Tim Burtonís Corpse Bride is a wonderfully wicked movie brimming with imagination, talent, humour and heart. It is his second outing into stop-motion animation using clay models and it is equally as enchanting as his 1993 classic The Nightmare Before Christmas.Although the title sounds quite gruesome, this is very much a movie the whole family can take pleasure in watching. Some younger children may find the imagery a little too scary but Corpse Bride will serve as a treat for kids who like can take their animation with a dash of the macabre.
Victor (Johnny Depp) is a shy bachelor and talented pianist who is due to marry the equally shy Victoria (Emily Watson). Their marriage has been arranged by their aristocratic parents and they only meet the night before their big day. From this short meeting, they find that they do have a lot in common and develop feelings for each other.
However Victor is so nervous at the wedding rehearsal, he continually forgets his lines which leads to him running into the dark forest in embarrassment and shame. It is here, whilst practising his vows, that he unintentionally marries the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter) and is whisked away to the Land of the Dead which turns out to be an unexpectedly colourful and exciting place to be. But despite what on offer here, Victor cannot deny his true love for Victoria and will do all he can to get her back.
As with most Tim Burton films, Corpse Bride is a visual masterpiece. From the bleak Victorian townscape to the jazzed up lively Land of the Dead as well as the finely crafted clay models, it is an artistic triumph. It also has a very strong, mostly British voice cast including Albert Finney, Joanna Lumley, Helena Bonham-Carter, Emily Watson, Richard E Grant, Tracey Ullman, Christopher Lee with Johnny Depp taking on an English accent for the lead role and they all do a brilliant job, highlighting the importance of a good cast when it comes to voicing animated features. Rounding off proceedings is a fantastic score by regular Burton collaborator Danny Elfman who also voices the character Bonejangles, resident jazzman and storyteller in the Land of the Dead.It is a ghoulish feast for the eyes backed by a lively soundtrack, a great sense of humour and a heart warming story that will please both young and old alike.