Corpse Bride

****

Reviewed by: Kotleta

Corpse Bride
""

Eschewing recent trends to make films take as long to watch as they did to write, Tim Burton has gone with the quality over quantity option and brought in his latest stop-motion Gothic treat at a delightfully brief 76 minutes. A decision that earns him an extra half star all on its own.

The love affair of Victor/Victoria (without the cross-dressing) is a turbulent one. On the eve of their wedding, nervously inarticulate Victor's jitters take him to the dark and scary woods, where he practices his vows and accidentally plights his troth to Emily, an animated reanimated corpse, who was murdered on her way to the altar. Despite her blue-skinned beauty and sparkling personality, Victor is determined to escape from the fun-filled land of the dead and marry his true love instead, the sweetly aristocratic and equally downtrodden Victoria. But although he doesn't know it, he has competition for the fair Vicky's hand in the form of sleazy charmer Lord Barkiss Bittern.

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Burton takes us to familiar territory, but it's beautifully realised and charmingly imagined, one that I will never tire of visiting. It's the perfect antidote to the usual Halloween slasher horror fare - a mix of romance and black comedy with all the usual suspects on board to provide the voices and probably more child-friendly than the fabulously dark Nightmare Before Christmas.

Whoever would have thought that Johnny Depp's appearance in the Fast Show would lead to Paul Whitehouse breaking into Hollywood? But there you go, anything can happen. This has a very Brit heavy cast, which may be down to the influence of Burton's real life wife Helena Bonham Carter, but I prefer to think it is because he is secretly Robert Smith from The Cure without the make-up and one day he'll forget to do the American accent and all the subterfuge will have been for naught.

Tragically, the musical sequences are disappointing and it's all a bit predictable, which is perhaps one of the downsides of a director having such a distinctive style. A little less nice and a little more nasty would have given Corpse Bride more bite, but it remains one of the better examples of Burton's work and one of the best ways to spend a gloomy autumn evening.

Reviewed on: 21 Oct 2005
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Stop-motion love story sees a young man inadvertantly marry a dead woman.
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Angus Wolfe Murray ****1/2

Director: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson

Writer: John August, Pamela Pettler, Caroline Thompson

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse, Joanna Lumley, Albert Finney, Richard E Grant, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Jane Horrocks, Enn Reitel, Deep Roy, Danny Elfman, Stephen Ballantyne

Year: 2005

Runtime: 76 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: UK

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