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Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman, Albert Finney ... see more see more... , Joanna Lumley , Christopher Lee , Paul Whitehouse , Richard E. Grant , Michael Gough , Jane Horrocks , Enn Reitel , Deep Roy , Danny Elfman , Stephen Ballantyne , Lisa Kay , Richard Grant , Paul Watson

Tim Burton returns to the dark but fanciful animated style of The Nightmare Before Christmas with this stop-motion black comedy. Victor (voice of Johnny Depp) lives in a small European village in the ... read more read more...19th century, where he is pledged to marry Victoria (voice of Emily Watson), a partnership arranged by their parents. The two only meet the day before their scheduled nuptials, and Victor performs disastrously in the wedding rehearsal. Later that evening, while he is walking through the woods and hopelessly practicing his vows, he puts Victoria's wedding band on what looks like a branch. Victor quickly discovers this was a big mistake; as it happens, he has put the ring on the skeletal finger of the enchanted Corpse Bride (voice of Helena Bonham Carter), who then whisks him off to a dark and mysterious netherworld where they are now married. Victor is frightened in the land of the dead, and even realizes that he has fallen in love with his true fiancée, Victoria, so he searches for a way back to his own world. Directed by Tim Burton in collaboration with animator Mike Johnson, Corpse Bride features a stellar voice cast, including Albert Finney, Christopher Lee, Richard E. Grant, Joanna Lumley, and Danny Elfman (who also composed the film's musical score). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Flixster Users

77% liked it

549,973 ratings


83% liked it

187 critics

DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006

Stats: 36,012 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (36,012)

  • April 20, 2013
    By turns funny and moving with some great songs, this is a lesser-seen but still great effort from Tim Burton. Full review later.
  • September 24, 2012
    Another beautiful dark gothic whimsical fairytale from the mind of Burton, but one wonders that he is just trying to recapture (maybe even copy) previous glory from his first clay-mation feature.

    On visuals this is amazing, just like 'Nightmare' plus of course its Burton's work... read more which is a winner for me. But this film doesn't quite hit the mark, the songs aren't catchy and the characters don't have the same appeal. I didn't like all the skeletons, they aren't characters, just skeletons, nothing much appealing about them.
    The human characters were much better than the dead ones, the old Victorian style of costume that was used really looked good and added that gothic feel. The voice work was great, again using a perfect of cast of kooky character actors/actresses to make the magic.

    Its visually where the film is best of course, the colours used are all faded, dark, almost black and white. Wonderful palette which always looks good but its missing the magic and indepth imagination of 'Nightmare'. Close for more genius but not quite the gothic dream I hoped for.
  • April 17, 2012
    There's been a grave misunderstanding.

    Good animated film. Great story and animation. Loved the voices and i hope Tim Burton and Johnny Depp keep on making these fantastic fantasy movie magic films filled with pure originality and tons of crazy. Go see it!

    Blue-tinted, eye-ball... read more-popping, maggot-infested beauty Emily has become known as the Corpse Bride after waiting for her fiancé where the couple planned to rendezvous before getting hitched. When her groom arrives, he kills her, and she rests in the ground to wait for her soul mate, whether he knows he is the Corpse Bride's groom or not. It's a cold dark night, the moon is full, the stars are bright and the forest is a little bit creepy. Wandering through the black mangled trees, Victor just can't memorize his wedding vows. Victor's hesitance towards marriage causes him to jumble the words. Two prominent families have arranged their children to be married in order to overcome financial difficulties. As the objects of betrothal, Victor and Victoria met for the first time the night before their wedding. It only makes sense that Victor, a groom with cold feet, would have trouble remembering tedious wedding vows. Thus Victor ends up in the dark forest ringing his hands and muttering his vows, the vows that the Corpse Bride hears, bringing her out of the grave. Victor suddenly finds himself married to another woman, a voluptuous bombshell bride who also happens to be dead. Whisked away to the Land of the Dead, Victor finds out that living amongst corpses is not as easy as it seems. Heads easily loose their owners and eyes never seem to stay in their sockets, an adjustment that Victor seems reluctant to accept. Once taken into the Land of the Dead, it is nearly impossible to return, causing Victor to choose between risking Victoria's life or giving up his own.
  • February 21, 2012
    Cast: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse, Joanna Lumley, Albert Finney, Richard E. Grant, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Jane Horrocks, Enn Reitel, Deep Roy, Danny Elfman, Stephen Ballantyne, Lisa Kay

    Director: Tim Burton, Mike Jo... read morehnson

    Summary: This animated Tim Burton tale set in 19th-century Europe centers on Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp), a young man who, just as he's about to wed Victoria (Emily Watson), is sucked into the underworld by a Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter) who desires him for herself. Victor is fascinated by the Land of the Dead, but nothing can stop him from trying to return to his true living love.

    My Thoughts: "I enjoyed this dark tale. I thought it was a nice touch how the living, in a sense, wasn't really living, with the scene being so dark and dreary. The dead were more alive with all their bright colors and crazy character's. The film wasn't as funny as I had thought it would be. But the character's and the great animation made up for it."
  • December 2, 2011
    Take an imaginitive idea and a famed director and you get... underwhelmed. I don't know why exactly, but the story seemed so dirivative (and how often can you say that about a guy marrying a corpse by accident) - it just seemed like this tred on such time proven ground - very Di... read moreckensian in a sense... and in spite of the bizarre premise, everything went just about exactly as one would expect.

    Musical numbers in stop motion animation... I guess that was original in 2005, but drawn animation had been doing that for decades. The first tune, something about things going exactly as planned, was clever, but the corpse bride bit of Tin Pan Alley just didn't do much.

    Burton's direction was clever - nice use of camera angles and such, but the entire Victorian era above ground was shot in shades of grey which, while artistic, perhaps wasn't a good all around choice.

    The voice acting - well what can you say... with the exception of Depp who seemed just too wimpy, the rest came up aces. It was wonderful to hear Joanna Lumley "Stoly-Boly" anyone?, and Albert Finney, and of course Tracey Ullman ad libbed some of the funnier little throwaway lines.

    But that's the thing... the humor only existed in those throwaway lines - the rest was way too ernst and what little was written in didn't really work (like the constant complaining about the carriage driver coughing) - but I will say there was a nice touch when Christopher Lee (in a nice bit of casting as the overbearing Bishop) bellowed at the dead in his stentorian voice. One of the skeletons mutters "be quiet, we're in a church". I just wish there was more of this kind of levity; it would have helped.
  • October 26, 2011
    Burton is a master when it comes to doing films that involve stop motion, such as his short story Vincent, which would've been on here except its just a short film but not a theatrical released film. Anyway, Corpse Bride has some spectacular visuals, characters, and songs, Danny ... read moreElfman does his usual great job as the composer for this film, and for the voice of Bonejangles, and all the other actors do fantastic jobs, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Joanna Lumley, Emily Watson, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, they all do fantastic jobs and for a film only 72 minutes, it does a good job at pacing and telling its story.
  • October 1, 2011
    Its a typical Tim Burton movie really. Its not really memorable as The Nightmare Before Christmas not living up to the bar it set in terms of imagination, setting and music.
  • August 7, 2011
    A new and fun kind of film. The films animation was a stroke of genius because it took me back to the days of ghreatness like with Nightmare Before Christmas, another Tim Burton film. The plot of the film is memorable I think, it is very rare you see a animated film about a guy... read more who marries a dead woman just by putting a ring on a grave. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are good voice actors, but Burton puts his wife Helena in almost everything he does nowadays, haha. My one problem was the songs, maybe its just me but i didn't find them as good as everyone claims, they weren't bad just not amazing, at least not as great as The Nightmare Before Christmas. Overall a really good movie, but I haven't seen it in a long time, I need to watch again soon.
  • July 2, 2011
    Fine, enjoyable.
  • June 24, 2011
    It's a nice animated film!

Critic Reviews

Dave Calhoun
August 16, 2007
Dave Calhoun, Time Out New York

As fun as the film occasionally is, it just plays like a compilation of greatest hits. Full Review

Richard Roeper
September 26, 2005
Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper

They just keep going through the same things over and over again. The songs are forgettable. Full Review

Tasha Robinson
September 26, 2005
Tasha Robinson, AV Club

All too often, Tim Burton's movies feel like they're covered in flop sweat, as if he's trying too hard and worrying too much. By contrast, Corpse Bride is a cool breeze across the brow. Full Review

Joe Williams
September 23, 2005
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Beneath the bone pile of allusions, Corpse Bride is a darkly enchanting fable in its own right. Full Review

Teresa Wiltz
September 23, 2005
Teresa Wiltz, Washington Post

Based on a Russian folk tale, Corpse Bride makes for breathtaking viewing. Full Review

Moira MacDonald
September 23, 2005
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

What makes Corpse Bride sing, ultimately, is the breadth of imagination that it demonstrates; creating a cluttered, textured and mysteriously beautiful world that we're loathe to leave at the end. Full Review

Ruthe Stein
September 23, 2005
Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle

Corpse Bride has the look and feel of the best puppet show ever. Full Review

Roger Moore
September 23, 2005
Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

The sweetness, the visual flourishes and inspired pieces of casting carry the Corpse Bride, if not all the way down the primrose path, then at least across the threshold. Full Review

Rene Rodriguez
September 23, 2005
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

Corpse Bride suffers from the same problem that has plagued Burton's recent live-action films: for all its formidable razzle-dazzle, it doesn't engage the heart. Full Review

Bruce Westbrook
September 23, 2005
Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle

Amazingly fluid and drop-dead gorgeous, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is the best-looking, stop-motion animation film ever. Full Review

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    • Corpse Bride: Pardon my enthusiasm.
    • Victor Van Dort: I like your enthusiasm.
    • Barkis Bittern: I was betrothed, once along time ago but tragedy bestowed my love.
    • Finis Everglot: Everything will go as planned she will marry.
    • Victoria Everglot: No i'm telling the truth. Victor needs my help.
    • Victoria Everglot: Its Victor, he's married a corpse. A corpse bride.
    • Pastor Galswells: What on earth are you speaking about?

Tim Burton's Corp... : Watch Free on TV

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride Trivia

  • Name the movie from the quote: "Tell me... can a heart still break once it has stopped beating?" (hint: it's a tim burton film)   Answer »
  • Which actor voiced the character of Victor in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride?  Answer »
  • True or false: The puppets used in Tim Burton's 'Corpse Bride' were made from stainless steel armatures covered with silicone skin.  Answer »
  • Name the actor ~ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (PG-13, 2006) The Libertine (R, 2006) Deep Sea 3D (G, 2006) Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (PG, 2005)  Answer »

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