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The Corpse Bride
An Emily Blunt Review
Starring the voices of: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Emily Watson
Directed by: Tim Burton and Mike Johnson
Music by Elfman

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Bluntly speaking? The Corpse Bride is out-of-this-world original. Once again director Tim Burton, along with co-director Mike Johnson here, with their merry band of artisans have created a world askew to view. Based on a Russian tale of lore Burton and the gang bring these dolls, these inanimate characters, via stop-action as with Nightmare Before Christmas, bounding to the screen. These little folks invite us into a Goreyesque Dickensian world peppered with Burton's signature style of macabre humor and Elfman's musical operatic commingling. Bravo.

Story goes… Victor Van Dort (Voiced by Johnny Depp) comes from a rather snobbish social climbing family of fish peddlers. (Voiced by Tracey Ullman and Paul Whitehouse). These two misplaced prioritizers desperately want their sweet and gentle son married off - they want a title, even though they have amassed a fortune - everything must go to plan…

While the bride to be aristocrat, Victoria Everglot (Voiced by Emily Watson), is also in a parental quandary - she had always hoped she'd actually love the man she was to wed. But, alas, her slithering bitter-faced parents (Voiced by Joanna Lumley and Albert Finney) - who have fancy titles yet no fortune - a secret they'd rather the Van Dort's did not learn about until their lovely girl is betrothed…even if to the dreaded nouveau-riche.

The eve of the big day, Victor needs some post humilation-at-the-rehearsal-place space. He ventures into the woods out-of-town. While practicing his nuptials among the woodworm and cherry oak he accidentally weds a corpse (Voiced by Helena Bonham Carter). Oh dear, such a dreadful social faux pas, what with him expected at the alter to be wed in the morn and all…

The Corpse Bride could not be happier…the poor dear had been murdered and on the eve of her wedding and - finally - her groom -a groom - has come. She whisks her handsome new beau to the underworld, the Land of the Dead, to meet her dedicated, if decaying, group of friends. The bewildered Victor has no idea how to mend his horrible error; this shot gun marriage - but he sure doesn't want to hurt the girl - either of them…

En route to a remarkably original ending, we are gloriously entertained with an instant classic unfolding before our eyes. There's a nod to Mr. Peter Lorre, a bazillion plays on the humor of the dead, and the usual sprinkle of wonder we've come to expect from Burton's mind's eye. Master puppet creators Mackinnon and Saunders and Director of photography Pete Kozachik were charged with bringing the multitude of characters - both living and dead - from Burton's drawings to life. The "puppets" had to have flowing movements, waving costumes, intimate expressions, truly an epic undertaking from a production stand point, and by Jove they've done it! Once again raising the bar for the world of film and stop-action. Enjoy.

Snack recommendation: Nadda - you don't want any "chewing noise" interferring with your visual and audio enjoyment here.
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