Tim Burton's 'Corpse Bride' is a charming, quirky, stop-motion-animation movie based loosely on a 19th century Russian-Jewish folktale version of an older Jewish story and set in a fictional Victorian era village. Directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, and filmed at 3 Mills Studios in London. Johnny Depp led an all-star cast as the voice of Victor and Helena Bonham Carter (for whom the project was specially created) as the voice of the title character.
I watched ‘Sweeny Todd’ before this movie, and was very dissapointed with it, but this was back to Burton’s great style and themes. Showing Burton's trademark style and recurring themes between light and darkness, and of being caught between two worlds. Life is portrayed as boring and dull gray tinted in the underworld, while death is more fun, as shown by the brighter colours and jaunty music. The movie can be particularly compared to ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ , Burton's hugely succesful and popular stop-motion feature project, and also the superb ‘Beetlejuice’, especially in the scenes depicting the underworld and its deceased denizens. The studio intentionally emphasized the links, as some commercials for Corpse Bride were accompanied by songs from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (specifically, "What's This.")
The story is charming, tragic, full of fun, very entertaining and full of great characters. The movie is also voiced by a heard of fantastic actors, including Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Michael Gough (also Alfred in Burton’s fantastic ‘Batman’ movies), and Richard E. Grant. The characters are well written and thought out, and the whole movie has a moving and well meant message throughout.
I’ve always loved Tim Burton movies, and even though I was extremley dissapointed with 'Sweeny Todd' and especially his version of ‘Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory’ ; as a Welsh Brit, and a Roald Dhal fan, ‘Willy Wonka’ was an insult. Dhal despised the original movie because he felt it was far too Americanised, but Burton took this even further, by refering to the choclate as candy throughout, and many other things, such as Toffee as Taffy etc. etc.
Burton seems at his most comfortable dealing with different worlds and contradictions, for example, the masterpieces of ‘Edward Scissorhands’, and ‘Batman Returns.’
This is a really fun film and brilliant for kids of all ages. The songs aren't as catchy as 'Nightmare Before Christmas', but it does have a few great tunes. Highly reccomended!