innocent_man: (zombie)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Corpse Bride is a stop-motion animated Tim Burton film about a shy young man about to enter into an arranged marriage (voiced by Johnny Depp, because this was after Depp pledged eternal service to House Burton). The boy (Victor) is getting married because his family's fortune will reinvigorate his intended's waning cash reserves, which could be a recipe for suck, but it turns out they click nicely.

In rehearsing their vows, however, Victor gets all clumsy and the priest (Christopher Lee, another occasional Burton vassal) kicks his ass out to practice them. Wandering in the woods, he inadvertently recites his vows to what turns out to the be corpse - Emily, the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter...again, Burton), murdered and left in the woods.

Victor is taken to the Underworld, introduced around, and tries to get back to Victoria, but kind of fails at that. Meanwhile, a scam artist named Barkus is moving in on Victoria, intending to marry her, steal her money and straight-up murder her. Eee!

Victor, learning only that Victoria is marrying someone else and feeling guilty and sympathetic over Emily's plight (plus, y'know, they click, too), agrees to marry her for real, even though this will kill him. And then up they go, to a weird meeting between living and dead that winds up with the young lovers together, Barkus dead and dragged down to the underworld, and Emily leaving all of this behind and passing on.

I like this movie better upon a repeat viewing. Yes, the songs are still kind of boring, but they're aren't as insipid and lyrically dull as, say, Nightmare Before Christmas. The visuals are nice, and I think it's cool that the living world is dull and bleak while the underworld is vibrant and colorful. Even Teagan noticed that. There are some funny bits, mostly gallows humor, but that's fine. And the Peter Lorre voice for the maggot in Emily's head was a nice touch. As kids movies about zombies go, it's fun, and Teagan can watch it without getting too freaked out.

I think, though, as with Nightmare Before Christmas, that the danger you run into doing stop-motion is that it's so intensive that the movie winds up too short and some of the characters get sold short. Usually that's the villain, because it's easy to establish the villain as EEEEVIL without figuring out why, if he's not there often (I have this problem with Oogie Boogie as well as Barkus).

But at least with this movie, Burton isn't ganking someone else's story and then running it through the Burton-filter. It's his aesthetic, but in a story and setting that works. Maybe the other director reined him in a bit.

My Grade: B+
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: The Count of Monte Christo



1/26:
Soup: 4
Banana: 1
Pudding: 3
Cottage Cheese: 3
Taters: 4
Pork: 4
Meatloaf: 8

Total: 27
Banked: 19

1/27:
Chicken 5
Pudding 3
Orange 1
Banana 1
Taters 3
Food: Fuck it

Total: 13
Banked: 0

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