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A charming romantic comedy musical with a corpse!
Tim Burton's animated musical Corpse Bride (2005) is a far cry from the memorable masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas, but it's still a charming little animated feature. Laika's animation is smooth, detailed, and expressive so that you just feel like you're watching people instead of movie characters. Burton's direction is more refined and focused for The Nightmare Before Christmas and Frankenweenie, but Corpse Bride remains a delightful watch each time I see it.
The Gothic aesthetic of everything in Corpse Bride is wonderful and cool. The striking pale figures in black and grey clothing set against pale blue moonlight is striking. Danny Elfman's score is lovely with his memorable melodies and fun rhythms. The romantic classical piano duet between Victor and Emily sounds lavish and layered with nuanced little notes placed perfectly to create a sweet aura around the two characters. It's such a pretty song that it made many audience members feel that these two characters had better chemistry and should have ended up together. That's part of the problem with Corpse Bride. You never get enough time with Victor and Victoria, who end up together, but should have gotten more time on screen if we are to believe that they are perfect for each other.
The writing is fairly thin in Corpse Bride as the plot is so predictable and the villain's twist is telegraphed and given away far too early. The dialogue is fantastic as characters all have this dark sarcastic edge that really fits each person. The song lyrics get the point across, but are all very on the nose. I especially found the lyrics repetitive often enough that you notice many lines repeating in an attempt to let you memorize them, but they're not that great to begin with, honestly. You never really feel like singing along to each and every word like when watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. Elfman's music is still beautiful, the lyrics are just not quite on the same level.
Johnny Depp is likable and fun as the socially awkward and shy Victor Van Dort. Emily Watson makes Victoria Everglot a sweet heroine with her gentle manner and soft spoken voice. Helena Bonham Carter steals the show with her emotional and expressive voice as the Corpse Bride herself: Emily. Her singing is the best in the movie as well. You genuinely feel bad for Emily all because of Carter's emotive vocal performance. Albert Finney and Joanna Lumley are fun as the stingy, snobby aristocratic parents to Victoria: Finnis and Maudeline Everglot, respectively. Christopher Lee brings a gravitas and energy that's sublime for Pastor Galswells. Likewise, Michael Gough gives his skeletal Elder Gutknecht a warmth and cleverness that's wondrous. Richard E. Grant eats up the scenery with his deep malignant voice for Lord Barkis Bittern.
I don't really like Enn Reitel's Peter Lorre impression for his maggot character, but he's a funny town crier. I think the maggot jokes were generally gross or contrived instead of funny. Danny Elfman is cool and memorable as Bonejangles for arguably the best song in the movie "Remains of the Day," but he kind of overdoes it with the New Orleans jazz voices. In all, the vocal cast for Corpse Bride is pretty much perfect with some odd choices here and there.
Burton's direction is so passionate for Frankenweenie that you can clearly see how passionate he was for that topic, meanwhile Corpse Bride feels like Burton is going through the motions with generic shots in between a few lovely shots around shadows or moonlight. Burton never recaptured the alluring magic of The Nightmare Before Christmas in his other musicals, but Corpse Bride is at least fun each viewing. His direction is superior for many of his other films as Corpse Bride is certainly a lesser Burton endeavor.
In short, Corpse Bride is an entertaining movie from Tim Burton, but it's certainly lower down in his filmography. The songs are forgettable compared to Burton and Elfman's earlier work. I think most people will enjoy Corpse Bride for its Goth aesthetic and embracing true love for deeper elements than as a musical.
‘Corpse Bride' is a British-American stop-motion animated dark-fantasy film directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton. I've seen parts of this movie multiple times but have never fully watched it through until now. If I am being honest, I'm not the biggest Tim Burton fan and I can't really put my finger on why that is. His movies seem to be the same dark concept with different stories. Let's look at some movies that his name is under. We have ‘Corpse Bride', ‘Frankenweenie', and ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas' and these are just his stop motion films. None have any gripping elements to bring viewers in to start watching it let alone continue through the runtime. However, out of all the Tim Burton stories "Corpse Bride" is one that I could see myself viewing again.
We start the movie out being introduced to Victor (Johnny Depp) and his odd mother and father. We learn that he is to be married to the daughter of a thought to be known wealthy family's daughter; Victoria (Emily Watson). When the rehearsal for the wedding goes awry, Victor sets off to the woods to practice his vows before the big day, only to become married to an undead bride when he places his ring on the corpse's finger, thinking it was a branch. Now, locked into the commitment of marriage to a dead woman named Emily (Helena Bonham Carter) and trapped in the land of the undead, Victor must find away out of the marriage and look for a way back to the land of the living.
A big positive for this movie is the voice acting. It may not seem like a big deal, but having the wrong voice come out of a certain character could throw off the whole film and everybody in this movie did a fantastic job bringing their characters to life. Although, Helena Bonham Carter does such a great job giving her character personality you almost want Victor to end up with her at the end of the movie when I don't think that's the intention of Tim Burton.
I was also a fan of the musical choices in this movie. I thought it brought a much-needed energy to the overall story and was executed fully. The one thing that spoke most to me and what I thought was a brilliant concept was that fact that when the movie is in the land of the living it is very dark, and everybody looks miserable. When the movie is taking down in the land of the dead it is colorful, and everybody looks happy. Now, I don't believe that the movie is saying if you want to be happy be dead. It's just telling a realistic view on life, not everybody is happy, and maybe the dead are happy, and we shouldn't feel so scared about death when it comes.
Overall, this is classic Tim Burton and if you're a fan of his you will love this movie. It has a dark sense of humor and tell a story of death, love, and sacrifice.
This was a really nice movie for a Sunday afternoon. But I definitely wouldn't watch it as a horror selection for a Sunday night. That requires a movie with more "horror". But for an animated movie this was fun and amusing. The story is very basic and has some pacing issues at times. But overall I would rec this as a kids horror.
Absolute favorite movie to watch every single year around Halloween... multiple times... Every. Single. Year.
another beautiful tim burton film about death and betrayal where the central theme is true love and the concept of taking responsibility. Even this movie is balancedly disturbing, sweet and funny
A fitting sequel in the spirit of A Nightmare Before Christmas. A classic Burton, even if the urge to become a classic itself is missing.
This is around the 5th time Ive seen Corpse Bride and I could say that I proffer it even more then the last time I watched it.
Corpse Bride is directed by Tim Burton one of my personal all time favourite directors. Corpse Bride stars Johnny Depp as Victor Van Dort and Helena Bonham Carter as the Corpse Bride.
The voice acting was steady and I found that the voice actors fit the characters they were portraying. The voice cast also has such actors as Christopher Lee as the Pastor and Emily Watson as Victoria Everglot. There was a couple times the voice acting didnt work but for most of the film the voice actors gave a good performance.
The characters were fun and interesting to watch each with there own personality. I especially liked Victor and how he is always jumpy and scared of what comes next.
The cinematography I found worked with the film and helped with the style of the film.
The animation in the film is stop motion which I personally love. The animation is smooth and has a unique style to it. The animation also fits the characters very well.
There is two settings for the film one a bleak colourless world and the other a colourful and vibrant world for the undead. I personally proffer the bleak world because of the atmosphere it gives off.
The style in my opinion is exemplary and has some of my favourite character designs from any animated film I have seen up to this point. I also very much like the colour design from the black grey and blue to the bright green and psychedelic pink.
Good and steady dialogue that fits the characters very nicely. Even though my favourite scenes are the ones with very little to none dialogue I still very much like the scenes that are dialogue heavy.
Steady editing with some very interesting edits.
The film involves two types of music from the background sound track to the musical soundtrack. I personally proffer the background soundtrack composed by Danny Elfman. The songs in the film arent bad but there not always on point.
Weird and Unique story about a man (Victor) marring a corpse Bride by accident. The story is steady and always keeps me interested in the characters and whats about to happen next.
The film also has some comedy that personally makes me laugh now and again.
The film also at points has a very strong atmosphere especially a scene where it involves Victor talking to Victoria when the Corpse Bride shows up at the window.
The film is also very enjoyable and entertaining to watch.
There are a couple things I personally dont like but they dont take away from the film to much.
Over all I give it a 7/10
The best animated movie ever made!
I took this movie personally because Victor looks like someone I know.
Absolutely beautiful film! I like this movie way more than Nightmare before Christmas, the characters are so amazing and the music is breathtaking. The animation is also very amazing and fluent. I enjoyed all of the songs I think my favorite songs are tears to shed and remains of the day. This is my all time favorite animated film ever. The ending made me cry so much and it was so beautiful! Definitely see this masterpiece!