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And Depp said, "I see dead people..."
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (DVD)
Member Name: Ayesha-`
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (DVD)
Advantages: An unusual story of romance and the dead, interesting animation
Disadvantages: Not the most passionate film about
I had seen advertisements for this film and I have to admit the trailers did not impress me at all. I don't like to watch too many animated films anyway, and I wasn't really sure what sort of audience this film was aimed at. However, I don't mind watching a film if I don't have to pay, so when it came onto television one lunchtime it seemed worth a try.
Johnny Depp is the terrible nervous wreck, struggling to remember his vows at his wedding rehearsal and with so much clumsiness he is ordered to properly learn his vows or else he cannot marry his bride, Victoria. Wondering through the dark, he finally manages to read off the vows perfectly, theatrically placing the ring on what he thinks is a twig. Then all of a sudden he finds it is not a twig, and a bride from the underworld emerges, pulling him down into that world, convinced that the two of them are now married. Desperate to get back to his real bride but not hurt the feelings of this dead bride he attempts to trick her. In the meantime, Victoria is imprisoned by her crazy parents and with the prospect that the groom has abandoned her from someone else, it looks like they may have another man in mind for Victoria. Will the groom get back in time to marry Victoria, or will he lose himself in the underworld with his new 'corpse bride'?
I may be a bit simple, but I had not worked out what the story would be from my brief viewings of the trailer. In fact whatever I was thinking would have been wrong. The story is fairly simple but there's enough there to keep you interested once you get into the film. Obviously this is not your average romantic fairy tale film, but it does have a heart-warming side to it and it is not long before you are very much on Victor's (Johnny Depp) side hoping he will somehow end up happily married to the right person. With some amusement from the bizarre underworld and difficult interfering parents, there's enough in this film to keep our attention, and possibly even the kids' attention too!
Johnny Depp is instantly recognisable as Victor, and even my mother knew who he was having only seen a couple of his films. This is great for a big Johnny Depp fan like me (and no I wasn't referring to my waistline), but it could be a little frustrating if you find that the actor's personalised influence makes it harder for you to imagine the character in the way you'd like. He's not Victor, he's Johnny.
Helena Bonham Carter plays the voice of the corpse bride with a little less passion than I would have expected from her. Still it was an interesting performance. Also not particularly outstanding was Emily Watson as Victor's bride-to-be Victoria, but I expected this more for her role as I don't think we are meant to be too sympathetic or unsympathetic towards her.
I'm afraid the songs are absolutely dreadful and to an extent brought down the overall quality of the film. I don't mean to over-exaggerate the effect of poor music, but music I always find has the potential to enhance and weaken a film particularly by its effect on the mood.
The characters and scenes are distinctively designed and as with the vocals, you do get a good impression of who is played by whom just from the way the faces are drawn. This is not the only film of its kind but it is somewhat unusual. It has that dark, slightly creepy style with Tim Burton's signature.
I was a little surprised to begin with. I can't really say that as a child I would not have been at all spooked by this film because I'm not even sure if I would have been spooked myself. The film was rated as a PG and given that there are some scenes that might seem a little scary to some children, it's fair to let parents and guardians have some warning for deciding whether they want their children to see this film. Other than this is seems like a reasonably suitable film for the family.
A mildly amusing, and interesting story and actually does keep you guessing. However I would not really recommend spending your money to see this on DVD, so it is probably better to wait for the next time it is on television. Since it has already come on television once, I'm sure it will be on again.
Summary: A very enjoyable film for all ages (as long as you're not too creeped out!)