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Corpse Bride

  • 2005
  • PG
  • 77min
  • 83%
  • 7.4 / 10

Victor and Victoria’s parents have arranged for them to tie the knot. Albeit the two shares the same affection for each other, Victor is still having wedding day jitters. While going over his speech for the ceremony, a tree branch pulls Victor into the land of the dead. There, he meets Emily, a woman who met her demise after eloping with the love of her life.

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movie facts

Corpse of Bride originated from a Russian folk tale that dates back to the 19th century. Burton first heard about it from Joe Ranft while they were putting the finishing touches to the grim animated movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). The folk tale tells the story of a young man who was set to be married to his love, who lived in a village that required a two-day walk from his village.

The young man and his friend set out on a journey to his bride’s abode. On their first night, the two decided to pitch a tent near a river. Suddenly, a bony finger sticking out on the ground caught the attention of the bridegroom. Jokingly, he put his golden wedding ring on the bony finger and started doing the wedding dance. After three dances, a wedding song, and an entire marriage sacrament, a living corpse clad in a wedding dress started emerging from the ground and pronounced herself as the young man’s bride.

Corpse Bride movie review

Tim Burton took his adoration for animation and his fixation on the idea of life after death into the big screens through Corpse Bride. At a time when the animation scene sticks religiously to the parameters set by classic animated films, Corpse Bride pushes boundaries by being a straightforward anecdote about romance and sacrifice. Just like in The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Burton utilizes stop-animation to tell a gloomy yet beautiful story that is as slim as the female character's waistlines: a hapless man of the hour with cold feet meanders into the forested areas and coincidentally marries a carcass. Inspired by a Russian folk tale, no clarification is given for how these occasions can unfurl, or in what fantasy land this story happens.

Without a doubt, the setting is ghoulish and horrifying, but it is not excessively grim or bloody. Also, the carcasses are ostentatiously bright, not dreadful and abhorrent. The story actually appears to celebrate life more than death. Victor is eager to sacrifice for love, but he would like to be alive and hitched to a breathing lady.

As anyone would anticipate, Burton gathers a top-level voice cast that compensates for the film’s shortcomings. Apart from Burton-pillar Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, the film includes Emily Watson, Tracy Ullman, Christopher Lee, and Danny Elfman. Elfman's ordinarily comical score also helps to set the tone. Joanna Lumley and Albert Finney are, for the most part, blaring vowels and blasting consonants as the tremendously self-important Everglots, while we have Tracey Ullman and Paul Whitehouse as the straightforward Van Dorts.

Most of all, what makes Corpse Bride more impressive is its animation. Each foot-high puppet must be moved only a division between each shot to make the figment. Twelve hours of work regularly yields only two seconds of usable film. In this digital age, this approach results in an ageless quality that is enchanting and exemplary.


about the movie

Corpse Bride (2005) is a stop-motion animated musical dark comedy film directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton from a screenplay written by John August, Caroline Thompson, and Pamela Pettler. Its story is based on characters conceived and developed by Burton and Carlos Grangel, whose repertoire of animated films includes We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993), Baito (1995), and The Fearless Four (1997). Corpse Bride features the voices of Johnny Depp as Carter and Helena Bonham as the titular bride named Emily.