1) Credits read, “A Laika Entertainment Production.”
Huh, the more you know.
2) We understand Victor as a character perfectly after our first encounter with him. He’s shown to be observant, quiet, a little timid, and longing for a sense of freedom (like when he lets the butterfly go). It’s a simple intro which will help carry his character throughout the film.
3) Even before “According to Plan” there’s this tracking shot through Victor’s community which establishes the rigidness/emptiness of his world VERY well. But just because this is a cold world doesn’t mean it’s unimaginative.
4) “According to Plan”
The opening number of the film (while no “This is Halloween”) does a lot of things well. For one, it sets up the context. We understand what is about to happen and why it is about to happen (to a point), we are given exposition in a sleek and entertaining way which isn’t always easy to do. But beyond that it sets up the soul of Victor’s soul. Or, more pointedly, its LACK of soul. The dreariness, the class conflict, the bleakness of it. But not in a way where you want to turn the movie off, which is important. All in all, it’s a strong opening number.
Victoria: “What if Victor and I don’t like each other?”
Mrs. Everglot: “Huff! As if that has anything to do with marriage.”
6) The art style of this film is wicked strong, specifically with character design. By pushing the boundaries of human anatomy and design we get a base understanding of many characters (major and minor) that can be built off of in the future. My favorite is the Everglot’s butler with his permanently upturned nose.
7) The piano solo.
I think this is the strongest instrumental piece in the film and largely works as to show what makes Victor and Victoria unique. It is incredibly pleasant, lively, and romantic. There’s a beauty to the melody which lives within both these characters which just is not present in their world. All in all, its a beautiful piece.
8) The piano in this scene is a Harryhausen, as in Ray Harryhausen who was a pioneer of stop motion animation.
9) Both Johnny Depp as Victor and Emily Watson as Victoria are wonderful in their respective voice over roles. They each are very similar, having a timidness/quietness which is only endearing and interesting early on. But as the film progresses each is able to naturally push the characters’ emotions and boldness. Each is still unique, however, not a clone of the other. They just work best when paired.
10) This film thrives in its simplicity. It tells the story it needs to quickly and efficiently, working more as a macabre fairytale than anything else. That simplicity (which can be seen in the inciting incident of Victor awakening the titular bride) is the movie’s most endearing quality.
11) There’s a nice sense of humor to this film, possibly best seen in the Town Cryer.
12) So Emily (the corpse bride) acts all innocent like she didn’t KNOW Victor doesn’t want to be with her. But if when you first meet your husband and he’s running away from you in panic doesn’t that tell you something?
13) The after life.
One of the things I like most about this film is the juxtaposition between the after life and the living world. From a design element, the expected tropes are flipped on their heads. Its the living world which is bleak and dull while the after life is INCREDIBLY lively. The color and art style gives it a fun sensibility which I just really appreciate, helping you get invested in the fantasy elements of this film.
14) “Remains of the Day”
Honestly, this is the best song in the entire film. It does a number of things CRAZY well, both giving us Emily’s backstory in a sleek way while also developing how the after life (in this world) is not something to be feared. This one lyric in particular PERFECTLY defines this film’s afterlife:
“Die, die, we all pass away. You might cry now but it’s really okay! You might try to hide and you might run away but we all end up the remains of the day!”
More than anything else the high energy of the song (supported by Danny Elfman’s vocals and composition) are what make it such an incredible tune. It’s just so freaking fun!
15) While important to the rest of the film, I always found the surface world’s plot line kind of dull. I like Victoria and her development, but I am WAY more interested in what’s going on with Emily. So anytime we cut away I’m just waiting to get back to the afterlife of the film.
16) Helena Bonham Carter as the titular corpse bride, Emily.
Holy freaking cow, this role. Holy freaking cow, Helena Bonham Carter IN this role. Emily could have easily been a flat archetype, a mythical figure presented in the story. But easily she is the liveliest character in the entire film (poetic, isn’t it?). She is kinda, loving, optimistic, funny, innocent but not naive, hopeful, occasionally scary, and just really freaking interesting all around! Bonham Carter blends all these characteristics beautifully in her vocal work, making you forget that you are in fact listening to an actress. She’s Emily, through and through. It is by far one my favorite performances of the actress, even if it is just a voice over.
17) I like how this film totally glosses over the fact that EMILY CAN TALK TO DOGS! Like, the spiders and maggots at least speak her language. BUT THE DOG JUST BARKS!
18) I always really liked Elder Gutknecht, but I’m not sure why. I think Michael Gough’s charming vocals are definitely a contributing factor, but there’s this chemistry and energy to him that I’ve just always been invested in.
19) Fun fact, the voice of the maggot is based on famous horror actor Peter Lorre!
20) One thing the film does that I do like is that Victor and Victoria WANT to be together. Yes their marriage is arranged but they actually end up connecting with/caring for each other, which is a nice twist on the way these marriages are usually handled in films. I’m not saying I think we should have more arranged marriages, but I just like this film went a different direction than normal with it.
This song works on two different levels: in one way it is a fun, upbeat, positive analysis of Emily as a character (what makes her unique and lovable); in another way it is a sad, heartbreaking reflection of Emily’s grief. The fact that both elements are able to lend so naturally and change tones so well is a testament not only to Danny Elfman’s skills as a composer but the filmmaking team as a whole.
23) This is a delightfully old school line.
Pastor [asking about the living marrying the dead]: “A grim topic for a bride to be.”
Victoria: “’Tis a bride I fear.”
24) Roll credits!
Victoria: “He has a CORPSE BRIDE!”
25) Okay, so Victoria’s parents set up Lord Barkis with their daughter once Victor disappears. But 1) don’t they think they’re RELATED to Lord Barkis (and that’s why he showed up to the wedding) and 2) if they’re marrying for cash, wouldn’t they want to know that Lord Barkis HAS money beforehand?
26) I like that Victoria’s nanny Hildegard acts in many ways like a true mother to her, definitely much more so than Mrs. Everglot. They’re small moments of connection and support through the film, but I appreciate them.
27) Victor deciding to stay with Emily in death is a strong character choice. Having a passive protagonist is boring and he easily could’ve been poisoned by another character, but him making that choice (and how it speaks to where he is in the film) is great.
28) I like how all these lost connections are rekindled when the dead revisit the world of the living. It’s a nice, natural outcome to the idea of the dead returning to earth.
29) Similar to note #27, Emily’s decision to not go through the marriage is strong. Because SHE’S the one most invested in it. Victor is largely doing it FOR HER. So the fact she decides to stop it, to end it, speaks greatly to her selflessness and her wonderful heart.
Honestly, I saw that coming a mile away the first time I watched this movie. But so what? It’s still fun!
31) I don’t LOVE the climactic sword fight between Victor and Lord Barkis, it’s just fine. But I will say when Emily holds the sword it’s freaking awesome!
32) Barkis’ death is also wonderfully creepily handled.
33) I love Emily’s ascension. A parallel to Victor setting the butterfly free at the film’s beginning, it is not only a great bookend but a wonderful happy ending.
Corpse Bride is really a treat. Director Tim Burton is in his element with this delightfully charming and imaginative macabre fairytale. The design is wonderful, the voice acting is strong, and its just a really sweet treat (especially around Halloween). I definitely recommend it.
god i wanna post my photos from Game Grumps Live tonight but they’re ALL SO BLURRY JESUS CHRIST. but nevertheless i had an amazing time. some highlights:
-the Mario Party game consisting of Arin, Danny, team Donkey Kong, and team Waluigi (my team!). team Waluigi won by two stars, that we earned by getting the last hit on the final boss. the grumps said it was probably the closest Mario Party game they’ve done live
-someone during the q&a brought up the fact that in the ads for the grumps live shows, the grumps said they would give everyone handjobs. the whole audience began chanting “WE WANT HANDJOBS! WE WANT HANDJOBS! WE WANT HANDJOBS!” it was a beautiful moment
-Dan hinted that his dad might be in the audience and everyone lost their shit
-one of the people they brought up onstage to play a minigame was dressed as King Graham from King’s Quest (it’s nycc right now, so of course there were cosplayers in attendance) and Dan lost his shit
-the grumps were asked what inspires them to create and do what they do (they weren’t allowed to say it was their fans, the guy who asked them told them not to do the pandery answer lmao) and Arin said he just loves to create, he loves making things and sharing them with his friends and seeing their reactions to it. idk that just really resonated with me and it was nice
-our pre-show special guest was Jimmy Whetzel (!!!!!!) and i’m not gonna say what the pre-show is, because i haven’t seen anyone else talk about it? but jimmy fucking crushed it, it was amazing
-arin hinted that they may or may not be working on a burgie plushie? maybe? who knooooows
it was just a really fun show and it was so fun to see so many grumps fans in one place. everyone was decked out in their grump tshirts and we were all cheering for our teams in Mario Party and doing weird handjob chants (even as we left the theater, we started doing the handjob chant again) and i saw like, 5 of my classmates there who i didnt expect to see, it was just weird and cool and so much fun. i hope the grumps had as much fun as i did!!
also, shoutout to Vernon, who was running around like a madman to pick on people to play minigames and answer questions. one second he’d be on the floor and the next he’d be way up in a balcony. vernon is a terrifying force of nature and we should all be scared