Corpse Bride not as grim as it seems

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Anduril, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    When I first heard of this film, my initial thought was “Good grief! A story about a man marrying a corpse? How sick, twisted, dark, and horrific can you get?” But it turns out I was wrong.

    The “corpse” part of the story is simply a story device that simply shows the difference in cultures from the bride (named Emily) and Victor. The story itself is actually a very traditional story with similarities to Beauty and the Beast. But while you pretty much know what’s going to happen, you don’t know how it’s going to come about. I wouldn’t recommend it to little kids since the scene where the Bride awakens is actually a little scary, though the rest of the film is played for laughs. Though some might get squeamish at the ghoulish citizens of Underworld (such as the “Head” waiter), it is really no more macabre than Cary Grant’s Arsenic and Old Lace since this is animated and not realistic while Old Lace is real life and has little old ladies murdering people. Neither is really to be taken seriously. Come to think of it, are any Burton films to be taken seriously?

    From a moralistic perspective, ‘Bride’ actually has more positives than negatives. The story asks the audience to think about what is really important and if we are valuing someone for temporary aspects. The movie also shows the importance of making sacrifices for the other as well the importance of keeping promises.

    Technically, the film is a jewel. For those who don’t know what stop motion animation is, it’s a film technique involving puppets or models. The animators manually move the mouths and eyes a small degree between each still camera take. The result is astonishing. Even Emily’s veil and dress move realistically.

    There appears to be an almost Holy Trinity (or rather Weird Trinity) comprised of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Danny Elfman. As weird as the characters are, Burton actually makes you able to empathize and even relate to them. This is helped by amazing performances by Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands) and Helena Bonham-Carter (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hamlet). In fact, all of the voices are superb. Even brief cameo appearances by Christopher Lee and Michael Gough add to the film’s enjoyability. Finally, Elfman does an amazing job on the musical score. It is really one of the best scores I’ve heard in a while. The songs (for this is a musical) are original and clever, and the Finale is truly wonderful.

    So what’s one to do with Corpse Bride? It’s a good rental. It’s a good movie, though not great. But I can tell you that if I see it for a good deal, I’ll buy it since I certainly wouldn’t mind having this in my library.
     
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