A stop-motion, claymation film about death, betrayal, and mix ups; but most of all, love.
Corpse Bride is a clay animation film. In clay animation, each object is sculpted in clay or a similarly pliable material usually around a wire skeleton called an armature. As in other forms of object animation, the object is arranged on the set (background), a film frame is exposed, and the object or character is then moved slightly by hand, another frame is taken, and the object is moved slightly again. This cycle is repeated until the animator has achieved the desired amount of film exposures.
Corpse Bride is a 77 minute film. Assuming they shot 12 frames a second, they probably ended up with 55440 frames for the whole film.
The plot takes place in an unnamed European Village. Victor Van Dort (Voice of Johnny Depp), the son of nouveau riche fish merchants, and Victoria Everglot (Voice of Emily Watson), the neglected daughter of hateful aristocrats who have lost their money, are preparing for their arranged marriage. Both have concerns about marrying someone they do not know, but they fall in love when they first meet. After the shy, clumsy Victor ruins the wedding rehearsal and is yelled at by the pastor, he flees and practices his wedding vows in the nearby forest, placing the wedding ring on a nearby upturned tree root.
The root, however, turns out to be the finger of a dead young woman clad in a tattered bridal gown, who rises from the grave claiming that she is now Victor’s wife. Spirited away to the surprisingly festive Land of the Dead, the bewildered Victor learns the story of Emily (Voice of Helena Bonham Carter), his new “bride,” murdered years ago on the night of her secret elopement. Meanwhile, Victoria’s parents hear that Victor has been seen in another woman’s arms, and become suspicious.
Victor wanting to get back to Victoria goes through a series of motions and eventually tricks Emily into taking him back to the land of the living. This is does not last and before long they are back in the land of the dead. There are many ups and downs that happen and it all ends up with a final showdown in a church in the land of the living.
But never fear, this film has a happy ending either way you look at it.