The plot of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, although simple, provides a very enjoyable experience throughout its entirety. Johnny Depp does a tremendous job brining his character to life, as does the rest of the cast.
Set in a dark Victorian era city, Corpse Bride is the tale of an arranged marriage between Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) the son of fishmongers, and Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson) the daughter of aristocrats. Victor is very hesitant of the marriage, of course until he meets the cha…ming and beautiful Victoria. The two seem to genuinely like each other and now the idea of an arranged marriage doesn’t seem so bad. During the rehearsal a nervous and clumsy Victor messes up and in the process sets Victoria’s mothers gown on fire. At this point Victor is banished into the woods in order to practice his wedding vows. Practicing the vows aloud Victor gains confidence and places the ring on a branch resembling a hand. This is where the miscommunication and fun begins, as it turns out it was a hand, that of the corpse bride (Helena Bonham Carter). Throughout the movie there is singing, trips to the world of the un-dead, and of course the classic villain out to make problems even worse.
The singing turns out to be enjoyable as the story flows through the lyrics, and the plot is kept advancing. Normally I despise singing in movies, and I’m not going to pretend to be overjoyed with them as far as Corpse Bride goes, but I’ve never seen them integrated with the flow of the movie so well, so I could actually enjoy them. The movie is just overall very fun and enjoyable for all ages. I hope stop motion films can continue being made. They bring something that lacks in CGI film and that is realism. I felt much more in tune with the humanlike characters.
This disc is present in 1080p 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is yet another show case piece for HD DVD. Details really are through the roof on this transfer, every tiny detail is shown in high def, enough to make your jaw hit the floor. The film brings depth and personality to the screen which is often missing in CGI animated films.
I must say I enjoyed the irony of the picture presented in the movie. The real life world is portrayed with hardly and color, mainly dark blues and greys but once we are taken to the dead world colors become alive. Every color is so vibrant and glooming with such detail that it’s sometimes hard to pay attention to the actual movie.
Although it’s unfair to compare this to any actual film, comparing this to the animated film Polar Express, I favour Corpse Bride. Both transfers are indeed perfect but the realistic feel to Corpse Bride makes it that better to look at.
The Audio track is presented in lovely Dolby Digital EX 5.1 which works well with this movie. The superb voice work comes across crystal clear throughout the entirety of the movie. The songs throughout the film sound great, with full rear channel support and solid bass. I am a big fan of Danny Elfmans prior work with Burton and his music track does not disappoint here.
Of course the lack of TrueHD is always a disappointment; however Warner did a fantastic job with its audio presentation of Corpse Bride.
Corpse Bride features a good selection of extras. Although missing a much wanted In Movie Experience, we are given several interesting and in depth features.
- Inside the Two Worlds – A four minute discussion on the vivid coloured dead world and the drab real world.
- Danny Elfman Interprets the Two Worlds – A five minute interview with the films musical director Danny Elfman, taking us through the process of creating the films score.
- The Animators: The Breath of Life – In Depth interviews with the animators of the film. I must say that I am very surprised of the detail and time it takes to make a stop motion film like Corpse Bride.
- Tim Burton: Dark vs Light – Interviews with the voice actors discussing the director Tim Burton. This includes the dark and light elements that Tim Burton brings to each of his films.
- Voices From the Underworld – Interviews with the voice actors discussing the process of making the film. The feature includes interviews with Johnny Depp and Christopher Lee.
- Making Puppets Tick – A feature on the making of the puppets used in the film. An in depth look on the animatronics used behind the puppets, giving each main character the ability to show expression.
- The Voices Behind the Voice – Features a small portion of the film with side by side video of the actor doing the voice work and the playback of the movie beside it. I found this very amusing, seeing the actor perform his lines while the finished product is shown beside it.
- The Corpse Bride Preproduction Galleries – A thirteen minute featurette that showcase the making of each character. I must say that it’s amazing how much time and detail went into each character on screen. A must watch for anyone interested in how this film came alive.
- Music-Only Track – Play the entire movie with just the music track present. I must say this surprising works well; character expression and music only are enough to understand this film.
- Theatrical Trailer
I was very pleased with the amount of extras included on this disc. Anyone who is interested in this film will find every one of the features interesting.
Corpse Bride really is an enjoyable movie. Although I am never a fan have singing in movies, the score was fun to listen to. Voice acting was superb along side a great plot this movie is easily one of Burton’s best. Any HD DVD owner looking for another showcase piece need not look any further; Corpse Bride boasts one of the best picture qualities seen on HD DVD.
Special Features List
- Inside the Two Worlds
- Danny Elfman Interprets the Two Worlds
- The Animators: The Breath of Life
- Tim Burton: Dark vs Light
- Voices From the Underworld
- Making Puppets Tick
- The Voices Behind the Voice
- The Corpse Bride Preproduction Galleries
- Music-Only Track
- Theatrical Trailer