Flashback Review: Corpse Bride

Based on a 19th Century Russian-Jewish folklore, Tim Burton simultaneously worked on “Corpse Bride” & “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory” with his best friend Johnny Depp & then wife Helena Bonham Carter. Corpse Bride’s premise is about a groom who accidentally summons the titular character under the impression she’s married.

Corpse Bride was released in 2005. (same year Madagascar came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. It also made enough money at the box office. Corpse Bride became an eligible “Best Animated Feature” nominee at “The Academy Awards.” It lost to “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit.”

Johnny Depp is slated to reprise his role as Grindelwald in the third installment of the “Harry Potter” prequel series known as “Fantastic Beasts.” Before third film and other sequels are out in the future, I’d like to share what’s good or bad about one of Tim Burton’s best works.

This review contains no crucial SPOILERS listed. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article. Keep in mind, this review is short, due to Corpse Bride’s running time is only an hour and eighteen minutes long. Not a grand scale epic, just a stop-motion animated film.

Alive & Dead Aspects

Alive: The Main Cast such as Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson & Richard E. Grant all did an excellent job for their respective voiceover performances.

Other Cast Members including Albert Finney, Christopher Lee & Michael Gough all did a decent job for their respective voiceover performances.

Tim Burton did a fantastic job directing the film.

Danny Elfman composed music for the film. He also provides the voice of Bojangles.

Musical Numbers are very catchy. My favorite one has got to be “Remains Of The Day.”

Tim’s unique vision of Stop-Motion Animation looks gorgeous bringing certain elements to life like character models, the worlds of the living and dead, environmental detail and fluid movement.

Humor has a touch of dark humor with a touch of lighthearted quirkinesses balanced together.

Chemistry between Victor & Emily felt normal when it comes to a living person & a walking corpse who come from different worlds.

This ain’t the first time a lead character visits the afterlife. Does “Beetlejuice” ring any bells? “Monkeybone” is just a carbon copy of Beetlejuice. Thankfully, Corpse Bride did it differently.

The reason why Victor & Victoria have a forced marriage during The First Act, is due to the fact both their own parents arranged a force marriage.

Lord Barkis serves as the main antagonist. His motivation makes complete sense.

A “magic word” used to transport back to the afterlife, got me chuckling.

My favorite line is “With this candle, I will set your mother on fire.” I thought it was funny.

Victor & Victoria’s names are a referenced to Julie Andrews’ movie “Victor/Victoria.”

Victoria’s mom resembles The Evil Stepmother from “Cinderella.” Helena went on to play The Fairy Godmother in the live action Disney remake.

We learn about Emily’s backstory prior to her death.

One character mistakenly mentions Victor as Vincent. A subtle Easter Egg to Tim’s short film.

The film dedicates the memory of Pixar animator, Joe Ranft. He was good friends with Tim. Joe served as an executive producer.

Dead: Without giving too much away, two people are missing during The Third Act.

The Final Verdict: A-

Corpse Bride is one of Tim Burton’s best works. All the good stuff I’ve listed, indicates why Corpse Bride is on the same level as “Ed Wood,” “Big Fish,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Beetlejuice” “Frankenweenie” & “Edward Scissorhands.” If you want to introduce your kids to Corpse Bride, I highly recommend this gem.

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