Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
*Danger, Will Robinson: Affiliate Links Ahead! Read the disclosure policy for complete info.*
*GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*
It's been a minute, horror lovers. But who says you can't keep on with your scary movie binge right past Halloween and into November? Let's hop back on the #31DaysofHorror bandwagon with the new classic: Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.
P.S. Stick around 'til the end. I hear there's a GIVEAWAY in store...
To Be, or Not to Be "Burtonesque"
I've been reading and watching a lot of video essays (anyone else kind of hate these?) lately that try to take on Burtonesque. To be likened to the style of Tim Burton's is to be a very particular thing. We throw around terms in criticism like Hitchcockian, Brechtian, and Kafkaesque (is this the original -esque?), because they are established men with styles and concepts that have provided the basis for whole movements. What does someone so relatively young as Burton do to deserve such a descriptor?
The answer, to anyone who's seen any Burton film, is everything. Beginning with Pee-Wee's Big Adventure all the way to Sweeney Todd, there is a commonality to the style and tone of Tim Burton that is beyond film: his artistic sensibility prevalent sometimes more than plot, more than story, more than character. The look is the character.
The Stop-Motion Animation God
It had been twelve years since A Nightmare Before Christmas had made Burton a stop-motion animation God. And although he didn't direct it (Coraline-helmer Henry Selick did), his place as writer, producer, and creator is cemented in history - there is no one else you could credit this film and its style, too. It is the very definition of Burtonesque.
It is with great fervor that I greet Corpse Bride, Burton's first stop-motion film of the new millennium. Is it the masterpiece that Nightmare has become? Not quite. But eleven years later, Corpse Bride is a Burtonesque beauty that shines as brightly - and looms as deeply - as its predecessor.
The Corpse Bride
For little goth girls that dressed up as Sally, The Corpse Bride herself is a welcome addition to the Burton cannon. Say what you will about his inclusivity, but I've always found a strong sense of pride and strength in Burton's female characters. Dotty, Sally, Selina Kyle, Lydia Deetz, Katrina Van Tassel, Margaret Keane - all troubled or haunted in some way, but none incapable of solving the problem themselves. In fact, these are women that almost always save the day, rescuing their men-in-distress. Helena Bonham Carter's Corpse Bride is no exception; liberating the anxious Victor while simultaneously bringing her husband and murderer to justice.
She's a real (rotten) peach.
Marrying Darkness and Light
It would be easy for Burton to slack on story in favor of style (and I think at times, especially in the last decade, he has). Corpse Bride remains memorable to me for its story.
Faced with an arranged marriage, Victor retreats into the woods to curb his cold feet, only to allow his nerves to conjure up a different bride than originally expected. The Corpse Bride is risen in response to a set of vows so oddly beautiful, I'd be surprised if Burtonites the world over hadn't used them in their own weddings. Without being overtly religious, these vows do something Burton has always done well: marry tonal darkness with the brightest, kindest light.
Combined with Danny Elfman's usual score (that sad piano bit!), it makes for a haunting, spooky, and perfect post-Halloween experience.
The 2016 #31DaysofHorror Giveaway!
When I spied this limited edition issue of Mondo's film magazine - Birth. Movies. Death - in honor of Tim Burton, I had to grab a copy. Two, in fact, as I could think of no better thing to commemorate our time together during this #31DaysofHorror than to giveaway a copy of this gorgeous commemorative book.
If you're unfamiliar with Mondo, get to know them (this giveaway isn't sponsored by Mondo in any way, I just think their work is GORGEOUS). The Austin based printing company creates limited edition posters, vinyl soundtracks, VHS reissues, and more of the best film nerd paraphernalia. And if you happen to be in Austin, TX, you'll definitely want to stop by their gallery space.
Birth. Movies. Death: Tim Burton Edition
Inside this issue of Birth. Movies. Death. you'll find essays, illustrations, and some of the most beautiful Burtonesque fan art, printed in full color. The front and back cover art? Original illustrations by Burton, himself. It's a truly collectible item that I'm happy I scooped up before it sold out last month. I'm even happier to send it to one of you.
How to Enter:
Entering the giveaway is simple: comment on this blog post (*See full giveaway rules at the end of this post). If you need a prompt, why not tell me what your favorite Tim Burton movie of all time is. Mine, if you're curious, is Frankenweenie, with Mars Attacks! rounding out a close second.
A follow on Facebook, Twitter, or a Tweet Twitter about the giveaway will earn you extra points if you choose to play along. Simply use the Rafflecopter app below and I'll be able to keep track of all your entries.
*AND THE WINNER IS: Lam Nguyen! Congrats! And a big thank you to everyone that commented on, read, and hung out with me here during this year's #31DaysofHorror. It was a pleasure, as always.
Feel free to enter any day (and in any of these ways) before November 15th, 2016. I'll randomly choose a winner on the 16th and announce it in that day's post.
But back to Corpse Bride for a minute. I owe you some recommended viewing, don't I?
If You Like It, Watch:
Frankenweenie (2012): The stop-motion adaptation of Burton's original short film is underrated and under-watched. A boy and his un-dead dog wreak a little bit of accidental havoc on their hometown.
Coraline: Surely you've all seen this Henry Selick masterpiece by now. But in case you haven't, acquire it immediately. The other mother and her button eyes are some of the scariest things I've ever seen, animated or otherwise.
Mary and Max: A slightly Burtonesque story (in atmosphere and tone) from director Adam Elliot, this is a somber and sometimes quite funny story about a little girl and an old man who become pen pals.
Monkeybone: If you'd like something slightly more adult, and a lot weirder, dip your toes in Henry Selick's only live action film to date. One part Who Framed Roger Rabbit, one part Cool World, and three parts Chris Kattan, it's well worth sitting through the parts that don't work for the things that do. You won't see anything stranger this week (or next), I promise.
*GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*
Giveaway terms and conditions:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. Giveaway begins on 11/1/2016 and ends 11/15/2015 at 12:00am EST. Open to U.S. and U.K. residents ONLY. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will receive a copy of Mondo's October 2016 Tim Burton Commemorative Issue, approximate retail value of $6.00 USD. The number of eligible entities received determines the odds of winning. Winner will be selected at random via rafflecopter.com on 11/16/2016 and notified by email. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery via USPS (6-8 weeks for international shipping). To enter login via the Rafflecopter link and leave your comment or email address in the comments of this post – you may choose to participate in the other options presented, but they are not required.
My opinions are my own and not influenced by any type of compensation. Facebook, Twitter, Mondo, and Mondotees.com are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. Your information is not sold or shared in any way, and I will only use this information to contact the winner. As owner and editor of onecriticalbitch.com and operator of this giveaway, I have the right to obtain and publicize the winner’s name and likeness. If the prize is forfeited or unclaimed, I reserve the right to reclaim the merchandise for my own use. Winner and recipient of the prize is responsible for any and all taxes related to its value. VOID where prohibited by law.