Corpse Bride (2005)
Genre: Animation Family Comedy Musical Fantasy Drama Romance (USA, UK)
Starring: Johnny Depp ("21 Jump Street"; Ed Wood), Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club; Conversations With Other Women)
Directed By: Tim Burton (Big Fish; Batman), Mike Johnson
Overview: This is the gothic animated tale of a man getting ready for his arranged marriage. Along the way, he accidentally marries a corpse bride, who brings her new beloved to the underworld.
Acting: The animated expressions were great. Johnny Depp is a favoured Burton cast member an with good reason. Sure he's chosen some not so good movies in his career, but of late, he's pretty bang on with popular roles. The style of animation allowed for some pretty neat exaggerations, a nice display, good range.
Cinematography: The look of this thing! Basically, it's claymation and the stuff is really well done. The attention to detail is astounding and the underworld is something right out of Mexico's Day of the Dead, very reminiscent of the video game Grim Fandango (highly recommended for you gamers out there). Anyways, very good effects, very cool camera angles, and as for stylish 'special' effects, there's even a couple neat twists for the discerning eye.
Script: The terrible little puns of the family film seem fine when it's death and dismemberment. I guess dark comedic groaners I can handle. I found it rather cute in fact. You know beheaded bartenders asking why they can't get an "body", the chopped in half guy saying he's gotta "split". Might sound like groaners here but when you watch it, you can't help but chuckle. As for the rest of the dialogue, really neat. The songs? Einh.
Plot: The story is amazing. A great premise, a nice unfolding, a moral lesson, a historical context and a neat little wrapped up ending will appeal to everyone. There were no square peg elements to shove into round holes of continuity. As for the motivations and character development, real adult stuff. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Mood: Awesome, awesome, awesome. Even the cheesy puns add to the amusing theme of child-like innocence, while still having the serious adult elements of death, murder and vengeance. Hyper-stylized and exaggerated animation has a great way of making a film convey its mood, you know? The songs however, detracted. Of the 6, only two were good, the rest I wished that they had just left out, or shortened. It felt like a commercial break that I had to sit through.
Overall Rating: 84% (A Perfect Marriage of Goth and Family Fun)
Aftertaste: This is frikken terrific. I have recommended this movie to about 10 people so far, and it makes me want to play that Grim Fandango video game again, but sadly I lent it to someone... who then moved... to Toronto. Jesus!