<I>Corpse Bride</I>: the <I>Nightmare</I> after
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride has been playing at the Paramount theatre
this week, before it’s released nationwide on Sept. 23. The
animated movie features the voices of Johnny Depp and Helena
Bonham Carter, as well as a good supporting cast which includes
Richard E. Grant, Emily Watson, and Albert Finney.
Corpse Bride is what Jane Austen would have written had she
married into the Addams Family. The story is about a young
couple, Victor and Victoria, whose upcoming marriage is put in
doubt when Victor gets lost in the woods and accidentally
marries a once-jilted, and now very dead, bride instead.
After that, the plot isn’t much different from any other
romantic comedy, only with dancing skeletons and singing spiders.
A stop-motion film, Corpse Bride recalls the same visual style as
1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, another Tim Burton production.
The expressionistic, grim-yet-graceful look of the Victorian town
is well balanced with the more colorful and wacky underworld.
Once again, Burton brings us a world where the dead seem to be
having a lot more fun than the living. Even the music and songs in
the Land of the Dead, written by longtime Burton collaborator Danny
Elfman, have more life to them.
Sad to say, The Nightmare Before Christmas was a stronger film, with
a more interesting story and more memorable songs. Corpse Bride
feels like a rehash in comparison. That aside, since Corpse Bride
remains unlike most other animated movies, especially those based on
the current Toy Story/ Shrek template, a reworking of The Nightmare
Before Christmas isn’t such a bad thing. Corpse Bride is
innocuous enough to be good fun for kids—despite the detachable
body parts—but with enough smart and beautiful moments
to keep everyone else entertained.
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