Thursday, August 18, 2016

Movie Review: "Corpse Bride" (2005)

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Movie"Corpse Bride"
Director: Tim Burton and Mike Johnson
Year: 2005
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 17 minutes

An awkward young man named Victor (Johnny Depp) accidentally proposes to a dead women while practicing his marriage vows for his arranged wedding. Dragged down to the land of the dead, Victor must now find a way to escape his corpse bride (Helena Bonham Carter) and get back to his true bride Victoria (Emily Watson) before her parents marry her off to another suitor.

"Corpse Bride" is directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, and despite what many may think, this is Burton's first directorial effort when it comes to feature length stop motion movies. This animated musical Gothic romance is right up Burton's alley. It has a very similar look and tone to "The Nightmare Before Christmas," which Burton helped write and produce back in 1993. "Corpse Bride" stars the voice talents of Johnny Depp, Emily Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Tracey Ullman, Joanna Lumley, Paul Whitehouse, Albert Finney, Richard E. Grant, and Christopher Lee, among many others. Depp voices Victor, a young, timid, and quite awkward man who is arranged to be married to Victoria, voiced by Emily Watson, who is unsure about this arranged marriage. Her worries lessen upon meeting Victor after they find they have much in common despite their pending nuptials as strangers. It is while Victor is practicing his vows that he accidentally proposes to a dead woman whose decaying hand he mistakes for a tree branch. Right after placing the ring on her hand, Victor is dragged down to the land of dead as the husband of this corpse bride. Victor now must find a way to escape his new wife and return back to the land of the living before she is married to the next person in line, Lord Barkis Bittern, voiced by Richard E. Grant.

There is a fantastic juxtaposition of color between the real world and the land of the dead in "Corpse Bride." Where the living world is gray, drab, and lifeless, the land of the dead is, oddly enough, full of color, whimsy, and life. This mix of Gothic imagery and bright, quirky colors is classic Burton, and the stop motion animation only serves to enhance this beauty. Another aspect that aids the film is the music. It is full of wonderful, catchy, creative songs and a great score from regular Burton cohort Danny Elfman. Despite being a short film, it is wholly realized and has great character development and context. It's very imaginative, but we expect no less from Burton and his crew. The voice over work provided here is also excellent, and with talents like Depp, Watson, and Carter, as well as legends Lee, Lumley, and Finney leading the way, well, it's hard to see how this could be anything but a successful viewing experience.

Though some might see this as too dark or melancholy for younger children, we think "Corpse Bride" is a creepy but fun film that will provide a good time for people of all ages as long as you let it. Tim Burton was the perfect director for this project, and his vision really comes to life in this spectacularly animated Gothic musical romance that is not just dower, but is also clever and funny, too.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 83%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!


  1. The girls and I love this movie. Great review!

    1. It's really fun and unique, isn't it? We always enjoy watching this one! Thanks for reading! :)

  2. Awesome review! I really enjoyed this movie too!! The animation was very well done and I just loved Emily in this movie!

    Check out my review of Corpse Bride here: