There’s been a grave misunderstanding

By Johnathan Kroncke

There’s been a grave misunderstanding (Joshua Duran)

By Johnathan Kroncke

Tim Burton is back again with yet another dark, animated tale of the dead and dying, so of course you must be thinking “love story!”

You must also be thinking that if Burton is doing another film, Johnny Depp must not be far behind. Well you are right. Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”) lends his voice as the unwitting star, Victor Van Dort, in Burton’s newest tragedy, comedy classic, “Corpse Bride.”

The Van Dorts and the Everglots are two of the most well-to-do families in town and on the eve of the arranged marriage of their two children. Although they have never met before, Victor’s shy eyes light up the first time he meets his sweet and innocent fiancé, Victoria, voice of Emily Watson (“Punch Drunk Love,” “Red Dragon”).

Nervous about the upcoming ceremony, Victor steals off into the woods nearby to practice his vows. Under the bright moonlight, he proposes to what he thinks is a tree root sticking out of the ground, only to find out that he has agreed to marry a deceased bride-to-be.

Emily, voiced by Helena Bonham Carter (“Planet of the Apes,” “Fight Club”), was once a beautiful bride until tragedy struck and she was murdered. Now, complete with blue skin and an eye that continuously pops out, she must convince Victor that she is his true love while overcoming their differences in, shall we say, lifestyle choices.

While the look of the film is quite similar to “Nightmare Before Christmas,” the animation quality is much smoother and more appealing. However, each carries with it a dreary setting devoid of much color or light. Of course, how lively could it possibly be in the land of the dead?

No Burton film would be complete without Depp and the same can be said about Danny Elfman. His musical scores as well as voice talent can be heard everywhere from the theme song for “The Simpsons” to Jack Skellington in “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

As for Depp, he is, without question, one of the most versatile actors of our day and one who deserves all of the praise we as fans can offer because there will not be another like him for awhile.

“Corpse Bride” is a very fun movie for kids from one to 92. The story is simple enough to entertain small children yet engaging enough for older audiences. Any fan of Burton’s should see this movie. After all, it is a love story.