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The Corpse Bride Is To Die For
naturenut1 October 2005
I think that The Corpse Bride is a beautiful story. It's about true love and kindness. Johnny Depp is a perfect Victor Van Dort and all the characters are played wonderfully. The animation is superb from facial expressions to a reflection in a tear drop. The ending is one worth waiting for. It's an excellent film that all families should see. I'd suggest not taking children younger than 8 or 9. They might not understand the story line that young, but they'll love the dancing skeletons and the fun songs! That was a surprise: all the songs they sang. If there's one song you must hear it has to be the skeleton one, but also the piano sequence is beautiful as well. Hope you enjoy the film as much as I did!
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Entertaining movie, won't disappoint those that want to see it
LivinForMovies2 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I got to go to an advance screening of 'Corpse Bride'. The anticipation for the movie was high as the theater audience was clapping and yelling.

I had been afraid this was going to be too reminiscent of 'Nightmare Before Christmas', but it was delightfully original. That is potentially what I enjoyed most about the movie. It's quite an original story.

I commend Burton and all those who worked on this movie. I really enjoy watching the animation, and the characters are all very well developed. It's so good in fact, that I can't imagine this movie being done with real actors.

The songs in this movie are good and enjoyable. I don't enjoy them as much as I did 'Nightmare's', but they do justice.

The voice work in this movie is great. Depp(whose praise I'm not sure will ever stop) did excellent work. I don't think I would've known it was him, that is if I hadn't already. Albert Finney is great, and it's so nice to hear Michael Gough.

My only criticism of this movie is they don't always take enough time. It starts off wonderfully with the wedding rehearsal, introducing us to the characters and the situation. Then Victor takes ends up "running into" the corpse bride, goes to the "underworld", and the whole thing is explained with a song. I was left wanting more when it came to the corpse bride and the underworld. Then the movie continues at a nice level, just that one part left me wanting more.

It's a good movie. If you want to see it you shan't be disappointed. If you don't want to see it, it might be a pleasant surprise.
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A Work of Dark Art
EmperorNortonII5 October 2005
After enchanting audiences with "The Nightmare Before Christmas," Tim Burton brings another stop-motion animated spectacle, "Corpse Bride." In this story, Victor Van Dort, an inept young groom-to-be, can't make his way through his wedding rehearsal. Going outside to get his lines right, he accidentally winds up marrying the corpse of a murdered bride-to-be. The animation is spectacular, proving stop-motion can be good enough to compete with computer animation. Johnny Depp provides the voice of Victor, showing mild-mannered and nervous grace. Helena Bonham Carter is the voice of Emily, the Corpse Bride, giving the dead character lively emotion. One striking element of the movie is the color scheme. In the living world, there is no bright color, making a near-black and white appearance. The story is well-written, and the music is good. Overall, "Corpse Bride" must definitely be seen!
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Tim Burton Does It Again!
shawn272424 September 2005
In Tim Burton's dazzling Corpse Bride, both Tim Burton fan freaks (I was raised on Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice) and new inductees alike will find something to like here. The exceptional stop-motion animation (which has seen an upgrade since 1993's classic Nightmare Before Christmas) joins with top-notch voice talent (Depp and Helena Bonham Carter stand out here) and typically good score/musical work from genius Danny Elfman to create a wonderful movie-going experience. Yes, this is a movie for anyone - in fact, I think teens and young adults will enjoy it more than younger kids with its dark at times bold humor and fast-paced banter (particulary in the clever songs). NO, it is not as good as Nightmare Before Xmas, but it may be that it would be hard for any film to match that picture. As usual, Tim Burton is always at the top of his game when he sticks to his favorite formula - exploring the darkness of the human soul with off-beat humor. Well-paced and a terrific ending wrap up this well-crafted package! 9/10 stars - it's awesome.
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Real Emotions Breathe Life in THE CORPSE BRIDE
seaview126 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Don't let the creepy title of this animated, musical tale throw you off. In the tradition of other excellent, animated features of recent years, The Corpse Bride will surely rank as one of the best. Granted, this kind of film may not be for all tastes, but if you can get past the title and are game for a wondrous, haunting world of fantasy and love, then this is your meal ticket.

Victor and his parents meet Victoria and her family to attend a wedding rehearsal. Unbeknownst to Victor's family, it seems Victoria's parents are broke and desperately need the marriage to secure their future. Yet, marriage is new to the nervous Victor, and when he gets jittery at the church, he runs off and into the woods to collect his thoughts. There, he jokingly recites his wedding vows and slips his wedding band on a finger shaped piece of what appears to be wood. The next thing he knows, the wooden finger is a real finger belonging to a former bride, and she has sprung 'alive' to his offer of marriage. As Victor reels in horror and confusion at his 'corpse bride', he is whisked away to another world of people who have died. While the corpse bride is partly decomposed, she retains much of her former beauty. Yet others in this strange land are mere skeletons and rotted flesh. It turns out that the corpse bride was to be married, but her groom had evil plans for her. She has been waiting for her true love ever since her demise. Meanwhile, Victoria's parents are approached by a mysterious, handsome suitor who wants to marry Victoria. Victor must make a fateful decision and choose between the two brides even as the dead descend on the land of the living for a wedding ceremony like none other. One groom and two brides-what to do? This is Tim Burton's latest foray into stop motion animation, and he and Mike Johnson direct with economy from a relatively simple screenplay by John August, Pamela Pettler, and Caroline Thompson. The characters, especially Victor and the corpse bride, are well etched and create an emotional bond with the audience. Although we want Victor to marry his love Victoria, we grow to feel sympathy and attachment to the corpse bride as well. As for the images of the dead, Burton and company do a delightful job of making what, on the outset, could be grotesque and turning them into energized, playful souls. There is a terrific Peter Lorre homage with a worm who keeps popping in and out of the bride's eye socket. After a short time, the skeletal limbs and discolored dead no longer seem frightening or gross. Ironically the most colorful sequences involve the world of the dead while the living are painted in austere, lifeless mutes of gray.

Much of the production team are veterans of other Burton films. Longtime collaborator Danny Elfman again provides an atmospheric score and a handful of nifty, little songs to move things along. Even the voices of the principals are Burton alumni, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (Burton's significant other). Give Depp credit for voicing a British sounding character convincingly while others like Emily Watson, Albert Finney, Christopher Lee and Tracey Ullman, to name a few, are quite effective at bringing their figures to life. It's a testament to Burton's imaginative appeal that twice the usual number of major acting talents contributed to this work.

For all those who loved Burton's earlier produced efforts, The Nightmare Before Christmas (whose ghoulish nature is quite similar) and James and the Giant Peach, this is a worthy followup. The animation itself is virtually seamless, and the characters and figures move as in real life. It is a far cry from the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials of the 1960's. The set designs and costumes are very much Gothic in style. It seems that Burton is drawing from his own films or is perpetuating his influences as evidenced in his previous films like Beetlejuice, Batman, and Edward Scissorhands particularly in his obsession with the good and evil in man. It also delves into the perception of life versus death. Who is really alive and who acts like the nonliving? It is evident that the true antecedent of The Corpse Bride is Burton's own version of Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow with a nod toward Dickens (with its contrast in class distinction and its unsavory characters), especially the Miss Havisham character in Great Expectations.

The Corpse Bride marks a continuing peak in the current revival of animated feature films which was signaled by Toy Story a decade earlier and has been raised to new heights with such recent triumphs as Shrek and Finding Nemo. The final shot is a wondrous, memorable end that recalls the transformation scene in Disney's classic, Beauty and the Beast. In fact, so good is its animation and technique that it is easy to forgive any shortcomings in what is basically a one act, one note story albeit told with sincerity. With just a bit more pathos and storyline, Burton's team would have had an instant classic. It's a near miss, but its status as the best animated film of the year is secure.
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Makes You Feel Better About Death
classic_sara27 September 2005
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride was one of the best animated movies I've ever seen. My mother and I are so happy that he made another beautiful and original animated film since The Nightmare Beofre Christmas because we waited for it for 10 years. I'm glad to say that the wait was worth it. The Corpse Bride is a wonderful emotional yet fun story with heart. We had a wonderful time watching it in the theaters and we can't wait to go see it again this weekend. The visuals are so amazing that you'd have to go see the movie with your own eyes for its impossible to explain there perfection. The characters all look stunning and there are so many wonderful new characters in this movie that will keep your eyes glued on the screen. The voices of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Emily Watson are packed with fantastic emotion and acting. The score goes very well to the movie and the four songs that are performed sound wonderful. My favorites were "Remains of the Day" made me feel like dancing: it was such a jazzy fun song with the cool voice of Danny Elfmen. And my other favorite was "Tears To Shed" it broke my heart. Helena Bonham Carter sang that song with such heartbreak I loved it! The story is very entertaining and it has so much heart in it and Gothic like background. I loved the dialog some of my favorite lines were "Why Go Up There When People Are Dying To Get Down Here" and "Can A Heart Still Break Once It's Stopped Beating." But the most important thing is that this movie makes you feel less frightened about death. Death in this movie is a lot funner than living and the dead are always having a good time and partying that you feel like dying is not so bad. You should take anyone to see this movie if their paranoid about death it will soften their fears, Overall I strongly encourage anyone to go see this movie. I hope Tim Burten wins the Oscar for best animated movie this year. He truly deserves it! Thank you Mr. Burten for the Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas and years worth of your great films.
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This film is 100% spectacular!
a_joining_spark24 September 2005
This film is 100% spectacular, in my opinion. As we all know from the previews prior to the release, Johnny Depp's character must choose between his living and dead brides, essentially. To be perfectly honest, throughout most of the film, I was undecided on who I thought he'd choose and be able to work it out with. This is accounted for by wonderful story-fying and lovely screen writing! Danny Elfman is the musical genius still, not that I had any doubts.

Overall, throughout my viewing of the film, I was in awe, gales of laughter, near tears, or just plain excited! Tim Burton has done it again.

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Magic Music by Elfmann
Elvison27 September 2005
Corpse Bride works for me on so many levels but outstanding is the integration of music and words. The musical that blended the words and music to such a level that one could hardly imagine the film without the composer's contribution. This should be advertised as Danny's production as was the practice of Rogers and Hammerstein, or Irving Berlin or Cole Porter. We have a new art form here: the animated opera. Music is alive and well in the world of the dead. The music in the titles presents themes which continue into the film. An important part of the love story is the interest of the main characters and their methods of expression of emotion via piano music. The characters exist in an aura of sound. Imagine a Russian epic without the Lara Theme or Rick's place without Sam's piano. This film has achieved an identity that says this is music and this is what the movies has to say. All awards to those involved!
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Still Smiling at Burton's Talent...
kmlaing3 September 2005
I gotta tell you.Animation films these days are just getting better and better.Tim Burton's directing and vision succeeds once again.For almost the whole movie,I could tell everyone in the theater was enjoying it.

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were fabulous voices,the music and songs were just right for the mood,and the story was actually quite different from The Nightmare before Christmas.Altogether it made an enjoyable,clever and funny movie,that I think you will want to see over and over again.Take your friends.Family or relatives to see this classic movie.Trust me you will NOT be disappointed.Or at least I wasn't disappointed
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Honeymoon for "Corpse Bride"
XFLRWF17 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Hello all. I had the privilege to catch an advance screening of "Corpse Bride" today so here's my take on it.

Presenting subjects which are typically dark and frightening and show them in a positive light has long been a trademark of Tim Burton. In the director's latest film, "Corpse Bride", Burton spins death and murder into a charming musical about the power of love. Burton applies the same technique as with his last stop-motion picture, "The Nightmare Before Christmas, but with a more fluid and smoother effect. Lead by the vocal talents of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, "Corpse Bride" is a terrific achievement of film-making.

On the day of their wedding rehearsal, arranged lovers Victor (Johnny Depp) and Victoria (Emily Watson) run into a complication with the ceremony: Victor cannot remember his vows. While practicing in the forest, Victor mistakenly places the ring on the finger of a dead woman (Helena Bonham Carter) and is immediately married to his new bride, Emily. While Victor searches for a way out of the underworld and back to Victoria, he learns of the devious plot of how Emily was murdered and experiences the beauty and charm that still resides in her. Victor must decide whom he loves more: his bride-to-be or his corpse bride.

Tim Burton and Mike Johnson create a contrasting yet complementing world. The background and setting for the living is dark and cloudy. This is matched by the dark clothing, mundane lifestyle, and pale complexion of the citizens. Characters who are more full of life and color occupy the underworld, a location that is supposed to be bleak and gloomy. The stop-motion animation style is accomplishedly used to bring these objects to life. They never fail to capture emotion nor are they afraid to be as outrageous as they can with the characters' design and movements. This is best illustrated when the directors capture an elaborate song and dance number detailing Emily's demise.

The screenplay penned by John August, Pamela Pettler, and Caroline Thompson feels targeted for younger members of the PG audience. There are many puns is regards to death, e.g., "dead right", and the end is predictable thanks in part to an obvious foreshadowing detail. But that is not to say the film is a failure. The writers do a great job with tackling the morbid topic of death and turning it into a love story.

Whenever there is a Tim Burton film, Johnny Depp will usually be leading the charge. "Corpse Bride" is one of those instances. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter lead a talented cast of actors in providing the vocals to their characters. Depp gives Victor the frightened, insecure persona that befits the young man who is unsure of just about everything in life. Emily Watson does the perfect counterpart for Victoria. She is more confidant and less shy than her groom-to-be and she brings out the more attractive qualities of Victor. Carter provides Emily with a loving and caring demeanor. She genuinely cares for and loves Victor and she will do anything to make him see that. Even more skillful is her ability to bring out Emily's sadness. Audiences will feel her pain when she cries and the emptiness she feels when all she needs is love. The supporting actors are also expertly cast including Christopher Lee, Albert Finney, and Michael Gough. Each performer's voice brings out the ideal quality and trait of their character that one can imagine them performing the role in the flesh.

The title of "Corpse Bride" almost gives the wrong impression about the film. The movie is a love story albeit with a darkened twist. It is not meant to be frightening but rather it shows a peaceful and romantic co-existence between the living and the dead. Audiences will be fascinated with the seamless quality of the animation and the vocal talents that give the characters life. For "Corpse Bride", the honeymoon is about to begin.

CORPSE BRIDE Starring: Johnny Depp, Helen Bonham Carter, Emily Watson

Grade: A-

Honeymoon for "Corpse Bride" 8/16/05 (released 8/23/05)
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Tim Burton and Danny Elfman do it again with a macabre romance only they could successfully make!
Mike_Wiggins5 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I recently did something that I haven't done for over 20 years: I bought a movie soundtrack. That was because I was so enchanted by Danny Elfman's score in "The Corpse Bride" that I HAD to hear it again ... and again. What with the haunting main melody heard throughout the movie contrasted with the catchy jazz tunes of the underworld (the name of the lounge was the "Ball and Socket") plus songs like "The Remains of the Day", "Tears to Shed", "The Wedding Song" and a brief piano solo (and a piano duo), I really felt, as some IMDb reviewers have alluded to, that I was watching a Broadway production. It was also interesting to note that Danny Elfman was the voice of the underworld band leader (Bonejangles).


Now that you know that I loved the music, I will say that I really liked the movie. I found the plot a bit weak but still quite enjoyable. While we, as the audience, are supposed to empathize with Victor's dilemma at having to choose between Victoria and the Corpse Bride, to me it lessens Victors character because it shows him as being wishy-washy and even a bit of a jerk. I just wished he were given a little more backbone. At the end of the movie, when the Corpse Bride makes her metamorphosis (quite beautifully I might add), the trouble is that there is no apparent vehicle for this change. While it doesn't ruin the movie, it kind of leaves me hanging wondering "What just happened?" For example, I would think that the maggot, who is resident in the Corpse Bride's eye, could have been revealed to really be a caterpillar and from there you have the vehicle for the change. I really liked the pre-wedding celebration in the underworld. This joyous part of the movie was probably the most difficult to compose and shoot what with all the motion. The music at some points in the celebration reminded me of Walt Disney's "Cinderella" when the mice were making Cinderella's dress. It is only one of two places (that I remember) where Danny Elfman's score shifts to major key, instead of the traditional minor key in Burton/Elfman collaborations.


The stop-motion animation is exquisite. For example, the movement of cloth (including veils) was amazing. In the attention-to-detail arena, there is a skeleton dog in the underworld whose movements were so good I thought I was looking at a real one. It still amazes me how you can make a stop-motion production that includes the numerous combinations of pans and zooms that this movie had. I can only imagine the agony there must have been trying to shoot it, not to mention re-shoots. If you read the TRIVIA section, you will notice that " took the animators 28 separate shots to make the bride blink." Many other, less patient or less funded, animators would have settled for 8 separate shots.

Now, as for rating the movie, it was more difficult for me than I expected it would be. In the end I give the movie 9 stars. But I will say that without Danny Elfman's score, I would have rated "The Corpse Bride" at 8 stars. To those in IMDb-land who have made comparisons between Elfman and Richard Rogers, I am beginning to believe you're absolutely right.
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Another beautiful Tim Burton movie
trickyhappyelf11 September 2005
i just saw this movie at the Toronto film festival. Tim Burton, as with most of his movies, makes the setting and visuals the most important part. And what a beautiful movie it was, the animation was astounding. You could tell that each frame was tirelessly worked on in order to make each little piece have its own distinct look. The plot is unimportant, and cliché, but that doesn't matter. This movie shouldn't be watched for the storyline. The voice acting was very convincing, especially the lead, Johnny Depp, who does a great job as the shy, clumsy Victor. The only character i really didn't think was needed was the worm, who was just included just for some childish comedic relief, which took away from the dark mood of the picture. Though not as enjoyable as "Nightmare Before Christmas" it still was a very good animated movie. 8.5/10
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Chopin's Grave
tedg6 January 2006
I liked this a lot, and a large part of the reason is that it is pure a Burton film as we are likely to find.

And when I say Burton, I mean that oddly successful collaboration between him and Elfman colored by commercial realities.

The big picture is that there are very few filmmakers with the skills and courage to be unique, to make movies that only they could. This goes beyond style into the nature of the soul.

If you do not have an interesting soul, you cannot be an artist. If you do not have the courage and ability to reveal that soul in some way to us, you cannot either. So hurrahs for the few in the world of film that do.

In a way, this film is a notion expanded around Ub Iwerks' (yes, that's a real name) "Skeleton Dance" done for Disney and quoted in a couple more hip Betty Boop cartoons. In another way, it is a simple date movie: boy gets girl, boy loses girl by misunderstanding, boy gets girl back and the thing ends in a wedding.

And also in a way, it is a love poem to his girl friend. I'm fascinated by these things, where a talented director (usually a man) can shape the image of the woman he loves. Films DO influence how we think of love, but this is more genuine and powerful than any of them, this real love that shines through purely cinematic means. Just think about casting the woman you love as a corpse! She is as alluring here as she has even been.

But beyond that is something that is more lasting, the business between Depp and Burton. Johnny is a fine actor, but many fine actors don't get the opportunity to explore new and unknown corners of darkness. He has and is better off for it. And so are we, though whenever this happens we end up with a new character template that inevitably becomes a stereotype. Depp already mines that stereotype in his Pirate movies.

But what concerns us here is how Burton/Elfman deepens what he has with Depp. He introduces the character as a pianist, and does so with a piano piece. That piece is a skillful blend of Chopin and pop, but more on the Chopin side. For many, Chopin is the most nakedly emotional yet dark soul they will encounter. No humor, only intimacy and passion.

So two clever things were done with this. The first is that the Depp persona (though an animated avatar here) was made deeper by reference to our deepest pianist. The second is that a few musical scenes and effects are set up, all of which reference the scene in some way. There's a sweet musical duet with Helena where they do fall in love. There may be few things more lovely than making love via music played to each other -- with each other.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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Exquisite (haven't seen that word in a while)
Cel_Stacker12 October 2005
Burton takes another playful swipe at his stop-motion heroes with this nicely-done treat.

Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) is a milquetoast. A bumbling, unlucky dreamer. To make things worse, his parents (multi-talented Paul Whitehouse and Tracey Ullman) are forcing him into the classic "arranged marriage", which is more like a contract with the cash-strapped but aristocratic Everglots (Albert Finney & Joanna Lumley). Things turn around, however, when he meets his intended, Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson) who is actually very attractive, inside and out.

The ceremony is as arranged as the marriage, unfortunately, and the frustrated minister (Christopher Lee) demands that Victor take time out to PRACTICE HIS VOWS. This too, is awkward, as in the midst of his rehearsal, Victor places a ring upon a corpse's poking finger (just the place to rehearse a wedding, a cemetery) thus rousing the title character (Helena Bonham Carter), who leads Victor on a voyage through life and death and an unwitting quest to figure out what he really wants.

Exquisite, yes, and enjoyable, but not without a few flaws. Most of the songs, while well written, feel out of place, and potentially powerful villain, Barkis Bittern (post-Doctor Who Richard E. Grant) doesn't seem to be allowed to do enough. But the good far outweighs the bad--moviegoers who get past the title will find a light-hearted romp that is rife with parody and spoof, from the Harryhausen brand piano to the diminutive character Bonesapart (played by the diminutive Deep Roy). A cameo by Jack Skellington would have been cool (O.K., Disney) but Danny Elfman's Bonejangles does pull off an eye-popping number. Even the unsettling, Peter-Lorre-channeling maggot residing in the Bride's skull threatens to steal the show. Good cast (with many Burton stalwarts, incidentally), with the philosophy that less is more make for a good time.

Like it or not, it is well-worth noting that this film delivers many firsts to film-making, including new-style digital camera-work on refined stop-motion. To animators and film students, this offering comes highly recommended.
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Comes Alive When It's Dead
ccthemovieman-120 January 2007
This stick-figure animated film offers good visuals, inventive-looking characters (that being perhaps the most fun of the film), and a decent story that finished with a very nice ending. There are songs in here but they are only so-so, and certainly not the attraction to the film.

The story starts off slowly, but once the characters went down under into the land of the dead, not only did we finally start seeing some colors other than blue, but the whole film came alive and pretty much stayed that way until the end.

As with good animated movies, there is so much you can see that you can't take it all in. It's a feast for the eyes with all the wild-looking characters and nice drawings. Getting good visuals from director Tim Burton is no surprise; he always comes through in that department. Unfortunately, he also usually delivers an anti-religious cheap shot or two.. Here, the minister is pictured as a sour old guy. Burton also pictures clerics in a negative way, and the occult in a positive way. However, he certainly makes interesting films, no matter what the subject matter, and there usually isn't a lot of profanity in his films. There is none here whatsoever.

Overall, an inventive film and fun to watch once you get past the slow first part.
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The audience applauded!
sirens_cry18522 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
As the credits came up, the audience applauded. How often does that happen?

Utterly wonderful, pure Burton, with all trademarks - dog, snow, favourite actors, oblique references to earlier Burton films. Like Nightmare? Only in the sense that it's easily identifiable as a Burton Stop motion movie! The cast were perfect; is it my imagination, or do some of the characters vaguely resemble their actors faces (NOT Ms's Lumley, Horrocks or Ullman - but that chin on Barkis Bittern....) Danny Elfman again proved that he can translate Burton's concepts into music. We came out singing the songs.

Beautiful, bittersweet the lights came up, I was wiping away a tear. Like all TB films, though, the more you know of him and his films, the more you'll enjoy it. Can't wait to see it again!
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'Til Death...
jon.h.ochiai2 October 2005
Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" is deceivingly titled. Though its lead character is in fact dead, "Corpse Bride" is inspired dark comedy and an unexpected touching love story. "Corpse Bride" is traditional stop action animation—a very time consuming process. A lot of time was also invested in the movie's storytelling. "Corpse Bride" is a macabre fairy tale. Director Tim Burton is either hit or miss for me. Burton as usual is absurd and eccentric, but here he also follows a conventional fairy tale in spirit. This is largely due to the screenplay by John August, Pamela Pettler, and Caroline Thompson. Their crafted tale is funny, clever, and also in love with its characters. Burton's "Corpse Bride" is all hit. An almost unrecognizable Johnny Depp voices Victor Van Dort the young man who inadvertently "marries" the Corpse Bride (voiced by the wonderful Helena Bonham Carter). Being that they are literally from different worlds—one being that of the living—their future is cursed, so to speak. Their believable love story ultimately makes "Corpse Bride" this wildly funny dark fairy tale about love and selflessness. Very cool stuff.

Victor (Depp) is victim of an arranged marriage to Victoria Everglot (the very charming and strong Emily Watson) of the noble, but bankrupt Everglot family. The Van Dorts are the nouveau rich, in search of title. Hence this marriage fulfills title and wealth. Win. Win. You would think. During the rehearsal a suspicious relative Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant) arrives a day early. Even his name is unsavory. Although Victor accidentally finds his soul mate in Victoria, he can not bring himself to follow through with the rehearsal. He flees to the forest. There he professes his vows to his true love, and the Corpse Bride (Bonham Carter) accepts. They leave for the world of the dead—the catch being that Victor still has a heart beat. Victor's stay is both hysterical and just plain weird.

"Corpse Bride" does telegraph a plot point prematurely, but overall the story has a charming and touching twist. Credit its amazing voice actor talents. Johnny Depp gives Victor an innocence and strength of character that is never frivolous. Emily Watson threads the fine line as the "other woman". She gives Victoria great compassion and heart. This is really Helena Bonham Carter's showcase. As she voices the Corpse Bride she is initially unaffected, not realizing her fate. Then there is a visceral sadness when she comes to terms that she must go without love. She poignantly says, "My dreams were taken from me." So does she now take this away from someone she now loves? This really makes "Corpse Bride" a funny, inspired, and special movie. This is Tim Burton's best work. See "Corpse Bride".
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Good animation, but not one of Tim Burton's best
AlsExGal31 July 2015
I probably would have liked this movie more if I had not already seen - many times - "The Nightmare Before Christmas" which was a brilliant and original piece of work. This movie does share some of that movie's qualities - haunting soundtrack, bumbling authority figures, a tall thin protagonist who is searching for something, a heroine whose limbs easily detach, and a dear departed house pet. It also has some interesting ideas of its own - the living looking and acting as though they were already dead, versus the dead living it up, since they have no more worries and forever to look forward to with the prospect of all of their loved ones returning to them one by one. In fact, the only time the living seem happy in this film is when the dead return to the land of the living for a truly unique wedding and instead of menacing or haunting the living, there are tearful and happy reunions. However, the individual characters in this film are just not that interesting.

In short, even though all of the characters in "The Nightmare Before Christmas" are dead, they just seem more alive and motivated than the characters in this film. Also, this movie is darker than "Nightmare" and not as funny, so kids under 10 might find it too intense and probably not as interesting. Thus, although it is worthwhile viewing, I'm just afraid that Tim Burton set the bar too high with his previous animated film.
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Tim Burtons Second Best Stop Motion
zyyxz20 September 2005
I am part of a select few here in the las Vegas area, that have been privy to a advance screening of THE CORPSE BRIDE. I have to say it was one of Burton's best. I used to think his animated short VINCENT, was his second best. Having JUST seen the movie ( no more than 45 min ago ) This movie was just as good as nightmare. Actually, you could see were there are even better moments in the CORPSE BRIDE. ( IE new camera moves ).

All in all, this movie is a 10!! I am going to be seeing it MANY more times before it is let out of theaters. HIGHLEY recommended!! As always, Mr. Burton has NOT let us, his lowly Fanboys down! ;)
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Roo1028913 October 2005
I saw this movie recently, seeing as Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are some of my idols, and i have to say i was never, at one time, disappointed. The animation was superb, and the undertaking to attempting to get every scene up to satisfaction(for something is never perfection) was very impressive. The voices for the characters were well chosen and the design and characteristics of the characters was very vivid and real-like. I am going back to see it this weekend, and am sure the movie will be just as enjoyable. Johnny Depp was very interesting to watch mold this character directly from just working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and still manage to make this character just enough before falling over the edge. The music by Danny Elfman was again, like always as he tends to pair Burton often, was quite mystical and serenading.
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Well made, but disappointing.
coyote-433 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was looking forward to this movie because I'm a huge Tim Burton fan, the concept is GREAT, and the animation looks fantastically amazing.

I really, really wanted to love this movie.

As far as the visual direction goes, I was not disappointed! The set design is beautiful, the puppets are beautiful, and the animation is incredible! The directing and editing is terrific. If I must compare this movie to Nightmare Before Christmas, I admit Corpse Bride was, at least, much more visually stunning.

The story, however, is a disappointment. The visual storytelling and the voice acting is good, but the actual plot and script leaves much to be desired. The first musical number was a good introduction to the setting and plot, but the others seemed like wasted opportunities to get to know the characters better. The subplot with the villain seems to just get in the way of telling an interesting story. Overall, there was a lack of motivation and character development in the main characters.

At the end of the movie, Victor and Victoria haven't changed at all. You get the idea they're both still just following their parents wishes. The ending is confusing as Victor and Victoria haven't really gotten to know each other at all. --and you never really learn if Emily loved Victor or just the idea of getting married. I'd have liked to see the characters evolve. Especially Victor. I'd have liked to see him do something because HE decided to, not because someone else told him to or made him feel guilty.

As a Burton fan, it was a big relief to see that while he was the director, he was NOT the writer. Watch this movie for the visuals if you're an animation fan, but don't expect much else (besides selling a lot of toys at Hot Topic).
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A Nutshell Review: Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
DICK STEEL30 September 2005
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp? Sign me up for it, anytime! I've pretty much enjoyed their collaborations, from Edward Scissorhands to Sleepy Hollow. Hot off the heals from their box-office success Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, their latest collaboration sees Depp lending his voice to Burton's macabre vision in a stop motion animated movie, along the veins of Nightmare Before Christmas (NBC).

The story's a little bizarre, a little morbid, but hey, it's Burton on familiar grounds. The Von Dorts and the Everglots have agreed to an arrange marriage between their children Victor (Depp) and Victoria (Emily Watson), but Victor, fumbling the marriage rehearsals, runs away to seek solace, and accidentally unleashes the Corpse Bride Emily (Helena Bonham Carter, giving the character an impeccable Brit accent). So begins a crazy love triangle of sorts, involving characters from both the realm of the living and the dead.

Surprisingly, Burton managed to squeeze a couple of subplots into this relatively short film, and touched on themes like arranged marriages, what's in it for both families (The Von Dorts are the newly rich, wanting to add prestige to their family name, while the Everglots are bona-fide aristocrats who've gone bust, and need the dough to continue their lifestyle and save face). Different facades of love are exhibited between Victoria-Victor-Emily, one which is the more conventional (and maybe improbable?) "love-at-first-sight", while the other, growing to love a person (though it happened within 24hrs, so what?) You might be able to guess the ending and the relations between some of the characters mid-way through the movie, though some might prefer an alternative ending. If you're acquainted with Burton's works, it's typical of him and his style, so you'll see it coming the way it was, as per his dark visions.

The art and characters are very NBC-like too, with their small heads and extremely long limbs. Stop-motion is difficult to do, and watching it in a digital format brings out the crispness of the figurines. Burton loads the film with many supporting characters, each with its own zany behaviour, and some even spoofing characters from movie classics. Somehow Christopher Lee's Pastor Galswells suffered from LOTR's shadow and always reminded me of Saruman, though I think the reference was unintentional.

And what's an animated flick without humour? Corpse Bride has tons of references, and both physical and dry humour to satisfy both camps. The music's also top-notch, but what can you less expect from another long time Burton partner Danny Elfman? Though you can hear shades of Batman in the instrumentals, the songs and lyrics are really a class of their own, bringing this musical to life, just like what Elfman managed to do for NBC.

Highly recommended, even if it means forking out S$9.50 on a weekend for a less than 80 minutes show. I can't wait for another dark stop-motion animated movie from Burton. Bring it on I'd say!
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Can't there ever be a animated movie that sustains a darkly beautiful tone?
Jacques9829 October 2008
I'm not a huge Tim Burton fan—Sweeny Todd was decent, but that's all I can really give him—and I've never seen The Nightmare Before Christmas, so I can't compare this to it. If you're looking for an unbiased review, this is one of the few you'll get.

First of all, for an animated movie, this is one of the better ones I've seen. The themes running though are not overdone clichés—unlike, say, Wall-E—and it was very nice to see women in an animated film fighting for the man, and not clichéd vice versa. The plot line itself is something similar to what you'd read in a kid's horror anthology, but it totally worked for this film's style. More importantly, the plot isn't something you've heard a thousand times, and I couldn't pick out any glaring clichés. In a way, The Corpse Bride is more mature of an effort story-wise than some of Burton's live-action, R-rated films because it has more imagination.

The signature Gothic style is done very well, and the animation is stellar to look at. I found the use of black-and-white in the real-world sequences a bit annoying and overdone, but to each his own. For someone who isn't a hardcore Burton fan, I can't say I really even noticed the music. Every now and then I thought it was pretty, but I doubt if you're not paying a lot of attention you'll even notice what everyone else is deeming as "beautiful and a masterpiece".

The main problems The Corpse Bride had: - Most of the characters were forgettable. They play out flat, as if the plot is just using them as pawns. I wouldn't mind this if the plot was AWESOME, but it just simply isn't, and the lack of emotional attachment to the characters really gets in the way of the overall effect.

  • No immersion. I understand this is a children's movie, and being an adult may have something to do with it, but as hard as I tried to love The Corpse Bride there was just something dull about it that I can't put my finger on. The world Burton creates is a near-perfect mix of childish macabre fantasy, and it is beautiful, but there is something missing. I assume that would be a darker plot line. The constant use of puns, also, takes away from the seriousness and beauty of the whole thing. Can't there ever be a animated, PG-rated movie that creates and sustains a darkly beautiful tone? Overall: Be sure to watch it on TV when the countless cartoon networks are playing it for Halloween. It is worth your time. It's just not the masterpiece I was hoping it would be.

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Truly beautiful, with a range of emotions.
evanfan12341 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
What can I say about this movie, other than that it is completely beautiful? I am truly wowed by the set, and the music was lively and fun, and overall, on the whole, the reason I go to see movies. The film is a little bit of everything- romance, tragedy, action, mystery, horror, that is why it may only seem to appeal to the "Hot Topic" audience, and that is not without reason.

This is not a little kids movie, I would say, unless your kid is about nine or ten, you should think twice about taking him or her to see this movie, you may just want to rent the classic "Nightmare Before Christmas" and see how they fare on that.

However, to me, the downside was that it was slightly rushed and short, and could have used more songs. Be warned, some of you may need a tissue at the wonderfully done (but still, very sad to me) end.

Overall, I know when "Corpse Bride" comes out on DVD, I'll be one of the first to buy it.
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I expected more,but I liked it
Lady_Targaryen19 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I like Tim Burton a lot as a director,and I always liked his movies; maybe that's why I imagined that Corpse Bride would be fantastic, like Nightmare Before Christimas; the movie itself is not horrible, but it's not the great story I was expecting to be,you probably know how it is going to end with 35 minutes of animation. But the scenarios are great, the doll's expressions are lovely and the voices of Johnny Depp,Helena Bonham Carter and Emily Watson are cool.:D

There are cute messages in the movie, but I think that little kids would be kind of frightened with some scenes in it. Ps: I think that Vitor, the main character , looks a lot with Edward Scissorshands! Only coincidence?
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