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Overall Rating
4.11

Awesome41.13%
Worth A Look: 37.1%
Average: 14.52%
Pretty Bad: 6.45%
Total Crap: 0.81%

12 reviews, 52 user ratings


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Corpse Bride
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by William Goss

"Death Becomes Her"
4 stars

Twelve years after producing 'The Nightmare Before Christmas,' director Tim Burton returns with his latest foray in stop-motion animation, 'Corpse Bride.' What results is a triumph of Burtonís indelible style over substance, but only by a small margin.

Victor (Johnny Depp) is a timid young man, soon to be married off by his parents to the equally-shy Victoria (Emily Watson), whom he has never before met. Though Victor and Victoria hit it off during a brief encounter prior to their wedding rehearsal, he fails to properly recite his vows, and is dismissed by the pastor to go over them outside. In the nearby woods, Victor rehearses his vows and places the ring on a branch. The branch turns out to actually be the finger of the Corpse Bride (voiced by Burtonís real-life wife, Helena Bonham Carter), much to her delight and his dismay. Victor must then decide if he wants to join the Corpse Bride in the underworld or if he still wishes to marry Victoria in the living realm.

As expected, Burton once again tackles a tale of the marvelously macabre with his own distinct sense of whimsy. The pain-staking animation pays off in sweeping fluid motion, and each environment reflects his tendencies for the gorgeously Gothic. The land of the living is drenched in bleak shades of gray, while the land of the dead is a lively, jazzy realm. In contrast, it is often implied that the characters are better off dead (Corpse Bride only seems to reinforce this notion, which Burton previously tackled in Beetlejuice and Nightmare).

The story is a basic and predictable one, though it never outstays its welcome (the film itself runs a brisk 75 minutes). The characters are adequate, the puns are frequent, and the songs are tolerable, if completely unnecessary. The biggest problem with Corpse Bride is, like the character, it has no heart. Deppís Victor is a weak protagonist to pull for, and the focus falls on the Corpse Bride, whose rushed backstory proves to be the sole source of sympathy on her behalf. The other characters and their respective motives seem to exist either for plot propulsion or punchlines, with few exceptions (such as the sarcastic maggot that resides in the Corpse Brideís head).

The art direction alone is destined for awards glory, and donít expect much surprise from this end if the film ends up taking home the Best Animated Feature Oscar next spring. Although visually captivating from beginning to end, Tim Burtonís Corpse Bride manages to leave behind a cold, hollow feeling with the viewer.

Nonetheless, this tale of a young man and the ghoul next door carries a morbid charm and whimsical nature that is capable of winning over most any cynic.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12831&reviewer=409
originally posted: 10/25/05 15:22:57
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2005 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

11/07/12 Mayfield Love this movie. Great for adults and children. 5 stars
5/07/11 brian Burton/Depp/Elfman triumph again! 5 stars
4/29/09 Stephen Fantastic movie, verry macarbe for a young odiance, but can be enjoyed by all 5 stars
2/14/09 lola after this movie i am in love with emily. 5 stars
1/11/09 Anonymous. such a sweet story :] 4 stars
8/28/08 Shaun Wallner Well Made! 5 stars
5/16/08 PAUL SHORTT A QUIRKY ARTISTIC TRIUMPH 3 stars
1/05/08 Pamela White very cute in a dark way 4 stars
6/13/07 Dark Enchantress i loved it! 5 stars
5/13/07 ala burgeia i love it 5 stars
5/03/07 alkdjfh totally wicked awesome 5 stars
2/24/07 Clayton Excellent character development, emotional implications, accentuate soundtrack adds to mood 5 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega Small fry will enjoy it better than adults. 3 stars
1/28/07 mets1986 Just as good as Nightmare.... 5 stars
1/04/07 Alex Thorne didnt like NBC, and found this quite dull. doesnt live up to the hype 2 stars
11/18/06 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Brilliant movie, but boring soundtrack. Elfman needs to write stronger songs. 5 stars
10/08/06 isis coooooooooool!!!!!! 5 stars
8/16/06 Gemma Northcott I really like this film and i would watch it over and over. 5 stars
8/02/06 C. Davis Good, but I need another watch to catch what is so special 4 stars
7/18/06 David Cohen See Burton, you can still make a good movie if you try 5 stars
6/30/06 MP Bartley Grisly, spooky fun with with and heart. 4 stars
6/22/06 Joanie how scary 1 stars
5/28/06 AD I love this movie! Great job Tim Burton! 5 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer Don't compare to "nightmare" This movie stands firmly alone. Music wasn't great. 4 stars
3/12/06 C Vega good fairy tale movie but no way near as good as "nightmare" 4 stars
3/04/06 lilian best ever 5 stars
3/03/06 Doremimi Nice visually, but I was bored to DEATH! 3 stars
2/21/06 Annie G If you want to "Nightmare.." again, I'd recommend rewatching it instead. 3 stars
2/21/06 Jim Not sure what all the fuss was about 3 stars
2/05/06 HL Why even reference it to TNBC..This is incredible regardless of comparison! 5 stars
1/09/06 Jack Farnsworth Haven't seen it 5 stars
1/08/06 Quigley this movie was a work of directoral and visual genius. way to go, tim burton! oscars? 5 stars
12/24/05 Michele strange but cute 3 stars
12/23/05 Brian Johnson 2nd place to Nightmare, but still fun 4 stars
12/11/05 chris wonderful 5 stars
12/05/05 Hernan loved the music and character design 4 stars
11/08/05 malcolm drab colors were kinda boring. we've seen this style before. just a longcartoon. 3 stars
11/02/05 Jacqueline Ward-Isaac Brilliant film! Tim Burton lives up to The Nightmare Before Christmas! It was very amusing! 5 stars
10/27/05 Deadwiz Not as good as TNBC, but it will do... 4 stars
10/25/05 Adam The visuals are great, but the plot is predictable; the ending was lacking..felt unfinished 3 stars
10/22/05 Tina Totally enjoyed it - beautiful to watch and fun. 5 stars
10/16/05 Quigley why isn't anyone stating the obvious? this film is a visual, geniusly done masterpiece 5 stars
10/10/05 LOLO Outstanding and truly lovely film. Maybe not as good as NBC but has its own charm! 5 stars
10/05/05 Sam Really great, probably one to see again and again. But never as good as NmBC! 5 stars
10/05/05 drfardook Visually... its very good. Plot is ok, but the characters motivations fall flat. 3 stars
10/03/05 Meryl Stupid, half-finished, musically deficient dreck. What happened, Tim? What happened? 2 stars
10/03/05 Bee We've wanted to see this film since the previews came out, months ago. Today, on a 'dark a 5 stars
10/03/05 watson387 Excellent! 5 stars
9/29/05 E. Northam Burton charmingly revisits eerie themes, bizarre vistas & transgressive characters. 3 stars
9/26/05 KingNeutron Nicely animated, but the 2 major plot decisions don't make sense. 3 stars
9/24/05 Titus Glad I saw it, but once was plenty. Kinda forced and dry. Not Burton's best. 3 stars
9/16/05 mike b just saw a screening; not as much music as the nightmare before xmas flick, but very good! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-Sep-2005 (PG)
  DVD: 31-Jan-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  17-Nov-2005




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