Written by John August and Pamela Pettler
Directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson
Running Time: 1:17
for some scary images and action,
and brief mild language.
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride was a pretty good film with terrific stop-motion animation and a solid enough story to keep you interested once the awe of the animation went away.
Victor and Victoria have been arranged to be married. Both sets of parents think that by marrying the other side, they'll become richer than they are, not realizing both families aren't all that well off. Victor is a little hesitant, for obvious reasons, and the day before his marriage, he runs off where he accidentally marries Emily a.k.a. the Corpse Bride. He's taken into her (under)world where he desperately tries to escape to try and get back to Victoria, but Emily keeps bringing him back. Throw in Emily's story of how she was murdered by her fiancé, and we now have a mystery to solve as well. Who killed Emily, and is it possible the same fate will befall Victoria? And in the end, who will Victor marry?
First off, is the official title of the movie Tim Burton's Corpse Bride or just Corpse Bride? I can't tell. Anyway, I wasn't a huge fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas so I was slightly hesitant to go out and see Corpse Bride, but considering how much I do love Tim Burton (in a purely professional way) as well as Johnny Depp (still in a professional way, but also in other ways... and no, I'm not gay) I knew I had to see Corpse Bride. The stop-motion animation was pretty amazing and I'm curious as to how some of the shots were done. My limited knowledge of the format is that you create puppets out of something (clay, wire, bamboo, whatever) then you film it for a few seconds, move the piece slightly, and film again, and so on and so forth. That much I get, but when the camera is flying in and out of a scene while the characters are moving, that impresses me. I made a stop-motion short film years ago and it took me 6 weeks to create a single minute, and that the final result was a poor man's South Park (before South Park existed mind you.) What they can do these days with computers and just overall know-how is impressive. But as always, once you get over the ooohs and aaahs, there needs to be something more to hold your attention. And thankfully in this case, there was.
The story of the Corpse Bride was an intriguing one. A woman who is murdered the night of her elopement gets married to a skinny guy with a big head and thinks her life is back on track. Although she is dead. The poor guy, who wasn't even sure he wanted to get married to a living, breathing woman, now finds himself married to a dead, and somewhat demanding, one. Her underworld life is exciting to be sure, as a lot of dead people like to sing and dance, and his dead dog is there as well. But there is that slight issue of her being dead, and his ability to breathe and have a heartbeat. What to do? Meanwhile poor Victoria, who was quite taken with Victor in their 5 minutes together, is now set to be married to some Lord that showed up out of nowhere. Who is this mysterious fellow, with an even larger head than Victor's? Emily sure knows who he is. You can see that there's a lot going on in the 74 minute running time, so there's never a time where you get bored watching. Something is always happening, and when you throw in a classic Danny Elfman score, complete with no less than 4 musical sequences, you're in for a good time.
There's something about having Burton and Depp together that just screams quirky. And looking on their past collaborations, it's not hard to see why. Their choices of movies are usually strange but generally successful, and that's when they work without each other. Throw them into the same movie, even in animated form, and you get fairly entertaining results. Frankly if somehow you get Burton to direct and Depp to co-star in one of the last two Harry Potter films, I may just pass out from anticipation. Although I'm trying to think what character Depp could play... hmm... he doesn't fit the mold for the new Potions professor, Horace Slughorn or the new Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour but I suppose with makeup he could play one of them. He is Johnny Depp after all. Someone call Warner Brothers for me and let's make this happen.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I enjoyed Corpse Bride, or Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, whatever you want to call it. The animation was cool, the music was great and the story was interesting throughout. I think if you see it, you'll have a fun time. And someone please call Warner Brothers for me. Thanks.
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