A long legged tragic hero gets lost in the forest and falls into a new realm filled with colorful personalities and runs into the animated skeletal remains of his ever-faithful dog. No this isn't a recap of Jack Skellington and Zero from ten years ago, it's the turning point in the latest Tim Burton animated adventure, "Corpse Bride". "Corpse Bride" is a sure thing for Burton enthusiasts everywhere. The film is everything fans of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" could have wanted and more. While the two movies demand comparison, "Corpse Bride" stands on its own with a unique and twisted love story that comes together as one of the most enjoyable movies of the year.
Exquisite production design places you into Tim Burton's dream world, stylistically bringing together macabre elements inspired by a range of sources from the works of Edward Gorey to the "Grim Fandango" adventure game. Each frame painstakingly brought to life by hand, under the guidance of co-director Mike Johnson, a stop motion animator who's earliest works include the rippin' video for the Primus cover of "the Devil went down to Georgia".
Melancholy never looked so good. Johnny Depp makes for an excellent skellington like puppet, with an endless range of plastic molded facial expressions that capture every sad state and awkward moment the introvert has as he stumbles into true love.
Burton brings the rest of his regular roster of super stars straight from the chocolate factory and into the "Corpse Bride" - Depp is joined by Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee and even Deep Roy, the freaky guy who played the Oompa Loompa carries the role of General Bonesapart. Tracy Ullman, Richard E. Grant, Michael Gough and more round out the cast of cult celebrities that add their voices to the mix.
Danny Elfman's horn driven jazz roots discover a new life in the undead clubs below, with some of the most memorable song and dance numbers sung by his skeletal counterpart BoneJangles. The rest of the musical songs are peppered throughout the production that will add another must have soundtrack album to memorize on your way to the Haunted Mansion.
The only shortcoming for "Corpse Bride" is its running time, and it seems like the house lights come on too quickly as the celluloid lasts only 75 minutes from end to end. Despite this, I'm certain they will be prying the dark clothed goth kids out of multiplexes way past Halloween with this one.
Looking forward to a second date with the "Corpse Bride", for Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2005 - Purple - Air Date: 9/21/05
UK - 2005