Corpse Bride

  • Directors: Mike Johnson, Tim Burton
  • Producers: Tim Burton, Allison Abbate, Jeffrey Auerbach, Joe Ranft
  • Writers: John August, Caroline Thompson, Pamela Pettler, Tim Burton
  • Genres: Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Music, Romance
  • Actors: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse, Joanna Lumley, Albert Finney

In a Victorian era town, the Everglots, a family of recently bankrupt aristocrats, reluctantly agree to marry off their daughter Victoria to the timid Victor Van Dort, son of nouveau riche fishmongers. Despite their initial uneasiness about the situation, having never before met, Victor and Victoria hit it off immediately. Unfortunately, after his clumsiness ruins their wedding rehearsal (accidentally lighting Victoria’s mother’s dress on fire), Victor is banished until he can learn to recite his wedding vows properly. Victor wanders deep into the forest while practicing, eventually performing a flawless mock recital. In doing so, he places his bride’s wedding ring on a tree root resembling a human hand. However, it turns out it is a hand, which comes to life and grabs Victor by the arm. Emerging from the earth is Emily, the “Corpse Bride,” a beautiful undead girl in a moldy bridal gown who declares Victor her husband.

Emily takes Victor to the Land of the Dead, where Victor learns how she was jilted, murdered and robbed while trying to elope with a mysterious stranger, and had been waiting for her true love to return ever since. Victor tries to flee from Emily, who finds and attempts to bond with him, even reuniting him with his beloved and long-deceased dog as a wedding present. Dearly wishing to return to Victoria, his own true love, Victor tricks Emily into returning him to the Land of the Living under the pretense of introducing her to his still-living parents. Just as Victor reunites with Victoria, Emily discovers them and spirits Victor away back to the Land of the Dead. Feeling betrayed, Emily gets into an argument with Victor, climaxing with Victor telling her that their marriage was a mistake. Heartbroken, Emily leaves thinking Victor only loves Victoria for being alive while she herself is not.

After Victoria and Barkis’ wedding, the town erupts in panic as the dead arrive, but their fear is replaced with joy when the living residents recognize their loved ones among the dead; Barkis, however, is shocked to discover that Victoria is penniless. During the ceremony, Emily spots the heartbroken Victoria and realizes that Victor’s death will cheat her out of a happy life, calling off the ceremony before Victor drinks the poison and reunites him with Victoria. Barkis then crashes the party to reclaim Victoria, with Emily recognizing him as the man who jilted, murdered and robbed her. Victor engages Barkis in a sword fight (though Barkis is the only one with a sword while Victor is armed with a dinner fork). Before Barkis can land a killing strike, Emily takes the blow instead, completely unscathed. Upon being ordered to leave, Barkis proposes a mock-toast to Emily and drinks the wine intended for Victor; however, he does not realize it is poisoned until it’s too late and dies within seconds, the outraged dead proceeding to make hell out of his afterlife. Content that Victor can now live happily with Victoria, Emily finds herself at peace and ascends to the heavens in the form of hundreds of butterflies as Victor and Victoria watch on.

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