Stop Motion Animation: Corpse Bride


A fantasy/musical stop motion animated film, Corpse Bride is an engaging story of love, betrayal, commitment, and getting even.

Victor tries to woo a disgruntled Emily

This 2005 stop motion animated fantasy/musical was directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson. It is set in a fictional European village in the Victorian era which features Tim Burton’s longtime friend and “collaborator” Johnny Depp as the male lead, “Victor Van Dort” while Burton’s significant other, Helena Bonham Carter (whom Corpse Bride was specially created for) lent her voice to the female lead, “Emily” aka the Corpse Bride.

Corpse Bride official movie poster

Burton, who is best-known for his quirky take on movies (Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Beetlejuice…the list goes on) is not exactly new to stop motion animation as he has already produced two full-feature stop animation films and one short film prior to Corpse Bride (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Vincent).

Victoria finds true love in Victor

Now back to the story of Victor Van Dort. Shy, clumsy, and awkward (think Johnny Depp in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, another Burton film) Victor is set up on an arranged marriage by his parents with Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson). The marriage is meant to “better” the current social and financial standings of the respective families. While Victor and Emily were initially hesitant to marry a stranger, they actually do end up falling in love (at first sight) and have become more enthusiastic about their union. While everything seems set for a happily ever after, Victor unknowingly ruins everything when he placed his ring on a supposed piece of twig, awakening Emily, the Corpse Bride.

Emily’s in search of a husband

She then claims that she and Victor are now “married” and takes Victor to the Land of the Dead but of course, his heart still beats for Victoria.

Victor’s journey from the Land of the Dead back to the Land of the Living is at times scary, exciting, and just like any good movie, you end up learning a thing or two about life and how people can be. While this story of finding “true love” and fighting for it has been wonderfully executed in animation, younger kids may have a hard time understanding why Emily died in the first place, the concept of arrange marriages, and what’s up with that creepy Lord Barkis Bittern.

Corpse Bride was nominated in the 78th Academy Awards for Best animated feature but lost out to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit – another stop motion animation film. Unlike Burton’s cult favorite, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride was shot with a battery of Canon EOS-1D Mark II digital SLRs.

Another interesting factoid about Corpse Bride is that it was actually based on an ancient Jewish folklore. In a legend found in the Shivkhey HoAri (a biographical collection of mystical stories about a renowned kabbalist, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria Ashkenazi), someone put a ring on what seemed to be a finger sticking out from the ground and jokingly pronounced the formal betrothal phrase, ending up unwillingly married to a woman from the underworld who claimed him as her husband. Fortunately for the man, according to the Arizal, the marriage was not valid as the man didn’t really willingly performed the betrothal but just to be safe, he had to divorce his corpse bride in accordance to Jewish law.

Corpse Bride was both a financial and critical success, a truly haunting story of love found and lost.

Behind the scenes of Corpse Bride
Tim Burton

Here’s a look at the Corpse Bride trailer:

Read more articles on the ‘Stop-Motion’ series:
Stop Motion Animation: Mary and Max
Stop Motion Animation: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Stop Motion Animation: Coraline

Corpse Bride on Wikipedia
Official Website
Johnny Depp Web

Enter a new analogue dimension with the LomoKino. Lomography’s own 35mm analogue movie camera allows you to capture action and immortalize your story on film! Shoot 144 frames on any 35mm film and create your own cinematic masterpieces. Want to watch your movie the old-school way? We also offer the LomoKino and LomoKinoscope package!

written by ungrumpy on 2011-11-19 #stop-motion-animation #corpse-bride #lifestyle #lomokino #tim-burton


  1. erikagrendel
    erikagrendel ·

    It's one of my favourite animated films!!! :)

  2. jelencitta
    jelencitta ·

    Love Tim Burton and love this film!! Great article.

  3. feelux
    feelux ·

    So that's where the concept was from. I love Tim Burton's films! Good read. :)

More Interesting Articles

  • The Story of a Negative

    written by vicuna on 2016-05-12 #places
    The Story of a Negative

    This is the story of a negative and the memory of loved ones that are gone, but are still present on an old analogue celluloid film. It's the emotional power of analogue photography that lasts forever.

  • The Photographic Novels of Katie Eleanor

    written by Ciel Hernandez on 2016-05-21 #people
    The Photographic Novels of Katie Eleanor

    Capturing a story through the lens is an easily mastered feat for the photographer. Anyone can tell a story, but not everyone can make up their own. English artist and illustrator Katie Eleanor writes her own stories of fantasy and color with her camera.

  • Stalking the City: Ricardo Lozano

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-10-20 #people
    Stalking the City: Ricardo Lozano

    New York is an infinitely photographable city in spite—or because—of its innate chaos. And even when the medium is film, praised nowadays for the virtue of slowness, the photographer must keep up with the city’s pace. Ricardo Lozano, 35mm photographer and Lomography community member, managed to do it for the series OK Commuter, now a book by A Love Token Press.

  • Shop News

    Save 15% on Lomography Film when bought with the Lubitel!

    Save 15% on Lomography Film when bought with the Lubitel!

    This beautiful camera features such ability to let users choose and switch between 35mm or 120 formats! Shoot more, save more! Get this Lubitel camera and get 15% discounts with Lomography Films!

  • LomoMission: Better Together Winners

    written by lomography on 2016-03-17 #news
    LomoMission: Better Together Winners

    Film swaps often produce the most exciting photographs. More than physically exchanging rolls, it is a collaboration of ideas and stories between two people who share the same love for experimental photography.

  • DIY Film Developing with One Day on Film

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-03-07 #videos
    DIY Film Developing with One Day on Film

    Analogue photography alone is tricky business for the newbie, and film development is another skill to master. Learning never stops at just a tutorial or two. Van Dan, a music producer and photographer, gives a comprehensive breakdown of film development for experts and neophytes alike.

  • Newcomer of the Week: stripedbeatle

    written by lomography on 2016-03-13
    Newcomer of the Week: stripedbeatle

    Lomographer stripedbeatle is a child of art. He started using a camera in his teens and went on to document his life though videos and music. Let's get to know this community newcomer and film student from the United States.

  • Shop News

    Introducing the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens Now Available on Kickstarter!

    Introducing the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens Now Available on Kickstarter!

    We're thrilled to present our new Kickstarter project—the New Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens! Inspired by the bold brass design of the world's first photographic optic, the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens is a versatile tool seeking the great return of dreamy imagery.

  • A Closer Look at Adam Donnelly and David Janeko's Site Specific Cameras

    written by Ciel Hernandez on 2016-04-17 #people
    A Closer Look at Adam Donnelly and David Janeko's Site Specific Cameras

    Sometimes it takes two to make an ambition happen. Adam Donnelly and David Janesko's partnership is a success story of building cameras out of the earth.

  • Trending Albums of June 2016

    written by lomography on 2016-06-24
    Trending Albums of June 2016

    An album is more than just a collection of photographs. It can accurately tell your tale without the need for words. Take a look at this month's most note-worthy albums and get a hint on how to share your stories through visual organization.

  • LomoAmigo: Courtney Barnett

    written by Lomography on 2015-10-14 #people
    LomoAmigo: Courtney Barnett

    Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett sings about the frustrations, disappointments and the mundane aspects of life in her own animated and sometimes Dylan-esque style. Her debut album "Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit" was released this year and has been getting positive reviews. We tweeted about her new album and she responded to say that she loved Lomography. It was the perfect opportunity for a shoot and an interview.

  • Shop News

    Introducing the Lomo'Instant Milano

    Introducing the Lomo'Instant Milano

    Named for the Italian city situated in the Lombardy region, overflowing with art and culture, say hello to the colorful aesthetics of the new Lomo'Instant Milano, the latest member of the Lomo'Instant family!

  • New From Lomography in 2015: A Timeline

    written by lomography on 2015-12-17 #news #gear
    New From Lomography in 2015: A Timeline

    Lomography marked 2015 with innovations and breathing new life to old favorites. Here's a quick look at the awesome array of cameras, lenses, and even motion film that made their debut this year.

  • Newcomer of the Week: momenthung

    written by lomography on 2015-10-18 #news
    Newcomer of the Week: momenthung

    Moment Hung is a copywriter from Hong Kong who loves attending gigs and meeting new people. In this interview, our newcomer of the week expands more about his passion for live music and of course photography!

  • First Impressions of the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens: Taio Konishi

    written by shhquiet on 2016-06-29 #gear #news #people
    First Impressions of the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens: Taio Konishi

    Taoi Konishi is a music photographer. Previously, he used the Petzval Lens to shoot at the Glastonbury Festival; this time, he took the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens at Akihabara, Tokyo - an otaku cultural center and a major shopping district for video games, anime, and manga.