Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
  • Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
  • Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

4.5 60
Director: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson

Cast: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter

     
 

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Tim Burton returns to the dark but fanciful animated style of The Nightmare Before Christmas with this stop-motion black comedy. Victor (voice of Johnny Depp) lives in a small European village in the 19th century, where he is pledged to marry Victoria (voice of Emily Watson), a partnership arranged by their parents. The two only meet the day before theirSee more details below

Overview

Tim Burton returns to the dark but fanciful animated style of The Nightmare Before Christmas with this stop-motion black comedy. Victor (voice of Johnny Depp) lives in a small European village in the 19th century, where he is pledged to marry Victoria (voice of Emily Watson), a partnership arranged by their parents. The two only meet the day before their scheduled nuptials, and Victor performs disastrously in the wedding rehearsal. Later that evening, while he is walking through the woods and hopelessly practicing his vows, he puts Victoria's wedding band on what looks like a branch. Victor quickly discovers this was a big mistake; as it happens, he has put the ring on the skeletal finger of the enchanted Corpse Bride (voice of Helena Bonham Carter), who then whisks him off to a dark and mysterious netherworld where they are now married. Victor is frightened in the land of the dead, and even realizes that he has fallen in love with his true fiancée, Victoria, so he searches for a way back to his own world. Directed by Tim Burton in collaboration with animator Mike Johnson, Corpse Bride features a stellar voice cast, including Albert Finney, Christopher Lee, Richard E. Grant, Joanna Lumley, and Danny Elfman (who also composed the film's musical score).

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Set in Victorian England, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, to quote composer Danny Elfman's merrily macabre lyrics, is a "tale of romance, passion, and a murder most foul." For the whole family! A funny thing happens to the buttoned-up Victor Van Dort en route to his arranged marriage to the shy Victoria. After making a fiasco of his wedding rehearsal, he flees into the woods, where he slips his intended's wedding ring on what he thinks is a gnarled tree branch. Alas, it is actually the finger of Emily, quite deceased, who is revived from her cursed deathly state, and according to the laws of the Netherworld, giddily expects Victor to make good on his vows. As he so vividly demonstrated in such films as Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, death becomes Tim Burton. The world of the "breathers" is rendered in drab grays and is populated by characters who are, by turns, repressed, vulgar, and greedy. The Netherworld, on the other hand, is a brightly colored, high-spirited place, where Victor is welcomed with open skeletal arms. “Why go up there when people are dying to get down here?” he is asked. The stop-motion animation, a painstaking art form, is truly dazzling. Indeed, these model characters have more personality and expression than many human actors. Credit goes not only to the artists, but to the superior voice cast: Victor, voiced by Johnny Depp, is a world apart from the flamboyant Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka; Emily Watson is a charming Victoria; and Helena Bonham Carter will break your heart as Emily, the Corpse Bride. Albert Finney and Joanna Lumley are also in great voice as Emily's aristocratic but financially desperate parents; and Tracey Ullman is, as always, a scream as Victor's social-climbing mother. Christopher Lee lends his sonorous tones to the role of Pastor Galswells, with Richard E. Grant as a sinister rival for Victoria's money…er, affections. Some of the eerie imagery and creepier moments (Victor’s initial frantic flight from Emily, for instance) may spook younger children, but the film's ceaselessly inventive comic touches, a rollicking musical showstopper, and friendly spirits ensure that Corpse Bride will live forever.
All Movie Guide
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is essentially a reunion of every actor, composer, or animator the director has ever worked with. This is good news if you're a Burton fan, not such good news if his familiar milieu has worn thin. Those entranced by Burton's gothic stylings will find Corpse Bride resembling an obvious source of inspiration, the drawings of Edward Gorey, perhaps more than anything Burton has filmed. The blue-tinted, chiaroscuro world of the living is practically an homage to Gorey's work, full of jagged angles, caricatures ranging from gaunt to rotund, and gnarled, haunting beauty. It's when Burton goes downstairs to the world of the dead that Corpse Bride begins feeling like a lazy rehash of his own work. This full-color revue of singing skeletons is his third such visitation to a land of campy undead, following Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The cheekily grotesque whimsy of these characters, with their removable body parts and PG-rated gore, felt fresh in those films, but here it just seems perfunctory and warmed over. Danny Elfman's lyrics and songs have also lost their charm to the point of anonymity, and his score, complete with its standard complement of ethereal choral voices, is as much a tired self-allusion as anything Burton's guilty of. Perhaps if the plot were sturdier, these elements wouldn't be so noticeable. Some obvious reservations aside, Corpse Bride is overall a winning achievement, as Burton's collaborators mostly continue to excel at what they do. The vocal talent is evocative, notably Helena Bonham Carter (Burton's "collaborator" in more than one way) as the forlorn corpse bride herself. It's just that such great things are expected of Burton as a visual trailblazer, it can't help but be disappointing when he doesn't go very far off the path.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2006
UPC:
0012569828506
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:17:00
Sales rank:
16,203

Special Features

Inside the two words; Danny Elfman Interprets the two worlds; The animators: The breath of life; Tim Burton: dark vs. light; Voices from the underworld; Making puppets tick; The voices behind the voice; The Corpse Bride preproduction galleries; Music-only track; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp Victor Van Dort
Helena Bonham Carter Corpse Bride
Emily Watson Victoria Everglot
Tracey Ullman Nell Van Dort/Hildegarde
Albert Finney Finis Everglot
Joanna Lumley Maudeline Everglot
Christopher Lee Pastor Galswells
Paul Whitehouse William Van Dort,Mayhew,Paul The Head Waiter
Richard E. Grant Barkis Bittern
Michael Gough Elder Gutknecht
Jane Horrocks Black Widow Spider,Mrs. Plum
Enn Reitel Maggot,Town Crier
Deep Roy General Bonesapart
Danny Elfman Bonejangles
Stephen Ballantyne Emil
Lisa Kay Solemn Village Boy
Nick Ingman Conductor

Technical Credits
Tim Burton Director,Producer
Mike Johnson Director
Allison Abbate Producer
Tim Allen Animator
Jeffrey Auerbach Executive Producer
John August Screenwriter
Steve Boeddeker Sound/Sound Designer
Martin Cantwell Sound/Sound Designer
Stefano Cassini Animator
Jo Chalkley Animator
Mike Cottee Animator
Phil Dale Animator
Brian Demoskoff Animator
Pete Dodd Animator
Danny Elfman Score Composer,Songwriter
Antony Elworthy Animator
Anthony Farquhar-Smith Animator
Tobias Fouracre Animator
Derek Frey Associate Producer
Michelle Guish Casting
Brian Hansen Animator
Jens Jonathan Gulliksen Animator
Pete Kozachik Cinematographer
Malcolm Lamont Animator
Chris Lebenzon Editor
Drew Lightfoot Animator
Harry Linden Production Manager
Nelson Lowry Art Director
Jonathan Lucas Editor
Jeffrey Lynch Original Story
Alex McDowell Production Designer
Matt Palmer Animator
Pamela Pettler Screenwriter
Joe Ranft Executive Producer
Brad Schiff Animator
Tracy Shaw Associate Producer
Jason Stalman Animator
Chris Stenner Animator
Ezra J. Sumner Asst. Director
Trey Thomas Animator
Caroline Thompson Screenwriter
Chris Tichborne Animator
Chris Tootell Animator
Mark Waring Animator
Tim Watts Animator
Charlotte Worsaae Animator

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