The Corpse Bride (2005)

Director: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson

Synopsis: There is a man named Victor (Johnny Depp), who is set up to marry a young lady named Victoria. Just after meeting her, and practicing their wedding rehearsal, Victor panics and cannot get through the practice vows. He runs off and into a nearby forest. While he is there he is trying to practice saying his vows and goes over them to himself and then practices placing the ring on a stick to practice placing it on Victoria’s hand. Turns out the stick, was actually a finger, the finger of the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter), Emily. She wakes and agrees to the marriage. Victor gets scared and tries to get away. She takes him down to her world where she introduces him to all of her dead friends. Victor spends a lot of time trying to get away from his new bride. While he is away with her and trying to escape, Victoria, the woman he was supposed to marry is told that he is seen with some mystery woman and is then set up to marry another gentleman. Emily gifts Victor with his old dead dog Scraps where after Victor tells Emily he wants to introduce Emily to his parents, who are still living and she takes him to Elder Gutknetcht, someone who can help them to go up to the land of the living. He prepares them a spell to enable them to travel back to the living land where Emily is fascinated by how things used to be when she were living and Victor seems to start to gain an interest in her. He tells Emily to wait in the forest while he goes to talk to his parents to explain what is going on, she agrees and he runs off into town. Victor runs off to Victoria’s house where he climbs up to talk to her. Emily finds him talking with her and gets extremely jealous and has him dragged back to the land of the dead. They get into an argument and he says some pretty horrible mean things to her. She gets upset and leaves, she starts talking to her other friends and comes to the conclusion that maybe she is too different from him. Victoria tries to convince her parents what is going on with Victor but they want nothing to do with what she is saying. She runs off to the church to speak to the pastor about the problem and to see if there is something to be done about Victor being married to Emily. Her parents then decide she is going to marry a man named Lord Barkis. After Victoria and Lord Barkis are married, Emily finds out that her marriage to Victor is not real and cannot be held up because she is already dead. He agrees to go ahead and marry her for real which results in him having to kill himself. The ending has its surprises which I will not name here.


While I am usually a huge fan of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton films this film is not one of my favorites. It seems to move very slowly and the plot, while it seems like it should be a better story does not progress well. It is an animation but is still very dark and uses very dark and dim colors. Although to be backwards from how most movies of a similar nature may be; the above world is darker colored and the under world of the world of the dead is more brightly colored. There are oranges, and greens and blues where the top is all grey and black and very dark. It gives a very interesting and new light on the dead world. It has a little dark humor in it, including Emily having a worm living in her head who while he pushes out her eye he also says comedic things. Lord Barkis is obviously a very bad man, after Victoria is informed that she will be marrying him he makes a comment about how they will be together until death do they part and how that will be sooner than she expected. After their wedding happens and Victor agrees to marry Emily and everyone gets all excited, it is one of those moments in the film where you are just sitting there like okay this cannot be this easy, something bad is about to happen. You are waiting for Lord Barkis to make good on his comment that Victoria is not going to be alive long into their marriage and that Victoria is going to be coming down to interrupt the wedding ceremony but not quite. There are some surprises at the end of the movie and it helps tie everything said beforehand together. Overall a decent film, maybe not quite a family film because it is a bit dark, but still a good movie. It seems that many of Tim Burtons animated films are somewhat similar to this one although I cannot think of the other names off the top of my head. Good movie and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys these types of Tim Burtons films.


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