Tuesday, January 1, 2013

ANI-MOVIES: The Corpse Bride

Tim Burton returned to his stop-motion greatness is this great romantic fantasy. Once again teaming up with animator Mike Johnson who he worked with on The Nightmare Before Christmas, and turned Burton's idea for a short story invoving necrophilia into an enjoyable family feature.

Taking place in Victorian era England, the worried young Victor is engaged to the very ladylike a Victoria(a joke on Victor/Victoria), but is having trouble remembering his vows. After dropping his engagement ring in the woods, he unintentionally resurrects Emily, the corpse of a bride who was killed on her wedding night. She takes him to the underworld where he learns her sad tale. Victor manages to talk her into taking him topside by a magic potion, and tells Victoria what happened, but Emily spitefully returns him to back to the land of the dead. Meanwhile, Victoria's parents believe Victor has ditched her, so they promise her hand to the aristocratic Lord Barkis, who really intends to kill and take her fortune, although he's unaware that Victoria's family was really marrying her to Victor for his family's money. Victor himself hears of Victoria's new fiance via one of his old coachmen who recently died of a bad cough. This causes Victor to consent to marrying Emily, but they decide to take their wedding upstairs to the land of the living. After an initial shock by most of the townspeople who think that's its a typical zombie holocaust, they realize that the dead are just there for the wedding. Victoria makes her way to the chapel, and Emily notices her just before Victor is willingly going to drink poison to join Emily in holy matrimony. Emily decides to let Victor marry Victoria instead, but Lord Barkis shows up and Emily recognizes him as the man who killed her. He unwittingly drinks the poison though, and the dead guests drag him back to the underworld. Emily then drifts peacefully off into the afterlife, leaving Victor and Victoria to live happily ever after.

When this movie first came out, I liked it but quickly forgot about it because of how much more entertaining I found the Wallace & Gromit movie(another stop-motion movie)at the time which came out a few weeks later. It wasn't until I rented it again a few years later that I grew to appreciate it more. It's got a bittersweet story to it done to gothic background. There's some fine humor in it, along with a few slightly unecessary but still welcome musical numbers. I especially loved the outlandish character designs and dark backgrounds, and how much more livelier they made the world of the dead seem from the world of the living. I highly recommend this as a movie to show at either Halloween or Valentines, an definately one for your video library.

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