Victoriana

I just watched Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005), and I enjoyed it more than I have enjoyed the past few Tim Burton movies I’ve seen: Dark Shadows, Alice in Wonderland, and Sleepy Hollow (which, I realize, is not a recent film, but I saw it for the first time this year). Corpse Bride was better than those others for several reasons.
1. It’s short, which means it doesn’t have time for a ridiculously convoluted plot. It would have been even shorter without the songs, which I thought were unnecessary.
2. Instead of deriving from a single source (novel, short story, or soap opera), it instead is an homage to/parody of the Victorian marriage plot in general. This means that there is less opportunity for fans to accuse it of not being “like the original.”
3. It’s animated, which allows Tim Burton to indulge to full extent his fancy for caricature of the human form. Many characters have delightfully exaggerated noses, chins, or eyes, and the contrast between the tall, thin characters and the short, fat characters is reminiscent of some of Phiz’s illustrations to Dickens’ novels. (Check out this illustration in particular; I love it.)
I think Corpse Bride may have restored my faith in Tim Burton. You should do yourself a favor and watch it. If you hate it, you’ve only wasted about an hour and fifteen minutes.

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