Corpse Bride Review
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Usually, after watching a movie, I’ve got plenty to say. I’ll comment on characters and plot twists and memorable lines. Whether I liked a movie or not, I usually have something to say about it. But after seeing Corpse Bride, I didn’t have much to say. When I was asked what I thought, all I could say was, “Well…it was interesting…”

Johnny Depp stars as the voice of Victor Van Dort. Victor’s parents, wealthy fish sellers, arrange for Victor to marry Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson), the daughter of a nobleman, to improve their social standing. Victoria’s parents only agreed to their daughter’s marriage to the nouveau riche because the union will help to bring back their lost fortune. During the rehearsal, Victor is so nervous that he repeatedly messes up his vows. Embarrassed by his failure during the rehearsal, he goes out into the forest to practice his vows. He recites them perfectly as he unknowingly slips Victoria’s ring on the finger of Emily, the corpse bride (Helena Bonham Carter), who had been waiting in the forest for her True Love.

Victor’s new bride takes him to the underworld, where she expects him to live happily ever after. Meanwhile, Victoria’s parents, upset by Victor’s disappearance (as well as the rumors that he was seen running of with another woman), decide to marry their daughter to a mysterious lord who showed up at their door.

With its innovative animation, its quirky characters, and its Danny Elfman-penned songs, Corpse Bride is like an eerie Disney musical. Visually, it’s an amazing movie. The sets are captivating, and its stop-motion animation is nearly life-like. But that’s pretty much as far as it goes. The story, while definitely unique, isn’t all that solid. There isn’t much in the way of background information, and Emily’s story is a little sketchy. The lack of detail is merely covered up by flashy song-and-dance numbers involving skeletons and an obnoxious maggot that keeps popping out of Emily’s eye.

Technically, Corpse Bride is a wonderful movie. It’s got incredible animation and creative designs and an impressive cast of voices. But, as a whole, it failed to impress me. I enjoyed the first few minutes—the interaction between Victor and Victoria and their two families is entertaining. But once the corpse bride shows up in the film, the story drags on, making the film’s mere 85 minutes feel like a couple of hours. In fact, it drags enough that the unruly kids ahead of me in the theater kept asking their mom if they could leave. So unless you want to see this film purely for the animation and the striking Tim Burton set design, Corpse Bride isn’t a movie that you need to add to your Must-See list. Other Burton movies, like Sleepy Hollow or Big Fish, are more worth your time.

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