Tim Burton does musical! And he does it on an animation film!
I can’t help scratching my head and gushing shyly, and enjoying the rollicking fun of looking at semi-gothic characters parading themselves in a musical number from Danny Elfman that seem to serve as sort-of tribute to old-school musical genre. At least, some scores evoke such a thought if you often see musical films of MGM era. And the blast of these tunes perfectly enhance the atmosphere of the world that can only happen in Tim Burton’s own fantasy world.
Imagine a world of living full of gloomy looking people and London turns itself to be a gray city, looking dull and boring. On the other hand at the same time, the underground world way below the graveyards are full of weird looking characters, often not in complete set of body parts, yet they look vibrant and much more alive than the living, as they are presented in bright, dazzling colors. Not to mention that these puppets dance more than their counterparts.
Such a scene might recall for Burton’s previous outing in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Edward Scissorhands. Yet, what might seem as a totally naïve and innocent Burton on this two works do not show on Corpse Bride, as the latter gives us a much more mature storyline which might be confusing for children who get a chance to see the film, considering its PG rating. I would put Corpse Bride here as part of a testament on how Burton has quite tamed himself recently, with the works like the heartwarming Big Fish, the family-friendly Charlie and Chocolate Factory, and now putting an ensemble of string puppets in a fairy tale that dwells on adult relationship, Burton has tamed himself in maturity that simply swells.
Now, apart from the destined Best Animated Feature clout at the next year’s Academy Awards, shall it go for a higher cast? It deserves so.