Tis the joyous time of year, after the exams, where we collectively venture forth and watch movies, flagrantly spending money, painfully accumulated by our parents over the course of the rest of the year, that could be used to buy more useful things, such as illegally harvested kidneys or slave-concubines. Or perhaps literary classics such as Amber Brown is Not A Crayon.
Yes, movies. Except that in the case of Corpsebride, it was more of a collection of still-ies. Each and every frame was painstakingly captured, one by one, by moving intricately painted scale models a fraction of an inch each time, culminating in what I must commend as one of the most stylized, intriguing and ultimately enjoyable “animated” movies of the year.
Many people bemoan the fact that the movie is only about an hour and fifteen minutes long, and “absolutely not worth Seven Dollars”. Well, lets do some math.
(/open calculator) Assuming that the movie runs at the bare minimum of 24 frames a second, that’s 24 x 60 x 85 frames, which is a whopping total of 122400 seconds . Giving about (and this is really the minimum) ten minutes a frame, that’s about 20400 man hours or 840 days! (/close calculator)
Now think of it this way. Assuming that your parents work as Chinese coal miners at a rate of about 1 USD a day (not including health insurance fees), and by buying that ticket you’ve spent about eight days of their salary, that’s still a miniscule fraction of what Tim Burton and Johnny Depp put into the making of this show! Value for money huh.
Corpsebride doesn’t strike me as cheesy. In fact, because of its novel concept and the undeniable charm of little plastic figurines, the show and its characters grow on you, so much so that the effect of *spoiler-ending* is irresistibly heartwarming. At the first meeting of the Corpsebride herself, one is, quite frankly, spooked. After all, not many people are charmed (or aroused, for that matter) by a decaying, rotting pile of flesh (other than perhaps our dear, albeit necrophilic, friend). But as we get to understand the rationale behind her actions, her needs and wants, and share the many sweet moments between her and Dan Dort, one cannot help but feel that in a way Dan Dort is far more suited to her than that shallow, mortal-plane-dwelling creature who he is officially betrothed to.
As many critics are quick to point out, the underworld is garishly lit and decorated, whereas the mortal city is grey and drab. As it should be, since (and I quote), “everyone is just Dying to get there!” Literary analyses aside, this whole notion of death being more attractive than life (what with skeletons doing the can can) crafts an overwhelming sense of absurdity. This, combined with a Confucian skele-sage, a bone-dog (I wonder what he gnaws on, then), and lots of magic potion, is, quite simply put, a recipe for hilarity.
The lyrical nature of the movie is also endearing in the extreme. From the beginning the movie is introduced with a decidedly queer rhyme about the town. The songs, far from reaching a Titanic style soppy crescendo, are actually an eclectic mix of Adams Family and Elton John, contributing greatly to the gothic and yet intentionally cartoon setting. Also, there is something inherently appealing about a drunken skeleton jamming on a keyboard. (Oh dear, I fear I too am lost.)
Anyhow, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen something this cute, artsy, funny and yet touching, without sacrificing a significant portion of the female lead’s clothing. And some of the plot. Hell, this movie is truly something to Die for.
(and for SOME dumb reason I keep typing Corpsebride as Corpsebridge. I’ll post my little sketch of a CorpseBridge once I find out how)