A nervous groom inadvertently proposes to an undead
bride, who rises from the dead believing them to be married.
Corpse Bride (2005)
Directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson
Written by John August, Caroline Thompson, Pamela Pettler
Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Richard E. Grant, Albert Finney, Joanna Lumley, Tracey Ullman,
Paul Whitehouse, Michael Gough, Christopher Lee
Oscar Nominations - Best Animated Film
Corpse Bride is everything you'd expect from an animated Tim Burton production. Gothic weirdness, black-and-white striped charm, and the voice talent of either Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter. In this case, both! The film is short, sweet, and has a decent message of finding where you belong in life, and I suppose in death as well. It's easily his second best animated flick behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, and you can thank the impressive voice cast, the flawless animation, and the bouncy but dramatic Danny Elfman score for that.
Victor Van Dort (Depp) is a nervous, shy young chap who is about to be married to a woman he's never met, Victoria Everglot (Watson). Though she's charming and he likes her, Victor is beside himself with worry since he can't memorize his vows. While practicing in the woods, he slips the ring on a branch that turns out to be the bony finger of a corpse. The corpse, an undead bride named Emily (Carter) rises from the dead believing that Victor has proposed to her. She brings Victor to the land of the dead, and he must figure out a way to get back without breaking Emily's heart. It's a quirky little love story as told by the master of weird himself, back when he was still fairly original. Even in a vocal performances, Depp and Carter have flawless chemistry.
Corpse Bride is a good watch for families and longtime Burton fans, though they've probably already seen it many times. The songs are catchy, the story is engaging, and the characters are entertaining and likable. You can relate to Victor's wedding jitters and familial pressure, and you can relate to Emily's desperation to be loved.