Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Release Date: September 16, 2005
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Limited release

Movie of the Day for Sunday, July 25, 2004
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Seriously, 'Chopsticks' eight times through is enough

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
31/85 Kim Hollis Not quite as good as I was hoping for, but quiet and sweet nonetheless.
82/166 David Mumpower I wanted to love this movie but wound up barely liking it. One of Tim Burton's worst performances with regards to concept vs. implementation...an anti-Edward Scissorhands, if you will.

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Based on a Russian folk tale, this dark movie from Tim Burton's production company will follow its predecessors -- The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach -- in both animation style and tone. Somehow, stop-motion animation is the perfect venue to impart the twisted nature of the stories these sorts of films aim to tell.

As folk tales tend to do, the story of the Corpse Bride has its basis in real historical situations. In the 19th century, a strong feeling of anti-Semitism pervaded several gangs in Russia, leading them to attack Jewish wedding parties, killing the bride and burying her in her nuptial gown. The fear inspired by these situations led to word-of-mouth legend, which brought about the story of a young man who is on his way to be wed. As he is walking through a forest that will lead him to his bride, he comes upon a stick poking out of the ground. As a joke, he reaches into his pocket, takes out the wedding ring that he will be placing on his fiancée's finger in the upcoming ceremony, and puts it on the stick. Taking things even further, he performs the traditional wedding dance around the stick, which in the real world would mean that he is officially married.

To his horror, the ground opens up around the stick and a rotting, skeletal corpse appears in full bridal regalia. She tells the lad that she expects full wifely privileges and demands that he recognize their wedding as the real thing. Aghast, the young man rushes to the village to ask the rabbis if this marriage will be ruled as official.

Ultimately, the elders determine that the wedding is in fact a legal one; however, since the dead have no claim on the living, the point is moot. At this point, the young man's living fiancée, who has been standing by in utter dismay as the situation is discussed, comforts the dead woman and whispers, "May you rest in peace. I will live your dreams for you and we will not forget you."

And so the Corpse Bride appeared to be happy and at harmony with the results, and the young, living bride and her new husband lived a long, joyous life. And they never forgot the Corpse Bride, as the wife told the story to her children, and they told their children, and so on.

There's not really much story there, so it is certain to be embellished for the movie. This particular brand of stop-motion animation lends itself a fairly specific audience, as both The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach have proven. Still, with CGI-animation taking over the world, it's something unique amidst a sea of films that might begin to look very, very similar to one another. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

August 25, 2005

The studio has decided to release the film on limited screens on September 16, 2005 in advance of its wide release one week later. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
Main Cast Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson
Supporting Cast Albert Finney, Richard Grant, Joanna Lumley, Christopher Lee
Director Mike Johnson, Tim Burton
Screenwriter Caroline Thompson, Pamela Pettler
Distributor Warner Bros.
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.corpsebridemovie.com/
Rating PG
Screen Count 5
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
James and the Giant Peach 4/12/967.54 10.28 2262 3333.00 4373.6 29.82 40.68 3.95
Nightmare Before Christmas, The 10/22/936.24 9.08 1654 3773.00 5285.8 50.00 72.82 7.96



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