sweet/sad Gothic fairy-tale feel, it’s more like the live-action Edward Scissorhands than Burton’s previous animated venture, The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Empire

Corpse Bride clocks in at a whiplash 74 minutes, and it might have been even shorter if not for several uninspired Danny Elfman songs, which here feel like padding. It’s as if Burton and his co-director Mike Johnson had one eye on the clock, so as not to bore…”

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