[[quoteright:296:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CorpseBride.gif]]
[[caption-width-right:296:[[NightmareFetishist Only]] Creator/TimBurton could make [[ILoveTheDead necrophilia]] [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming kinda cute]].]]

''Corpse Bride'' is a romantic comedy musical by Creator/TimBurton and Creator/DannyElfman, and a SpiritualSequel to Henry Selick's ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' (of which Burton was the producer). The film mixes German Expressionist elements, stop-motion animation, gothic melodrama and macabre sense of humour, and is based on an old Yiddish folk tale.

Victor, the son of some [[NouveauRiche wealthy]] [[SelfMadeMan fishmongers]], is entering into an ArrangedMarriage with Victoria, a beautiful young woman from a [[ImpoverishedPatrician penniless aristocratic family]]. The couple [[PerfectlyArrangedMarriage find that they rather like each other, and everything is going swimmingly]]... except for the tiny problem of Victor being too nervous to learn his wedding vows. He goes into the forest to practice them but, unintentionally, gives the speech (and engagement ring) to the vivacious and fun-loving Emily, who [[AccidentalMarriage thinks they are now married]].

Oh, did we mention Emily is dead?

Victor is dragged to the underworld, which ironically heavily contrasts with the drab surroundings of the living by being colourful and vibrant. At first he is desperate to get back home to Victoria, but is soon torn between the life he knew and his life in the underworld. Victor also finds himself drawn towards Emily, whose tragic death may be more entwined with the lives of Victoria and himself than he first thought.

The film has many little shout-outs and references to previous works by Creator/TimBurton. DannyElfman's character, Bonejangles, is a call-back to his time with OingoBoingo.
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!!This film provides examples of:
* AccidentalMarriage: The entire plot, of course.
* ArcWords: "According to plan." First spoken by both sets of parents when they are trying to make the wedding go perfectly. Later mentioned by Victor to highlight that things are spiralling out of control. The last time is on CrowningMomentOfAwesome page.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Subverted with Victoria, who's actually quite sweet. Played straight with her despicable parents, however. And don't even get us started on Lord Barkis.
* ArrangedMarriage: Victor and Victoria, [[PerfectlyArrangedMarriage but upon meeting they find that they get along very well]]. At the very least it seems that they care for each other.
* [[BetterThanItSoundsWesternAnimation Better Than It Sounds]]: Guy getting married to a dead person accidentally? Sounds squicky but really isn't.
* BettyAndVeronica: Okay people, I have the script! Victoria, you will play the part of the sweet and gentle Betty. The part of the lively and happy-go-lucky (but [[BrokenBird secretly]] [[TheWoobie troubled]]) Veronica goes to Emily!
* BewareTheNiceOnes: The dead are a surprisingly friendly, fun-loving bunch, certainly more pleasant than most of the living...but you don't want to get on their bad side.
* BigLittleMan: Finis Everglot is first shown talking face-to-face with his wife. Then the camera pans out and it turns out he is standing on a stool and really half her height.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Emily decides to let Victor return to Victoria [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy so that they can have the life she never had.]] She then dissolves into hundreds of [[ButterflyOfDeathAndRebirth butterflies,]] having finally achieved freedom and peace in death.]]
* TheBluebeard: [[spoiler:Barkis tricked Emily into taking her family's jewels and gold and eloping with him, then killed her and ran off with the loot. He has similar plans for Victoria, but doesn't do any background research on their wealth.]]
* BookEnds: The film opens and closes on butterflies.
* BoyMeetsGhoul: Victor meets a dead girl, and ends up accidentally married to her.
* ButterflyOfDeathAndRebirth
* CirclingMonologue: When Emily finally confronts her murderer.
* CoolOldLady: Victoria's maid is implied to be a ParentalSubstitute as she does seem to want Victoria to be happy, and Victoria seems more likely to confide in her.
* CreepyCrows
* CurseThatCures: While being dead isn't exactly a picnic what with the gradual decomposition the dead suffer, it has its upsides. Mainly that any pains felt in life are completely gone. Mayhew, who died of a coughing related illness (probably lung cancer or lung fibrosis, judging from his near-constant pipe-smoking), actually was fairly happy at the turnaround.
-->'''Victor:''' Mayhew! How nice to see... [notices he's dead] I'm so sorry.
-->'''Mayhew:''' Oh, yeah. Actually, though, I feel great.
* CuteMonsterGirl: Emily can almost convince a guy to leave his fianceé even when she is rotting away. Not every corpse is that sexy.
* TheDanza: Averted - Emily Watson voices the role of Victoria while Emily the Corpse Bride is voiced by HelenaBonhamCarter.
* DarkIsNotEvil: In this film the living are far scarier than the dead, and much less colorful for that matter.
* TheDeadCanDance
* DeadToBeginWith: Emily.
* DeathByOriginStory: Emily, again.
* DeathGlare: Emily after finding Victor with Victoria. [[HurricaneOfPuns And she is dead]].
* DefangedHorrors: Cute skeleton children abound, and even the skeleton dog.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: The world of the living is almost entirely black and white, whereas the underworld is brightly-lit and colourful.
* DemBones: A whole bunch o dem.
* DevilInPlainSight: Barkis.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: [[spoiler:Only in this case, Emily did not get the boy.]]
* DisneyAcidSequence: The musical segment of "Remains Of The Day"
* [[DoesHeHaveABrother Does He Have a Dead Brother?]]: Miss Plum, the cook, wonders this when Victor first turns up in the Land of the Dead.
* DoingItForTheArt: The various figures used in the film were animated using a very intricate clockwork system built inside of them, replacing the stop-motion industry standards of using multiple expressive heads.
* DuetBonding: Victor and Emily, after he accidentally upsets her.
* DullSurprise: [[spoiler: The recently-deceased Mayhew is rather calm about suddenly running into his employers' disappeared son in the ''land of the dead.'']]
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Victor Van Dort is the king of this, thanks to the color palette of the Land of the Living (and even then, he's paler than most of the other breathers).
* {{Expy}}: Victor looks like the grown-up version of [[http://www.helderdarocha.com.br/blog/tim_burton_vincent.jpg Vincent]], the child protagonist of one of Burton's earliest stop-motion works.
** This is even {{lampshaded}} in the movie.
-->'''Mr Everglot:''' We shall continue as planned, with or without Vincent.\\
'''Mrs Everglot:''' Victor.\\
'''Mr Everglot:''' Whatever.
** Also, the maggot was a Peter Lorre impersonation.
* ExactWords: "Until death do us part..."
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: Your girlfriend is going to marry someone else? No problem, just chug down a bottle of poison and you can live in the way-cooler land of the dead forever!
* FairyTale: Based of a Jewish-Russian folktale originally, about a woman murdered on the way to her wedding. Emily's backstory also bears tragic resemblances to the English folktale ''Mr. Fox'' (not to be confused with [[WesternAnimation/FantasticMrFox a later stop-motion animated film]]).
* FakeBrit: Johnny Depp as Victor.
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:Barkis, after unwittingly drinking poison, is now one of the dead, which conveniently removes the restriction that the dead cannot harm the living. An angry mob drags him off as he screams. [[NothingIsScarier Made worse in that we never really do find out what they do to him]].]]
* FauxAffablyEvil: Barkis attempts to make himself presentable and tries to put on a charmingly polite demeanor in order to wed Victoria. Even though it's ''clear'' to viewers that his intentions are no good.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Victor's mother gets caught in the door of the carriage, and Mayhew and Victor's dad tries to push her in. Cut to the Everglots watching the carriage [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything rocking wildly back and forth]]. "Fish merchants!" Also see ParentalBonus, and doubles as a Creator/WilliamShakespeare reference: 'Fishmonger' used to mean 'pimp'.
** When Victor is practising his vows in the forest, he says "I shall cup your..." while his hands are in the vicinity of his chest. He immediately realizes what he's doing with a: "good gracious, no!"
* GoldDigger: Several examples.
** Lord Barkis Bittern. Hey, a male one! Good for him.
** In different ways, both sets of parents, the reason they are arranging Victor and Victoria's marriage. The Everglots are after the Van Dorts' money since they have none of their own, while the Van Dorts see the marriage as their ticket to the high society that currently shuns them for earning, rather than inheriting, their wealth.
* TheGrotesque: In some ways. Emily is nothing but skin and bones. She also has an eye that pops out and a worm living in her skull. Eww. But she remains ever gentle and kind.
* [[ShesNotMyGirlfriend He's Not My Boyfriend]]: "He's my ''husband''."
* HeadDesk: Victor bangs his head on the bar counter.
* HurricaneOfPuns: They're ''everywhere''.
* ImpairmentShot: Used after Victor runs into a tree.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: Victoria's family. To quote Lord Everglot in "According to Plan", they are "land-rich, bankrupt aristocracy without a penny to their name".
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: Honestly? Do we have to say his name?
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: Mayhew, due to his smoking habits. [[spoiler: Ironically, the cough is cured ''by'' his death.]]
* InkSuitActor: Who does Victor look like? Honestly.
** Ironically, ''Victoria'' was based a bit on HelenaBonhamCarter (''Emily's'' voice actress) physically, as the character designer wanted to make sure she looked interesting and pretty enough enough opposite the exotic Emily, so he gave her Bonham Carter's face shape (particularly her chin and forehead). Burton originally wanted Bonham Carter to voice Victoria anyway, which might make this fact a relic of the straightforward use of the trope. Bonham Carter asked to play Emily instead, as she'd played Victoria-type characters in live action before when she was the character's age.
** According to the "making of" book, Emily too was redesigned to look a bit more like Helena (specifically, they gave her more of Helena's forehead).
*** It's worth mentioning that Victoria does resemble EmilyWatson in that they both have big, expressive eyes.
** Watch Danny Elfman sing "Remains of the Day" live and you'll understand where everything about Bonejangles comes from.
** The town crier does bear quite a strong facial resemblance to Paul Whitehouse.
* IronicEcho: "New arrival..."
* {{Irony}}: The world of the Living is colorless and dreary with no joy, while the Netherworld is fun, lively and vibrant.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: [[spoiler:What lets Emily finally be free, as she puts it, is pushing Victor and Victoria towards each other.]]
* IWouldSayIfICouldSay
* JawDrop
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Barkis, after some EvilGloating at the dead, who are unable to harm the living. On his way out, he casually takes a sip from a cup placed on the altar. Unfortunately for him, the cup contained the poison which Victor was supposed to drink during the marriage ceremony. He is instantly killed. See the FateWorseThanDeath section of this article for what happens next. May also qualify as DeathByIrony.]]
* LandPoor : The Everglots.
* LargeHam: Pastor Gallswells. When voiced by Creator/ChristopherLee, what do you expect?
* LosingYourHead: Paul the "Head Waiter."
* LoveTriangle: Victor must choose between Emily, his dead wife, and Victoria, his living intended fiancée. Which is harder than it probably sounds.
* MeaningfulName: Emily means rival and Victoria means victorious.
* MinorInsultMeltdown: Victor does this to Emily after she finds out about Victoria. "Why can't you understand that this is a mistake? I would never marry you!" Geez, Victor, couldn't you phrase that [[KickTheDog any more painfully?]]
* TheMusical
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Lord Barkis '''Bitter'''n.
* NobilityMarriesMoney: Victor's parents have money and are extremely excited to get a chance to be part of the nobility. Victoria's parents are noble and are absolutely disgusted that marrying her off to the NouveauRiche is the only way to get out of their [[ImpoverishedPatrician perpetual poverty]] -- they even acknowledge that the only thing that would be worse would be marrying someone else poor. However, once Victor and Victoria meet, [[PerfectlyArrangedMarriage they like each other for other reasons.]]
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Most people think Maggot sounds like [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000048/ Peter Lorre]].
* NoIndoorVoice: The town crier. Well, he ''does'', but only uses it to forecast the weather.
* NoodlePeople
* NouveauRiche: Victor's parents, to the disgust of Victoria's parents, who describe them as "So common! / So coarse!"
* ObviouslyEvil: Lord Barkis. And his chin. His evil, evil chin.
* OfCorsetHurts: As Victoria is getting her corset drawn her mother orders to tighten it. "I can hear you speak without gasping."
* OffscreenTeleportation: You cannot run Victor! Emily will find you! Not in a way that's physically possible but still.
* OffstageVillainy: Emily's murder.
* PassThePopcorn: General Bones-apart just knows that the tale of Emily's murder "is gonna be good."
* ParentalBonus: When Victor is in the woods, practicing his vows, he says a line to the effect of "With this hand, I will cup your...", with his hands placed near his chest area. Once he realizes what he's doing, he pulls his hands away in shock. "Oh ''goodness'', no."
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: Victor and Victoria.
* PerpetualFrowner: Nearly everyone in the land of the living. Most notable with the parents of the bride, especially when her mother [[HypocriticalHumor orders]] her dad to smile, [[TheUnsmile which takes great effort]].
* PrankDate: Emily's attempt to elope with [[spoiler:Lord Barkis]] perfectly fits the "Malicious Trap" version of this trope.
* ProperLady: Victoria through and through.
* [[RealIsBrown Real Is Gray]]: The staid Victorian world of the living, in stark contrast to the land of the dead, which is ironically more colorful and, well, full of life.
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Lord Barkis Bittern the '''killer'''. Buh buh BUUUUUHHHH!!!]]
** Also an {{Unreveal}}--in "The Remains of the Day," when Bonejangles tells Emily's story in silhouette, his shadow briefly takes on [[spoiler:Lord Barkis']] appearance.
* RichSuitorPoorSuitor: Victor and Lord Barkis, respectively, although the Everglots don't find out about Lord Barkis' poverty until after he marries Victoria. In an inversion of the usual approach to this trope, the rich suitor is the virtuous one (although he is of humble birth, while the poor suitor is an ImpoverishedPatrician).
* RomanticFalseLead: [[spoiler: And we have a twofer. Emily is the likable variation, with Barkis being the nasty version.]]
* RummageFail: She doesn't exactly rummage, but it's close enough when Mrs. Plum tries to grab a knife from the male cook's head for Victor to fight with but accidentally takes hold of a fork and tosses that to Victor.
** Also when Victor attempts to arm himself, but the sword doesn't come free of the guy it's stuck through.
---> "Stay back! I've got a... dwarf, and I'm not afraid to use him!"
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Emil, the Everglots' valet, hands in his verbal resignation during the "dead walk the Earth" sequence.
-->'''Finis Everglot:''' Fetch me musket!\\
'''Emil:''' ''(at the front door in his hat and coat)'' Fetch your own musket! I'm off! ''(slams the door behind him)''
* SelfMadeMan: William Van Dort, millionaire fish merchant.
* ShadowDiscretionShot: Emily's murder, to make it more family friendly, but also to hide the identity of her killer.
* ShotgunWedding: In a way, Victor and Emily.
* ShoutOut: The piano Victor sits at when meeting Victoria is brand-labeled a "Harryhausen", in homage to stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen.
** There's even a GoneWithTheWind shout out between an old man's skeleton and his still-living wife when the dead folk head upstairs for their wedding party.
** Victoria's mother's character design is very reminiscent of Lady Tremaine from Cinderella. She's about as friendly as Tremaine is, too.
** [[VictorVictoria Victor and Victoria]].
** Aside from the YouShallNotPass moment, during the wedding rehearsal for Victor and Victoria, Victor accidentally drops the [[Film/LordOfTheRings ring]], which rolls on the floor while [[Creator/ChristopherLee Pastor Gallswells]] angrily yells about "''DROPPING THE RING!''". It's a rather blatant reference.
* SkewedPriorities: Victoria's mother.
-->'''Victoria:''' It's true, Mother! Victor is married to a dead woman! I saw her - a corpse! - standing right there with Victor!\\
'''Lady Everglot:''' ''Victor'' was in your ''room''!?
** Though this may be more a case of simply not buying the rest of her story. She made it pretty clear moments later that she didn't.
* SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace: [[spoiler:Victoria doesn't object to Victor's wedding to Emily; Emily herself stops it when she realizes that if she goes through with it, she will steal Victoria's dreams just as her own dreams were stolen.]]
* SpiritedYoungLady: Emily plays this trope against Victoria's ProperLady counterpoint.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Corpse Bride'' may as well call ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' "Daddy."
* StarCrossedLovers: Victor and Victoria. [[spoiler:Ultimately subverted.]]
* StealthPun: The head waiter is a head who happens to be a waiter.
** Not to mention that the joint where he works is called "The Ball and Socket."
** At one point, Emily literally cries her eye out. (Just one, though.)
** While looking for Victor, Emily passes a second-hand store that sells hands for people that lost the first one.
* TalkingToHimself: Completely averted. Despite a good number of minor characters having the same voice actor, none of them speak to each other. For example, Mayhew and William Van Dort are both voiced by Paul Whitehouse and have some interaction together but never say a word to each other.
* ThousandYardStare: [[spoiler: Poor Victoria just stares straight ahead in [[HeroicBSOD stunned]] silence during her wedding to Lord Barkis.]]
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: Both sets of parents, in different ways. William and Nell Van Dort are roughly the same height, but William is skinny while Nell is wide enough to have trouble fitting into the carriage. Finis and Maudeline Everglot appear to be the same height when we first see them watching the Van Dorts from their window, but [[BigLittleMan Finis is revealed to be standing on a stepladder]], and is only about half as tall as his wife.
* TitleDrop: Repeatedly in the underworld. Victoria also tells the minister that Victor "has a corpse bride!"
* TogetherInDeath: That's how Emily wants it. [[spoiler: And due to the [[ExactWords nature]] of the phrase "'til death do us part", it's also the only way her "marriage" with Victor can be legit.]]
* TroubledBackstoryFlashback: Delivered ''through song!''
* TruthInTelevision: This film was inspired by Burton learning of the despicable practice in Tsarist Russia of anti-Semitic gangs to lay in wait for Jewish brides on their way to weddings and murdering them en route.
* UndeathAlwaysEnds: [[spoiler:Emily, once Barkis has died and Victor and Victoria are reunited, transforms into hundreds of butterflies as she leaves the church.]]
* UndeathlyPallor: Everyone who's dead. The living are all mostly [[EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette pale-skinned brunettes]].
* UnrequitedTragicMaiden: Emily. Her greatest wish was to find love after having been betrayed and killed on her wedding night by the man she thought really loved her, albeit Victor cannot reciprocate her emotions as he's already betrothed to and in love with Victoria. Eventually, [[spoiler: she ascends to the afterlife unwed and leaves the young couple to enjoy a life together rather than forcing Victor to keep a promise that he never meant to make.]]
* TheUnSmile: Lord Everglot, when his wife tells him, "Smile, darling, smile" as they meet the Van Dorts for the first time. His face audibly grinds into the unfamiliar expression as he puts on an awkward sideways smile.
* UpperClassTwit: Both Victor's and Victoria's parents, to varying degrees.
** Victor's parents are clearly [[NouveauRiche Working Class Twits]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Weren't Victor's parents last seen [[spoiler: on an out-of-control carriage after the death of their driver?]] [[FridgeHorror What happened to them?]]
* WhyWasteAWedding: Mayhew when telling Victor about [[spoiler: Victoria marrying Barkis.]] says, "I guess they didn't want to waste the cake."
* [[spoiler: WidowedAtTheWedding: Victoria and Lord Barkis, letting her free again for Victor.]]
* WomanScorned: Victor, you really shouldn't have lied to Emily...
* WorldOfPun: Just try to count them.
* YouShallNotPass: Spoofed with extra points for having it said by ''Christopher Lee's character''.
** "Keep it down, we're in a church!"
* ZombieApocalypse: ''Gloriously'' subverted. Almost deconstructed, even, as the living gradually recognize their lost loved ones among the shambling ranks of the dead.
** They don't shamble, ''[[TheDeadCanDance they softshoe]]''.
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