Cast: voiced by: Johnny Depp, Emily Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Albert Finney, Richard E. Grant, Christopher Lee, Joanna Lumley
Director: Mike Johnson, Tim Burton
Screenplay: John August and Caroline Thompson and Pamela Pettler
Rated: PG scary scenes, mild themes
Running Time: 74 Minutes
There's Been A Grave Misunderstanding.
Tim Burton continues to combine wholesome comedy and creepy horror with this tale of a mild-mannered Victorian gentleman, Victor (Johnny Depp), who accidentally marries a mysterious corpse bride (Helena Bonham-Carter) instead of his intended, Victoria (Emily Watson). Victor soon discovers that the Land of the Dead holds more fun than frights and begins to fall in love with his innocent bride. Meanwhile, Victoria has been drawn into a scam of a marriage and may not escape with her life. As time runs out for everyone, can there be a resolution where everyone gets what he or she deserves?
Set in Victorian times, Victoria (Emily Watson) is betrothed to Victor (Johnny Depp), thanks to her aristocratic yet poor, domineering parents Maudeline and Finis Everglot (Joanna Lumley and Albert Finney), who think that if Victoria marries the class-less but rich Victor, they will all be able to climb back up the social ladder. Victor's parents, Nell and William Van Dort, are in on the idea too, but no one considered whether the bride and groom-to-be even liked each other. They all meet at the dress rehearsal for the ceremony and Victor and Victoria do find that they have some magnetism.
It is during the rehearsal that Victor just can't get his lines right, much to the annoyance of the pastor, who sends him away until he can learn his lines properly. Victor wanders off into the local forest and mistakenly places the wedding ring on a corpse's finger whilst reciting his vows. He is now mistakenly married to a corpse bride, who was murdered on her wedding day, and Victor finds himself in the underworld, unable to return; yet mysteriously falling for his corpse bride. But ultimately Victor will be faced with a decision that is almost too hard to make on his own, with Victoria facing her own dilemma in Victor's absence.
With his unique style, director Tim Burton has returned to the technically difficult yet very appealing stop-motion animation puppets that he used so successfully in 1993 in 'Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas'. Again, using a macabre sense of humour, he delights with characters that are overtly caricatures and yet still full of sensitivity, charm and wickedness that encompass this comedy-tragedy.
The action takes place in two distinct worlds: The Land of the Dead and the Land of the Living, but these worlds are opposite to what one might expect with the underworld the happiest and liveliest and the Land of the Living a very dour, severe and miserable place. There are some scenes that could possibly be potentially frightening to the very young, but they are very brief and not blatantly shocking.
Burton unites yet again with actor Johnny Depp who voices Victor and is almost unrecognisable, along with plenty of other recognisable voices. Interspersed also are some songs that really could have been omitted, as they seem to stop the flow of events with the lyrics often too hard to decipher.
With plenty of adult humour and references to other movies to keep up with, 'Tim Burton's Corpse Bride' is a delightful, whimsically fun movie and although relatively brief at only 74 minutes, it is still very satisfying.
Rating : ***½