Toon Talk - From the Other Side: Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
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Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt
(c) Warner Bros
Death and the Maiden
(c) Warner Bros
Firmly set in yet another wing of Burton's fertile imagination, Corpse Bride opens upon the impending nuptials of the nervous Victor Van Dort (voiced by Burton's De Niro, Johnny Depp) to winsome Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson). An arranged marriage meant to boost the social standing of Victor's fishmonger parents (Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse) and the financial status of Victoria's (Joanna Lumley, Albert Finney) (who have only agreed to the marriage due to their recent - and secret - bankruptcy), the two soon-to-be newlyweds have never met until the eve of the wedding; when they do, there is an obvious spark in their lonely eyes. But when an overbearing clergy (Christopher Lee) causes Victor to ruin the wedding rehearsal, the hapless young man is sent off to practice his vows, which he does in a typically Burton-esque spooky forest. When he places the ring on what he believes is a twisted tree branch and finally gets the vows right, he discovers that that was no branch, but the skeletal hand of the Corpse Bride, his new accidental wife. Plunged into the after-life, Victor learns of Emily's dire fate (jilted at the alter by a gold-digging fiancee) and is even reunited with his (dead) dog Scraps. But he is anxious to return to the land of the living and his true betrothed Victoria, who quickly enters the sites of the opportunistic Lord Barkis (Richard E. Grant), a Snow Miser look-alike who would surely be twisting his moustache if he had one.