Corpse Bride
"Victor and Victoria" without Julie Andrews

The Nightmare Before Christmas, what a touch of class. Imagine my excitement when I heard that Tim Burton was preparing an "equal". No sequel, but a movie with all the ingredients that made "Nightmare" such an enduring joy. Music by Danny Elfman? Check. Stop-motion animation? Check. Macabre atmosphere? Check.

Corpse Bride deals with Victor (voiced by Burton-fetisj Johnny Depp), a shy man who is to be married off to Victoria. Both their parents agreed in the arranged marriage, but none of them can stand eachother. On a dark, fullmoon night, Victor practices his weddingvows and accidentally winds up with ... a corpse.

The animation is amazing. You care about those figures. The Corpse Bride herself (she's called "Emily", if my memory serves me well) is really beautiful, even though she's got a skeleton arm. Helena Bonham Carter is so sweet while providing the voice for the bride. Every voice actor is perfectly cast.

Coming from the man who has written the Simpsons-theme and The Nightmare Before Christmas (a.k.a. The Best Soundtrack Everę), you have high hopes for the music. Danny Elfman does not disappoint. What a cracking talent he is.

Tim Burton sat in the director's chair for this one, whereas he didn't direct Nightmare himself. He remains one of Hollywood's most versatile directors. Drama, humour, loveable characters, music : it's all present and it's all brilliantly done.

Corpse Bride is a must-see. You should be on your way to a cinema now!

Julian De Backer, 31 October 2005