Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. United Kingdom/USA, 2005. Warner Bros., Tim Burton Animation Co., Laika Entertainment, Patalex Productions, Tim Burton Productions, Will Vinton Studios. Screenplay by John August, Caroline Thompson, Pamela Pettler, from characters created by Tim Burton, Carlos Grangel. Cinematography by Pete Kozachik. Produced by Allison Abbate, Tim Burton. Music by Danny Elfman. Production Design by Alex McDowell. Film Editing by Chris Lebenzon, Jonathan Lucas. Academy Awards 2005. National Board of Review Awards 2005. New York Film Critics Awards 2005. Online Film Critics Awards 2005. Toronto International Film Festival 2005.
Beautifully animated romantic tale utilizes the same stop motion animation that made The Nightmare Before Christmas so memorable. Taking place in Tim Burton’s accustomed world of gothic delights, the tale begins with a young man (Johnny Depp) and woman (Emily Watson) who have been set up for marriage despite never having met. She is old money and broke, he new money and wealthy, and their parents couldn’t be happier about exchanging respectable prestige for cash. Depp gets cold feet during a wedding rehearsal and runs away into the woods, where he practices his vows out loud and ends up waking a dead bride (Helena Bonham Carter) who has been wandering the afterlife in desolate loneliness after she was murdered by a false-hearted fiance. Disappointingly bland songs by Danny Elfman drag down the effort here, but it looks perfect and the voice work by the excellent cast contribute to an overall tender story that leaves a sweet after effect.