The Corpse Bride film review

Year: 2005

Directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson
Musical Score by Danny Elfman
Screenplay by John August and Pamela Johnson

With his second attempt in the feature-length animation genre, “The Corpse Bride” is another visually stunning film from Tim Burton. The story revolves around Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp), a young man who is about to be wed to Victoria (Emily Watson) in an arranged marriage. The sheepish and awkward Victor stumbles through the marriage rehearsal in front of Victoria’s snobbish parents and fails to make a good first impression. He then wanders off while practicing his wedding vows and inadvertently takes Emily (Helen Bohnam Carter) for his bride. With the given title, we obviously know what the conflict is, she’s a corpse.

The story may not be complicated in plot and this PG rated movie resolves itself in less than 80 minutes. However, “The Corpse Bride” is a true example of a labor of love from a visionary director; a love that transferred over to the screen successfully. The wonderfully elaborate sets, beautiful cinematography and gorgeously detailed clay models are all to be expected in the Tim Burton universe, but he never fails to surprise his audience. The clay models of Victor and Emily seem to move at twice the speed than Jack and other character in his “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

This may not be noticed during Oscar season but ground has been broken in the technology to make inanimate sculptures move as fluidly as computer generated characters in films like Shrek and The Incredibles. So, for stunning visuals and a buoyant Elfman score, The Corpse Bride is a cinematic gold and a great alternative to CGI saturated animation.

Review by Sherry Blackwell © FilmFetish.com

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