Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

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Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
Review (7.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is a stop motion animated fairy tale about a timid fellow named Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) who is on the verge of being married to a beautiful, but equally timid, young animated lady named Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson). The money-driven wedding is being arranged by the overbearing parents of Victor and Victoria. It appears Victor and Victoria barely know each other but they are nonetheless quite an appropriate couple. Unfortunately, Victor is somewhat of a bumbling, stumbling idiot (but still, a nice guy) and he can barely get through his wedding vows at the rehearsal. Ridiculed, Victor he takes a walk and ends up in a dark forest trying to practice his vows. When he is alone in the woods, he manages to rhyme them off perfectly but in the process, he puts the ring on what appears to be the branch of a dead tree. Much to his surprise, this supposed branch is actually the skeletal fingers of a dead body of a once beautiful young woman (Helena Bonham Carter). The corpse comes to life and claims Victor as her husband. Despite the fact she is also a lovely lady, albeit a dead one, Victor must now deal with the fact that he now has a Corpse Bride in the land of the dead and a living, breathing bride-to-be waiting in the real world. And it appears that good ol' Vic may love them both.

Corpse Bride is a wonderful movie. The stop motion animation could be described as almost breathtaking at times. The voice work is masterful - every voice we hear fits the character to a tee. The story may not be groundbreaking but it is solid. The handful of musical numbers are fabulous (should we expect anything else from Danny Elfman?) but pay attention because many of them go to great lengths to explain important details of the movie. There are moments in the movie that are quite comical, especially once the story moves to the underworld. I really never knew dead people could be so humourous! Other scenes are truly heartfelt moments (which feels strange to say about animation).

Although I wouldn't say Corpse Bride is a movie for young children, based on its sometimes dark subject matter, it is still a movie that will be appreciated by teens and adults alike. Corpse Bride is classic Tim Burton. If Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wasn't proof enough, Corpse Bride only further establishes Burton as one of the finest filmmakers alive today. Hell, I even liked Planet of the Apes but that's another story for another time and another day.

From the exagerrated characters to the musical numbers, from the witty humour to the pure imagination of the movie, Corpse Bride is a movie that is sure to be enojoyed by one and by all. I can't really sit here and say Corpse Bride is the best animated movie I have ever seen because it isn't. But it is one of those movies that is fun from beginning to end. It is one of those movies that leaves you with a smile on your face when you walk out of the theatre. It is quite simply an enjoyable time at the theatre and I am sure I have said this before but I will say it again - what more can we ask for?

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