Till Death Do Us Part
The first time I watched Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" I didn't get it, it took a gap of several years before I found it entertaining. And I have to say having only watched "Corpse Bride" the once I just don't get it, or at least see why so many rate it so highly. Yes it's clever, amusing in a quirky sort of way and different to so many other movies but it just didn't entertain me as much as I had hoped and expected.
Along time ago in an old Victorian Village, Victor Van Dort is betrothed to Victoria Everglot because the Van Dort's are wealthy and the Everglot's are edging towards being poor. But during the wedding rehearsal Victor messes up his lines and leaves in humiliation where upon walking home through an old graveyard finds himself reciting his lines in the hope of getting them right. The trouble is in doing so he accidentally wakens the dead and marries a corpse bride. With Victoria waiting on the surface and Victor dragged down into the world of dead he must try and sort things out before Victoria gets palmed off on a rich newcomer.
It would be fair to say that with "Corpse Bride" you get exactly what you expect from Tim Burton. He takes us into this strange world of stop motion animation, weird characters and a very strange storyline. But it is also a remarkably simple storyline, a romance where we watch Victor accidentally marrying a corpse and taken into the peculiar world of the dead whilst his true love on the surface finds herself being palmed off with another suitor. But the simple storyline works because it makes "Corpse Bride" very easy to follow but keeps you a little unsure whether there will be a happy ever after ending.
What is the selling point to "Corpse Bride" is Tim Burton's wonder imagination. We get the strange storyline of a young man accidentally marrying a corpse, the weird inhabitants of the underworld, in fact the weird creations on the surface as well and the olde style storyline of marriage dowry's and a well to do society where people get married into wealth instead of love. It's all wonderfully vivid and the stop motion creatures as well as the wonderful backdrops are spectacular.
But the thing is it didn't wow me, it didn't make me sit up and think that "Corpse Bride" was special. Yes the imaginative land and people are special but the storyline didn't really keep me interested. And where as I loved the rhyming songs in "The Nightmare Before Christmas" this time around, those musical numbers failed to really capture my attention and within the hour of watching "Corpse Bride" I had forgotten them.
The same issue about being unmemorable comes from the various actors voicing the wonderful creations. Yes the list of stars who lent their voices is impressive and the likes of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter create wonderful voices but you don't remember them. So despite have the likes of Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse, Albert Finney, Christopher Lee and well to be honest the list goes on, you don't remember them once the movie is over.
What this all boils down to is that "Corpse Bride" is very much what you expect from Tim Burton, it is strange and visually impressive. But for some strange reason it struggled to entertain me with the simple storyline and to be frank I found it for the most quite forgettable. Yes the characters sort of stayed with me, but there was nothing special no amazing scene which really impressed.