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 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.
After little more than a decade fans of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas are treated to a spiritual sequel- the dark tale of Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) and his untimely marriage to the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carer) and visit to the underworld. The tale begins as Victor and his betrothed Victoria (Emily Watson) are preparing to be wed. As arranged marriages go neither Victor nor Victoria are keen on the idea of being forced into wedlock. It seems, however, that Victor and Victoria were made for each other- both soft-spoken, gentle, caring individuals who have never experienced life away from the watchful eye of their parents.
The story quickly turns awry after Victor, while rehearsing his wedding ceremony with Victoria makes a mockery of the event, when he can’t seem to recite his vows then proceeds to set his soon-to-be mother in law’s dress aflame and flees the hall and into the forest. While wandering through the woods rehearsing his vows Victor is suddenly, and to his dismay, pulled into the netherworld by the Corpse Bride. It seems, for the Corpse Bride, her true love has awakened her to wed her and reside happily ever after with her in the netherworld. Word quickly spreads throughout the town and eventually to Victory and Victoria’s parents that Victor was seen fleeing into the woods with a strange, unidentified woman.
Victor is now in a quandary. Is he to return to his betrothed who is surely grieve-stricken, awaiting Victor’s return, or should her remain true to his Corpse Bride, who has laid broken hearted for her savior to awaken her and repair her non-beating but still broken heart? Of course, without giving away the ending or too many details, justice is served, the Corpse Bride is freed and complications resolved.
Tim Burton and co-creator Mike Johnson’s animation is astounding and the film seems to briskly float by clocking in at 76 minutes. Danny Elfman’s musical score paints the netherworld as a vibrant, colorful place that doesn’t seem like a half-bad place to spend the afterlife. For some critics, when compared to it’s predecessor Nightmare… Time Burton’s Corpse Bride may seem to fall a little flat, but judged on it’s own merits, the film truly shines with memorable songs, charming characters and an enchanting story that adults and kids alike will fall in love with.
Review by Emma Loggins
Official site: http://corpsebridemovie.warnerbros.com/
Buy on Amazon: The Corpse Bride