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Corpse Bride

Corpse Bride

Director:Tim Burton
Cast:Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman
Release Date:2005
Genre:Fantasy, Romance, Animation

By Violet LeVoit | Posted 10/5/2005

Poor Victor Van Dort. Even though he’s got Johnny Depp’s voice, all his other parts—sensitive temperament, nonexistent chin, glossy Joy Division hair—can’t make it through a wedding rehearsal without him crapping his pants. Granted, he likes his equally meek betrothed, Victoria (Emily Watson), but he has never met her before, and he would much rather be home collecting butterflies or playing the piano. Strolling glumly through the woods, he makes the mistake of placing his wedding band on a convenient twig that turns out to be the desiccated finger of the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter), a drop-dead knockout who looks like Jessica Rabbit as the Black Dahlia. Of course, it’s all been a terrible misunderstanding, and even though the land of the dead has a full-color palette and free drinks, Victor’s got to sort it all out. Tim Burton’s listed as co-director (along with animator Mike Johnson), but despite the usual pale protagonist and ooky-kooky visuals, it feels like Tim Burton™ is in charge instead, just like how Walt Disney didn’t draw a single frame of Pete’s Dragon. There’s fun to be had in the land of the dead (and only the most neurotic kids will be scared by its cuddly-creepy denizens—in fact, the movie’s view of the afterlife as one big party is quite anxiety dispelling), but its style doesn’t quite trump its thin substance. Then again, Victor does meet his dead dog again in the afterlife. Quit staring, I’ve got something in my eye.

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