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4.6 out of 5 stars257
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 December 2006
This animated film that uses puppets and other means to build a full show, dancing, singing and haunting included, is remarkable. Remarkable for its pleasantly morbid humor and subject. Remarkable for its caustically social criticism. Remarkable for its mesmerizing loving young characters. These are the victims of everything in the world. Of their parents, of their social position, of their young age, of their romanticism, of their naiveté and of course of all the social climbers and social vultures our beautiful human society hosts and even cherishes. It is true without these social escalating climbers life would be humdrum and tasteless. With them it tastes like mud and there is always some hullabaloo around them.

The plot is superbly simple. The son of a rich bourgeois family is planned by his parents to marry the daughter of a pauperized noble family who is planned by her parents to marry the son of a rich bourgeois family. They fall in love at first sight, and first touch of a piano keyboard, which is exceptional for an arranged marriage. And then difficulties pile up because a social vulture comes up and wants the girl since he is pauperized and badly informed. He thinks the noble family is rich and he wants to put his hands (and both of them of course) on the girl and her family’s fortune.

Then, due to some local and perverse circumstances the poor young man ends up in a cemetery and he gets, by total accident, married to a dead girl, hence a corpse “till death us parts.” But this clause is difficult to implement. The rest is to be discovered by yourself and your doppelganger because we all have a doppelganger who would like to visit the other side of the mirror, the other side of reality, the dark side of the moon and even the invisible side of our psyche. I know a lot of people who would love to visit the underground underworld just for fun, provided they can come back. Though coming back is the most difficult part of the game, and please do not fall in love with anyone on that other side because then you’ll have to join them for ever “as soon as death us unites.”

But the most beautiful and fascinating part of this film is of course the animation. I will not be technical but the “puppets” are perfects especially the skeletons dressed or undressed, dancing or not, singing or howling, playing bone percussions or bone saxophone. They can fall down on the ground and scatter all their bones and then in an instant get back up and reassemble the jigsaw puzzle of their ribs, phalanges and knuckles. There is some kind of a magical trick in that. I must say that the dancing skeletons can be alluring and even exciting. But please no S…, we’re not necessarily English, but we’re dead. Too bad because a bag of bones can be very surprising at times.

The music is of course great. This is a Tim Burton film, mind you, And the music is essential to make the bone hallucination dance and sing. But the music is also essential to lure the social escalating climber into drinking the poison that was not intended for him, and he will not end like the girl he killed, “always a bride’s maid but never the bride,” he will end “always a bridegroom but never a married man.” Poor chap!

Finally it is important to know that this film is not recommended for sensitive people who should also be sensible and avoid the morbid fear and lethal angst they may feel in that funeral of a wedding, in that deadly descent to Limbo from which there is no way back. Once an underworld resident, always an underworld resident. Ask Orpheus about it. You will recognize that fascination for death that is the hallmark of Mr. Tim Burton. It is why we like him, true enough, but it is also why we come back all the time to be flagellated with bones, corpses, rotting flesh and maggots. I must say that the spider seamstresses are quite a perverse, obnubilating but so sugary-sweet-honey-pie vision. We could accept to become macabre diabetic and an overdose of that graveyard paraphernalia would lead us to the bliss of a symbolical and orgasmic death directly there in our armchairs.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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on 26 June 2006
If you liked "A Nightmare Before Christmas" you'll absolutely enjoy this one as well. I must admit that I really admire most of Tim Burton's films, as they really seem to go beneath the surface in a most profound and original way and really do have a lot of heart and depth. A film, which is about a guy who accidentally marries a `dead' woman and therefore is taken to the underworld of the dead and hold there against his wish bound by his vow, would normally seem to be a rather dark and sinister film, but not in this case, this is a beautiful film. It is almost `classical' in its style of telling its tale, but at the same time of cause, being a Tim Burton film, `unusual'. This is about magic & love versus vanity & evil, but the film also has a lot of humour and irony, which is unfolded in a glorious way. It is also a film about redemption, and dare I say, it has a wonderful ending where everything falls into place. The music is also a big part of this movie and Danny Elfman, who is a great film composer, has really delivered some stunning tunes. This is a real gem by the maestro - don't miss this one.
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on 30 December 2006
I'm largely a fan of Tim Burtons work, bar a couple, and having seen this for the first time recently I have to say that it's a work of art.

When I first saw Nightmare before Christmas I felt it was lacking something. Burtons reliance upon his saccharin goth formula has been tiresome in some of his recent outings. But the gnarly silhouetted backdrops and jaunty atmospheric soundtrack by Danny Elfman suited this film down to the ground, no pun intended.

The plot was slightly cutesy in places but with Burtons astonishing eye for detail and depth of scenery you soon become lost in it all.

With the Pixar animation machine taking over the world at the moment churning out throw-away plots it was refreshing to see a stop motion flick come up with something that looks as beautiful as this does.

With Burton and Depp both being staunch 'Anglo-philes' it was no surprise to see a strong British cast lending their voices to this film.

If you're a fan of Tim Burton and have yet to see this, I strongly urge you to do so because the magic he weaves in his films has never been so perfectly executed as it was in this film. One in the eye for Pixar I think.
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on 10 August 2010
I just cannot, cannot believe that there is ANYONE on planet Earth who doesn't like 'The Corpse Bride'. Why don't you just bury yourselves and be done with it? You're dead; you're the only ones who don't know it. Either that, or you must be the same people who keep 'Big Momma's House', 'Disaster Movie' and countless other excremental drivel in the cinema - they're clearly more to your level of intellect. I despair. It seems the number of people who can actually tell the difference between a turd and a diamond is dwindling rapidly.

I first saw 'The Corpse Bride' on TV a few days ago, and immediately fell in love with it. Even the damn TV voice-over loved it, expressing her admiration as the credits rolled (and you don't hear that often). I quickly got it on DVD to treasure forever. What more can I say? The story is enchanting and charmingly original; the voice-casting is first-class; the stop-motion animation is just sublimely well done; the songs are ghoulishly good (the song the Corpse Bride sings to herself is just adorable and touching). I could go on.

'The Corpse Bride' deserves to be up there along with 'Toy Story', 'Monsters Inc', 'WALL-E', 'Shrek' as not only one of the greatest children's films of all time, but one of the greatest films full stop. If you do not like this film then not only do you not have a heart, you are one of the reasons why this world is in such a mess.
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on 10 June 2008
Enter Tim Burton Director master of the dark spooky film noir and you have an animated film drawing experience from A Nightmare Before Christmas but not quite as good a tale....The Corpse Bride is simplistic in plot when a young man attempts to wed a bride, a ghost bride from the past who was taken away from this world yearns to marry the young man instead.Whilst initially bitter and heartbroken the young man tries to escape to no avail and therein lies the story to come......The Corpse Bride is a dark look at at a children's tale with a happy ending with various characters such as the real life bride's snobbish parents and a make belief land of the dead. This is an entertaining tale if not fantastic....but one thing that is fantastic is the picture quality of this hd-dvd. Colours are vibrant almost 3 dimensional so much so that the various characters almost look as if they are touchable on screen. Sharpness and clarity is top drawer and the sound is both crystal with a surround atmosphere that would haunt almost any living room. I believe the 12 years and over is a good film rating as this would be a scary film possibly for under 8 years.....but having said that if you want the best picture and sound from a hd-dvd animation then you would have found it in Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride.
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There are many films involving love triangles, but they tend not to span mortal coils. This is essentially a dark love story with murder and zombies, it's also one of the best films I've seen for some years.

Shrinking violet Victoria and the socially awkward Victor are due to be married. It's an arranged union of convenience as far as their parents are concerned but the betrothed are relieved to find that they connect well and instantly develop feelings for each other. Their mutual love should make for a genuinely celebratory wedding but Victor's clumsiness during the rehearsal leads to a series of events resulting in him becoming the husband of a semi-decomposed woman buried in the woods.

Corpse Bride Emily may be a rotting zombie but she's no monster, the strength of this film is how the three primary characters are all very likeable and each are a victim of their own circumstances that you can sympathise with. Victoria is left seeing her love married to another, Emily feels heartbroken at her husband longing for another woman, and Victor himself simply wants to please everybody and cares deeply for both. The dark core of this film gives it an emotional depth which older audiences will appreciate and younger viewers will still pick up on, it's crucial for a film concerned with human emotions to be both stirring and convincing, The Corpse Bride is a stop motion film which has more heart than most live action Hollywood rom-coms. It's hard to believe that this film is only 1hr 15mins in duration (give or take 2 minutes) because the scope is ambitious and although the plot is relatively simple, the complexity of the relationships and the character's insecurities (particularly Emily, the Corpse Bride herself) are fully explored and developed.

The level of animation for this film is never less than impressive. The puppets themselves have so much personality with expressive eyes conveying plenty of emotion - and that's before they even move! The characters here are whimsical and full of the fantastical vision that Tim Burton brings to his films, but they are so very human because they appear to genuinely have feelings. Maybe it's just me being a bit weird but a corpse has never looked so sexy, then again I also found the mum from The Incredibles to be quite nice. Anyway, the stop motion capture is the smoothest I've ever seen animated and there are visual gags in almost every scene, some are pretty obvious (the maggot springing from Emily's eye socket) whereas others are more subtle (a skeleton scratching his head makes part of his skull come loose). We saw the same sort of thing in The Nightmare Before Christmas, but the sharper image quality and busier backgrounds of The Corpse Bride mean that there's more to see in addition of the main action.

The Nightmare Before Christmas was animated using stills taken with a traditional 35mm camera back in the early `90s, but The Corpse Bride uses digital SLRs to capture an ultra-sharp image. The Blu-Ray transfer compliments the filming technique and it looks gorgeous on screen. It's not just the subject matter which is dark, and the high definition presentation reveals lots of detail in the dimly lit scenes and the rendering of textures is amongst the best I've seen, just look at Emily's wedding dress - the details are exquisite, it looked good on DVD but in Blu-Ray you appreciate the benefits the medium provides. Danny Elfman's score is full of energy and melancholy, he appeared to have fun with 'Nightmare and seems equally enthused with 'Corpse. The soundtrack stands up well on its own and the repeated themes tie everything together beautifully, this release dedicates a feature in the bonus material to Elfman's handling of the score. It's a good documentary and forms part of several mini 'behind the scenes' features which give you a good idea of the efforts involved in bringing this film to life. There are some great voice talents in action here and they also get their own feature, I was pleased to see that as they bring so much to the final product. The primarily British cast can be seen delivering some of their characters lines, sometimes this can ruin the magic of such a film but The Corpse Bride is such an enchanting story that it takes nothing away seeing the real-life faces who provide the voices.

In a nutshell: Tim Burton's done it again - it's another story about someone who doesn't quite fit in and it still manages to be unique and fresh. Full of humour, fantastic songs, great animation and even greater characters. I expected this to be second rate compared to The Nightmare Before Christmas but it was actually an impressive feature which doesn't seem to get the recognition it deserves.
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Another dark, kooky gem from Burton. This has an original storyline and amazing animation. There's great music and so many funny little touches to watch out for. The voices are perfect and the story is fun enough for kids and still manages to engage adults. A worthy partner to Burtons other classic 'Nightmare before Christmas'. Give it a go, you shouldn't be disappointed.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 6 February 2007
My six-year old daughter introduced me to this film, which she saw at a friend's house. She says it is "beautiful and sad at the same time". We have watched it together a few times now and I think she is spot on! To my mind much better than the Nightmare Before Christmas; there is a superb cast of voices as well as all the visual delights.
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on 26 August 2007
this film is absolutely stunning in every last detail.
the script is great, very funny and the voice casting is perfect and the actors really breathe some life into the script.
unsurprisingly it looks amazing,even slightly slicker than the nightmare before christmas and the songs are phenominally catchy!!!!
danny elfman for a knighthood soon i hope.
the story then....ok victor is going to his arranged marriage but keeps getting his vows wrong and goes out into the woods to pratice, he says them to what he thinks i s a tree stump and ends up married to a dead girl!!!
i know it sounds odd but it all makes sense at the time!
but he then has to make the decision as to whether stay in the afterlife when he finds out that it is actually quite good fun down ther or to go back to his dreary existence in the realm of the living!!!
and somehow all of this is crammed into a little over 70 minutes of film!!!
so you dont need much of an attention span for it!!! and it is cute enough that most children will be able to watch it alongside the adults
utter genius from start to finish!!
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on 11 October 2006
Tim Burton has done it again! The story of our own jubilicously lovely corpse bride :) This is a funny, romantic, sweet and just a little bir creepy adventure with a great sense of humor and wonderful songs. It is more "grown-up" when compared to Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas; Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham's voices have added so much to the characters. Make sure you buy the movie together with the soundtrack. A must-see!
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