Plot In a village in Victorian England, Victor Van Dort, the son of nouveau riche fish merchants, and Victoria Everglot, the neglected daughter of snobbish yet impoverished aristocrats , are preparing for their arranged marriage , which will simultaneously raise the social class of Victor's parents and restore the wealth of Victoria's penniless family. Both have concerns about marrying someone they do not know, but upon meeting for the first time, they fall for each other.
Plot In a village in Victorian England, Victor Van Dort, the son of nouveau riche fish merchants, and Victoria Everglot, the neglected daughter of snobbish yet impoverished aristocrats , are preparing for their arranged marriage , which will simultaneously raise the social class of Victor's parents and restore the wealth of Victoria's penniless family.
Both have concerns about marrying someone they do not know, but upon meeting for the first time, they fall for each other. After the shy Victor ruins the wedding rehearsal by forgetting his vows, he flees and practices his wedding vows in the nearby forest, placing the wedding ring on a nearby upturned tree root. The root turns out to be the finger of a murdered woman in a tattered bridal gown named Emily, who rises from the grave claiming that she is now Victor's wife.
After fainting, Victor wakes up and finds himself spirited away to the Land of the Dead. The bewildered Victor learns the story of how Emily was murdered years ago by an unknown perpetrator on the night of her secret elopement. Wanting to reunite with Victoria, Victor tricks Emily into taking him back to the Land of the Living by pretending he wants her to meet his parents.
She agrees to this and takes him to see Elder Gutknecht, the kindly ruler of the underworld, to return Victor and Emily temporarily to the Land of the Living. Once back home, Victor asks Emily to wait in the forest while he rushes off to see Victoria and confess his wish to marry her as soon as possible, to which she gladly returns his feelings.
Just as they are about to share a kiss, Emily arrives and sees the two of them together. Feeling betrayed and hurt, she angrily drags Victor back to the Land of the Dead.
Victoria tells her parents that Victor has been forcibly wed to a dead woman, but no one believes her. With Victor gone, Victoria's parents decide to marry her off against her will to a presumed-wealthy newcomer in town named Lord Barkis Bittern, who appeared at the wedding rehearsal. Victor apologizes to Emily for lying to her, and the two reconcile. Shortly after, Victor's recently deceased family coachman appears in the afterlife and informs Victor of Victoria's impending marriage to Barkis.
He also overhears that, in order to validate Victor and Emily's marriage, Victor must repeat his vows in the Land of the Living and willingly drink the Wine of Ages, a poison, thus joining her in death.
Fretting about having lost Victoria to another man, Victor agrees to die for Emily. All of the dead go "upstairs" to the Land of the Living to perform the wedding ceremony for Victor and Emily. Upon their arrival, the town erupts into a temporary panic until everyone recognizes their loved ones from the dead, and they have a joyous reunion.
After a quarrel with Barkis, and realizing he was only after her supposed wealth, Victoria follows the procession of dead to the church. Emily notices Victoria and realizes that she is denying Victoria her chance at happiness the same way it was stolen from her.
She stops Victor from drinking the poison and reunites him with Victoria. Barkis tries to kidnap Victoria at sword point, but Victor stops him and the two men duel; the dead townspeople are unable to interfere with the affairs of the living. Emily intercedes to save Victor, and Barkis mockingly proposes a toast to Emily, unknowingly drinking the cup of poison.
The dead, able to intercede upon Barkis's death, eagerly take retribution against him by dragging him to the underworld where he will atone for his crimes. Victoria, now a widow, is once again able to marry Victor. Emily frees Victor of his vow to marry her, giving the wedding ring back to Victor and her wedding bouquet to Victoria before exiting the church. As she steps into the moonlight, she transforms into hundreds of butterflies as Victor and Victoria look on wrapped in each other's embrace.
Helena Bonham Carter voices the title character. Johnny Depp as Victor Van Dort, a shy and gawky young man who is engaged to Victoria Everglot for social and financial reasons.
Helena Bonham Carter as Emily the Corpse Bride, a beautiful and charismatic young zombie woman with a passion for music and dance.
Tracey Ullman as Nell Van Dort, Victor's socially ambitious mother who holds contempt for her son; and Hildegarde, the elderly, hunchbacked maid of the Everglot household. Joanna Lumley as Maudeline Everglot, Victoria's snide, unloving mother. Albert Finney as Finis Everglot, Victoria's grim, toad -like, and avaricious father.
Christopher Lee as Pastor Galswells, a haughty and bad-tempered priest who is hired to conduct Victor and Victoria's marriage. Michael Gough as Elder Gutknecht, an ancient and rickety skeleton who rules benevolently over the underworld.
Jane Horrocks as Black Widow, an affable black widow spider seamstress ; and Mrs. Plum, the zombie chef working at the Ball and Socket Pub. Enn Reitel as Maggot, a sarcastic , green maggot who lives inside Emily's head and acts as her conscience ; and the town crier. Reitel's performance as Maggot is a parody of Austrian-born actor Peter Lorre. He is a parody of Napoleon Bonaparte. Danny Elfman as Bonejangles, a vivacious, one-eyed, lounge singing skeleton.
Stephen Ballantyne as Emil, the Everglots' long- suffering butler. Development The film is based on a 19th-century Russian folktale, which Joe Ranft introduced to Burton while they were finishing The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Our approach was more organic. Tim knew where he wanted the film to go as far as the emotional tone and story points to hit. My job was to work with the crew on a daily basis and get the footage as close as possible to how I thought he wanted it.
The film was originally supposed to have been shot on film, though a last-minute change by the studio helped introduce a different technology.
The production then became digital. I knew that we were going to be fighting to make this look like a 'real' movie because we weren't shooting on film, so I wanted to at least have the optics look like movie optics.
We did most of our experimentation in the storyboard process—as many ways as needed—to get the scene how we wanted it.
There was no coverage, as there would be for a live-action film. The animators would create a "dope sheet"—in which a shot was broken down, frame by frame—to account for key "hits". The animators would then shoot tests of the scene, often shooting on "2s" or "4s" meaning shooting just every second or fourth frame of what would appear in the final animation. We might do some lighting tweaks, performance tweaks or have the art department get in and touch anything that needed it.
Then we'd close the curtain and let the animator animate the shot. With this film emulation, we could actually rate our cameras at ASA , then take our light meters and spot meters and, with great confidence, shoot as if we were using Sure enough, the footage would come back and look just like it. Visual effects were delivered by London's Moving Picture Company MPC , and were applied to the 1, or so shots in the film, though most of the effects simply painted out puppet supports and similar set equipment.
Some visual effects elements—groups of birds and butterflies, were created completely in CG, though others were composited as visual effects from real-life elements. There's a discipline to clear storytelling with these puppets. You want to be abstract, but one can easily go overboard with these critters because they aren't as familiar to the audience as real humans.
The characters don't necessarily translate the same as if you're shooting a real person. You have to consciously balance arty atmosphere and graphic clarity so as to not confuse the audience about what it is they're looking at. It was a very completed package in my mind.
I felt like it was there. I felt more comfortable with it. With this, it was a bit more organic. It was based on an old folk tale. We kept kind of changing it but, you know, I had a great co-director with Mike Johnson.
I feel like we complemented each other quite well. It was just a different movie, a different process. He was Willy Wonka by day and Victor by night so it might have been a little schizophrenic for him. It's the first animated movie he's done and he's always into a challenge.
We just treat it like fun and a creative process. He's kind of up for anything. He just always adds something to it.
The amazing thing is all the actors never worked . They were never in a room together, so they were all doing their voices, except for Albert did a few scenes together, everybody else was separate. They were all kind of working in a vacuum, which was interesting. So he was very canny, as they all were, about trying to find the right tone and making it work while not being in the same room with each other.
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