Set in a 19th century European village, this stop-motion, animated feature follows the story of Victor (voiced by JOHNNY DEPP), a young man who is whisked away to the underworld and wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride, while ... more »his real bride, Victoria, waits bereft in the land of the living. Though life in the Land of the Dead proves to be a lot more colorful than his strict Victorian upbringing, Victor learns that there is nothing in this world, or the next, that can keep him away from his one true love.« less
Kelly L. Norman | Plymouth, MI United States | 10/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tim Burton's mind must be a very strange place. Remember, it's where if you commit suicide you have to work for social services in the afterlife (Ref: Beetlejuice). I'm a social worker, so I know what that means! Men with hands made of scissors, Jack Nicholson as Batman's foil...this is one sick puppy of a director.
So when you hear Mr. Burton is directing a film based on an Eastern European folktale in which one of the heroines-the heroines, mind you---is a corpse....well, family fare is not what comes to mind.
And, although it's animated, Corpse Bride definitely is not for the younger set, 9 or so and below. These characters look creepy. The title character has a habit of losing her eye and talking to the maggot, Louie, who lives behind it. Skeletons of dogs and people walk and talk about in the "underworld".
However, like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, older children will find the animations amusing and fascinating; and parents will be pleased with the messages packaged in the film.
Briefly, "Corpse Bride" is an animated operetta in which Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp), son of fishmongers, is engaged to Victoria, (Emily Watson) the daughter of nobles who are now penniless. Neither know each other but meet accidentally and fall in love. When Victor stumbles over his complicated wedding vows at the rehearsal, he's humiliated by a stranger at the wedding (Richard E. Grant) and walks in the woods to practice. When he says the vows, he places the ring on a "twig" that turns out to be the finger of Emily (Helena Bonham-Carter), the Corpse Bride, who of course jumps up and happily informs him they are married. (She's very pretty, by the way, dead or not).
Much of the rest of the movie is taken up by Victor trying to figure out how to get out from the Underworld and by Emily trying to either deny he's doing that or actively convince him to stay. Gradually, however, Victor finds, to his surprise, that he is falling in love with Emily.
In the end the viewers have heard some good lessons about love, and the main characters, primarily Emily and Victor, have each been willing to sacrifice greatly for the other, out of their love for each other. The importance of wedding vows is a central theme, and Victor especially gives long thought to whom his alliances lie, given what he's promised, and to whom. And those motivated by greed, such as Richard Grant's character, mostly come out empty handed.
The comedy is brilliant. In one scene, Emily's friends in the "pub" do a number quite reminiscent of the Star Wars cantina scene, given the odd-looking musicians. I'm not sure how well the "operetta" mode works with animation; while claymation gives these characters terrific means of expression, they are still limited in their ability to emote, and musical theatre may be best left to human faces. Still, Danny Elfman's score is beautiful as always.
Leave the wee ones with the other parent next door at "March of the Penguins" or "Wallace and Gromit: Search for the Were-Rabbit", then huddle with the rest of the kids to see this wonderful film. "
Death suits them!
M. Rausseo | Planet Earth | 10/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tim Burton creates a stunning masterpiece that keeps all the parameters typical in his productions. Combining the macabre and childish elements with stop motion animation techniques, Burton gives life to a fantastic story, just as he did in 1993 with the superb Nightmare before Christmas.
The store serves the director as an excuse to build yet another visual fantasy, supported by the voices of several of his favorite actors: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Albert Finney and Christopher Lee.
The ironic and funny style of Burton portraying death repeats itself, forming and obscure and complex world. The principal characters are no other but a dead bride, a colorful number of skeletons, some monsters and a shy and repressed young man.
The plot of The Corpse's Bride is based on a traditional Ukrainian tale about a girl murdered on her weeding day and waiting since then for her true love.
In a Victorian England village lives Victor van Dort, a melancholic young man pressed by his wealthy but uneducated family to engage to a broken but aristocrat young woman named Victoria Everglot, whose parents despise the Van Dorts but want to solve their economical problems with this convenience marriage.
During a wedding rehearsal at the Everglot's house, Victor goes out to practice his vows, and accidentally says the words on a dead bride's tomb, who has been expecting since her dead for her true love to say the words that magically will free her to be happily ever after.
From that point, Victor goes on a journey in the land of the dead with his new bride. Down there everything seems more fun and colorful that "up there", where the world of the living is, on the contrary, almost colorless, with and aesthetic close to whites and blacks, keeping the stiffness and conservative style of the Victorian Ages.
Although the title suggests otherwise, The Corpse's Bride is a sweet and sour love story with a poetic capacity very suggestive and dreamy. True to his provoking spirit, Burton bets on surprising us, letting his usual black humor to disperse over an oppressive atmosphere while the emotional theme of the film, the loss of love, is told like a musical comedy. "
Great movie with great authoring
Stephen Lerch | Elkton, MD United States | 01/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Corpse Bride was the first Blu-Ray movie I couldn't wait to see. I had it on DVD and viewed it many times and as I knew the movie inside and out, along with the issues with displaying the SD DVD on my HD TV, I was excited to be able to make a side by side comparison between the 2 releases.
Corpse Bride on Blu-Ray completely blows the other Blu-Ray movies I own out of the water in terms of authoring. The clarity of the image is astounding and the difference between DVD and Blu-Ray is made overly apparent when you can do a comparison of the 2 directly.
In the Blu-Ray release of CB you can see the texture of the puppets' faces, something certainly lacking in the DVD. You can also see in the skeleton dance scene some of the metal bits holding the puppets together. On the DVD you can see it but it is difficult or nearly impossible to tell what the shiny piece is.
As far as the movie, it's a great love story in Tim Burton's typical twisted fashion.
Definitely worth checking out as a movie but also worthy of checking out what Blu-Ray is capable of."
J. Miller | Frisco, TX USA | 02/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw this in the theater I didn't really like the story as much some of Burton's other films but I decided to buy the Blu-ray because I had heard great things about the transfer. I can say I was not disappointed; the picture is simply amazing and I have even come to appreciate the story after watching it a few times at home.
A++ transfer and an A story; a must for any Burton fan."
Excellent on Blu-Ray
Isabella Valentine - www.IsabellaV | Bloomington, IN | 08/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Blu-Ray version is much better than the dvd. The clarity is SUPERB. It really doesn't do it justice to try to describe it. It's like trying to compare a steak to a hamburger. You just gotta watch it. By the way, I especially liked the behind-the-scenes making of the movie and seeing the clay puppets being put together frame by frame."