Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Albert Finney, Emily Watson, Richard E. Grant
Director: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson

U.S. Opening Date: Sept. 23, 2005

To my mind the most interesting animated movies we’d get to see this year aren’t the various CGI flicks featuring cutesy animals (Madagascar, Disney’s Chicken Little) and cutesy robots (Robots), but some rather more traditional efforts.

This year sees the release of the first full-length Wallace & Gromit movie (and if you don’t know the heck who Wallace & Gromit is, then buy the DVD at Amazon NOW!) from the folks who gave us Chicken Run. It also sees the latest effort by Hayao Miyazaki (of Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky fame), namely Howl's Moving Castle. It also sees the release of this movie, The Corpse Bride, of which Tim Burton (Batman, Edward Scissorhands) is a co-director.

Wallace & Gromit uses so-called Claymation, in which models made of clay are painstakingly moved and filmed, one frame at a time. The Corpse Bride uses a similar process, but with more traditional models not made of clay. Howl’s Moving Castle uses old-fashioned hand-drawn animation.

None of this is new, of course, but let’s face it: computer-animated movies are becoming pretty much standard nowadays with every studio jumping on the bandwagon once exclusively occupied by Pixar. To be honest I’ve decided I’ve had my fill with CGI movies with the recent Shark Tale hit, which proved that what matters with any animated movie isn’t the processes involved but a good script, damn it! For instance, Shrek would have been just as enjoyable if it used ordinary animation techniques because it had a fun script you know!

Anyway, The Corpse Bride promises to be similar to one of Tim Burton’s previous forays into the genre, namely the excellent Nightmare Before Christmas. It features the talents of several Burton “regulars” such as Johnny Depp who is currently working with the director on Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. (Just on how many movies did they work together?)

The Corpse Bride promises to be a return to form for Burton who in recent years produced bland and disappointing fare such as Big Fish and that silly Planet of the Apes remake . . .

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Plot description of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005):

Set in 19th-century European village, Victor (Johnny Depp) is travelling home with his friend to get married to his fiancee Victoria (Emily Watson). The two stop to rest in the woods, and as a joke, Victor puts his wedding ring on a finger-shaped stick in the ground and says his wedding vows. The stick turns out to be a rotted finger belonging to a murdered girl (Helena Bonham-Carter), who returns as a zombie and insists that she is now Victor's lawfully wedded wife.

Some sources:, IMDb

Trivia about Tim Burton's Corpse Bride:

  • The legend of the corpse bride began as a nighttime horror story in 19th century Russia. At the time, anti-Semitism was rampant, and Jewish girls would often be ambushed and murdered on their way to the wedding chapel in order to prevent them from bearing any future generations. Because of the Jewish tradition of being buried with the clothes one died in, these girls would invariably be laid to rest wearing their blood-splattered bridal gowns.

Some sources:, IMDb


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