Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

In this animated comedic romance created by Tim Burton, the oddly caricatured people have memorable personalities and familiar voices. Victor (voice of Johnny Depp) and Victoria (Emily Watson) are betrothed to be married. As Victor nervously practices his vows in the woods, he places the ring on what appears to be a branch. But the branch turns into a hand, and the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter) is unearthed, grabs Victor’s arm and informs him that they are now married. This proves to be problematic since she is dead and he is alive and since he is marrying Victoria the next morning. Victor is taken to the underworld where he meets a variety of interesting skeleton characters and is reunited with his childhood pet, Scraps. The characters often break into song, and the orchestration and quality of animation makes Corpse Bride a rare find in today’s cinema.

Set in 1800’s Europe, Corpse Bride holds to morals of days gone by when it was inappropriate for young men and women to date without a chaperon. As Victor and Victoria practice the marriage ceremony, Victor clumsily drops the ring and sheepishly reaches under his future mother-in-law’s dress to pick it up. This innocent situation is seen as inappropriate. In contrast, life in the underworld is inhibition run amuck. Skeleton characters sing, dance, drink alcohol to excess, and make the place of the dead appear to one giant party. There are some sword fights and mild violence, which is mostly playful. Disturbing images include decapitated skeletons, arms and legs coming off, an eye that falls out, and swords stuck into the heads and chests of skeletons. One crude word is used in a comedic reenactment of Rhet Butler’s famous statement, “Frankly, Scarlet ...” You may not want to let that stop you from being enraptured by Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.

Preview Reviewer: Brian Hughes
Distributor: Warner Brothers

Crude Language: Once – mild (damn 1)
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Many times – mild (some pushing and shoving among underworld characters, future father-in-law wants to strangle man because he breaks off the marriage); moderate (priest smacks a man in the head with a pastoral shepherd’s crook, branch turns into a hand and grabs a man and pulls him into the underworld, arm is torn off as corpse of a woman comes out of the ground, man holds a knife to a woman’s neck in a threatening manner, sword fight between two men); strong (skeleton characters stab each other in the chest and head with no bloodshed, decapitated head is the “head waiter” of the restaurant in the underworld, eye pops out of underworld woman and a maggot crawls out)
Sexual Intercourse: Few times – mild (a living dog and a skeleton dog sniff each other’s tails)
Nudity: None (when woman has her corset tightened, wedding ring is dropped and rolls under a woman’s dress, and man reaches under the dress to get it – woman finds this inappropriate)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times – mild (man is role-playing wedding vows and jokingly says “with this hand I will cup your” – breast is implied)
Drug Abuse: Few times – mild (skeletons are drunk in a bar setting in the underworld)
Other: Dating is traditional, and boy and girl must have a chaperone; it is not ladylike to play the piano; mother tells story about the time her son wet his pants because he was scared as a boy; man is reunited with his childhood dog, which is now a skeleton; living people are reunited with their deceased loved ones, who are now skeletons; underworld is made to look like a great place to be; no acknowledgment of heaven or hell
Running Time: 78 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Children through Adults

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