Ah, Tim Burton. Does your shadowy pit of an imagination have no bottom? In Corpse Bride, he directs the visual and spiritual successor to his popular The Nightmare Before Christmas. The animation is beautiful, and the plot is as ooky and creepy as any Hallowe’en tale; even while retaining a fair amount of sweetness and dark humor.
However, I didn’t find it to be even close to as interesting or good as The Nightmare Before Christmas. The visuals are great, and the voice acting is great. But the music lacks the same punch (though it remains good, it isn’t memorable), the pace is slow and the plot is uninvolving. Our hero, played by Johnny Depp, is a rightfully-anxious groom-to-be. He runs off into the forest because of his jitters, and manages to accidentally “marry” a random corpse.
This makes the corpse (Helena Bonham Carter) comes to, uh, life. And she quickly introduces her groom to the Underworld she lives in; upon seeing that the afterlife is a ghoulish affair of animated skeletons and gruesome CSI: The TV Shows corpse stand-ins. But, it’s a party and they’re all pretty happy about things – except for the Corpse Bride, who is a bit bummed about being murdered and ditched in the forest by her former lover. Our hero, having jumped into the fire, is anxious to re-enter the frying pan of normal life and give his actual, albeit pre-arranged, bride (Emily Watson) a chance. And who the hell wouldn’t?
While I enjoy dark creepy junk as much as the next Nighmare Before Christmas fanatic, it honestly feels slightly out of place in this movie. Oh well, it’s cool enough if you turn your brain off. Unfortunately, that turns the movie into a real yawner. And it does have a bit of charm and wit that you shouldn’t miss. Plus, have I mentioned yet how fantastic everything looks? Wondering how they animated this film pretty much blew my mind.