Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
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Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (DVD) (WS)
Returning to the painstaking stop-motion animation he employed with amazing success in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton presents a hair-raising legend based on a 19th-century Russian folktale, in which a young man mistakenly weds a corpse while on a two-day trek to the village of his real bride-to-be. It is up to the groom's flesh-and-blood fiancée, who has been pining for the arrival of her intended, to face her wraith-like rival and make peace with her by promising to live her dreams for her and by vowing to remember her always. Only then are the living bride and groom free to proceed with their own wedding ceremony in the warmhearted fable Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.]]>
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This isn't for everyone but I really enjoyed it. I watched back years ago when it came out in the theaters and now as an adult.
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trailers for this in the theater years ago when I was a kid, and let me say,
the movie was nothing like I though it would be! It was the perfect blend
of eerie, cute, funny and touching at the same time.
For those of you with small children: there is nothing overly scary within
this film, and I firmly believe Corpse Bride actually would teach a child
about the value of life and death, albeit in a humorous tone. Modern
family films present important life's lessons anymore. (For the record,
I have no children of my own, but I am speak as one from memories of
her own childhood upbringing.)
Of course, this IS a Tim Burton film, so much of his unusual tone resides within.
However, wither or not you are one of his fans, do your self a favor and purchase
The audience finds Corpse Bride situated in a time when rigid Victorian morality governs the upper class through strict control of emotions and low tolerance for any kind of overt behavior. In many aspects, these strict societal rules almost prevent a person to live life, as the only proper thing was to completely suffocate the inner feelings such as love. Strong Christian values govern the people and if over-stepping the social norms the consequences could be social rejection, which people of high status feared most of all. However, there is also a double standard emerging in the film, as greed leads people on to seek fortune and status by all means necessary.
In the opening scene Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp's voice) draws a live butterfly and then releases it into the open through the window. Secretively, it shows the Victor values feelings and the moments of blissful joy, as the camera follows the butterfly through a montage displaying people's obsessions in life. The first thing that comes into view is a number of clocks, all being exactly on time, as a man stands sweeping in unison with time. It lets the mind ponder the monotony of life that many might suffer when becoming fixated with time. Next we get to see people chopping the heads of fishes, which presents an interesting analogy to the Victorian time. Fish is a symbol for life and fertility while here it is being completely decapitated. In addition, the fishmongers do not seem to enjoy what they are doing, as they mechanically toss fish up in the cutting board, which again supports the notion of meaningless existence. The opening montage sets the mood for the rest of the film, which is dark, ominous, and almost ill.
Swiftly the story hurries along, as the opening montage introduces all the main characters. Soon the audience learns that there is to be an arranged marriage between the rich fishmonger family Van Dort and the soon-to-be destitute aristocrat family Everglot (family name sounds like a word play with gluttony.) Victor is extremely nervous to meet his bride to be Victoria (Emily Watson's voice), as both are concerned whether they will love each other. However, both sets of parents brush the notion of love away, as both families see an opportunity to gain either fortune, or social prestige of a title.
When Victor and Victoria meet each other for the first time all thoughts of worry in regards to whether they will love one another disappear, as Cupid's arrows simultaneously burrow itself into their chests. Yet, the strong societal rules forbid them to express their emotions for each other. Instead, Victor displays his newly acquired emotions for Victoria by stumbling on the words when rehearsing the wedding ceremony. His clumsiness becomes paramount to the level that the priest suspends the wedding until Victor can remember the wedding vows. In despair, Victor stumbles out Everglot's mansion of the repeating, stumbling, and stuttering the vows, until he finally gets them right and places the ring on what looks like a twig. However, it is the bony remains of a corpse who awakens when Victor places the ring on her finger. The voice of Helena Bonham Carter presents the corpse bride that Victor married by mistake. Meanwhile, the malevolently sly Lord Barkis (Richard E. Grant's voice) sees an opportunity to seize Victoria, as his own bride.
It is a mesmerizing journey to follow Victor and his predicament of having married a dead woman while also trying to get back to the land of the living. During Victor's stay in the Underworld an interesting notion emerges that one should cherish the moments of love and warm feelings while alive. However, the strict moral codes by which the people live prohibits the people from fully discovering the true wonders of life such a love. The Corpse Bride is not Burton's best, but it is a remarkable tale with an important message that will both entertain and keep the audience contemplating several issues including the importance of love.
I highly recommend this movie, but there is one thing in it that bugs me: the character's outrageous outbursts into song. Tim Burton is a very musical person, but does he really have to let everyone know that by inserting his musical gusto into his all of movies? I'm sure at some ages people enjoy the silly little songs that the clay characters are dancing to, but specifically to an older person like me, they are cheesy and unnecessary. But keep in mind that this is just an opinion, but to me at least, takes away one of the stars.
Apart from this minor annoyance, I really think Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is a fantastic film, that is worthy of your money.