Reviews: Corpse Bride
Beautiful, Spooky, and Clever
This film is severely underrated. I'm glad it was nominated for an Oscar, but I think it ought to have actually won that award. First up, the animation. Mind-blowing. There are scattered moments where the stop-motion was visible, but you really have to be looking. The character designs are fantastic and all show Burton's wonderful art, and the effects and motion are all very good. The story is the true reason this film is so brilliant. It's a love story disguised as a love story; i.e., two people find themselves in a romance before they realize it wasn't meant to be and that their love is a different matter. There are complex relationships— the titular bride is essentially a clingy, possessive stalker who learns to let go for Victor's happiness, while Victor is a shy, awkward man who nearly loses sight of the situation and wants to give in to the relationship because he loses hope. The reversed structure of the story is very tight (Victor gets cold feet, causes problems and gives into the romance, Emily initiates by taking him as her husband but realizes it's wrong and gets cold feet in a good way), and there's nothing I can really object to— the situation is handled just as it should be, and there's a lot of heart and emotion packed into some of the scenes, particularly the ending, which is very powerful. And of course, Danny Elfman does a great job with the songs. If you like a clever and complex story, this is for you. If you want some excellent spooky time, this is for you. I cannot find any serious complaint with this movie, and I recommend it to all.