Corpse Bride Movie Review
Imaginative and entertaining, Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" brings back the creative style of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" with darkly humorous characters and a ghostly plot. Teamed with Mike Johnson, Burton's visual flare is in full effect from beginning to end.
Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Emily Watson lend their voices in this twisted love story of death, murder and ghosts - but yes, "Corpse Bride" is a kid's movie. Young Victor Van Dort (Depp) is getting married to Victoria (Watson), a woman he has never met, and needless to say he has cold feet. While practicing his vows, he places his wedding ring on a shriveled tree branch - only it isn't a branch, but the hand of a dead bride - the Corpse Bride (Carter). Unaware, he has suddenly become married to the beautiful yet not quite maggot-free woman and is forced to live in her underground world of ghosts and skeletons. Meanwhile, up above in the world of the living, Victoria has become engaged to another man - the same man responsible for the Corpse Bride's death in the first place.
While not especially funny, "Corpse Bride" is entertaining from beginning to end thanks to its absolutely fabulous set design and goofy characters. Burton's last film, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," lacked the imaginative flare his films usually have, but "Corpse Bride" makes up for that and then some. It probably helps that the movie took 55 weeks to film and was shot using a digital SLR camera - not a film camera. With the painstaking process involved to make a stop-motion film, every second must be worth it.
Still, "Corpse Bride" isn't a perfect movie; it isn't all that funny and doesn't have too much repeat value. Compared to "The Nightmare Before Christmas" it lacks the concept to become a household name; in five year's time, people will still know "The Nightmare Before Christmas," but will they know "Corpse Bride?" Probably not.
"Corpse Bride" is definitely worth seeing, especially on the big screen as you get to see all the minute details that went into creating the film. Still, once you've seen it there is no real reason to see it again.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.