Akuma& I went to go see the Corpse Bride a few days ago, and I guess I was kind of dissappointed in it. I thought it was a beautiful movie, and the score was very nice, but I really didn't like any of the musical numbers at all. The lyrics seemed really trite and cliche, while I don't feel that the melodies really fit the tone of the movie at all. I realize that to a certain extent, musicals really need repition in lyrics to help make the songs catchy. But really, it just kind of hurts to listen to a song that repeats the title of the movie over and over again. It seemed like the movie was trying to go in too many directions without making a strong point in either one. It kind of hurts to bash it so much, since I have such a high opinion of Tim Burton's stuff, and especially Danny Elfman's scores, but I felt like I was waiting the entire movie for the one moment that made everything worthwhile.
The main character just kind of mucks through the whole movie, trying not to hurt anyone's feelings, but not really knowing WTF he wants. While the part was acted out very well by Johnny Depp, I really didn't like the character himself that much. I mean.. he's about to be married to one chick whom he's very nervous around... stuff happens and he ends up with the corpse bride.. but he's kind of just "there," and doesn't seem to have much of an opinion one way or the other about her other than that "omg.. it's wrong to marry a dead body." The only thing he's passionate about is not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. I really felt like there should have been a little more emotional conflict about whom he cared for more. If that tension would have been there, the taboo of marrying a corpse really would have helped the ending a LOT more in the way things happened. It would have only strengthened it, I think. But maybe I'm just morbid.
The voice acting was really quite nice, and the animation and figures were awesome, but I felt that at times, it was trying to take itself a little too seriously. There were a lot of sight gags and puns, but none of the dark humor I was really expecting. There were a few times during the movie where the script went down a serious route (after a few random sight gags, etc) while I was still expecting a jab or witty remark. And really, some of the musical numbers were way too much. Didn't fit at all... (For those of you who have been keeping track of the production of this one since before Charlie and the Chocolate factory... much of the CatCF cast lends a voice to this film. Christopher Lee plays the pastor, and in one point of the film, he's refusing entry into the church. It would have been fucking hilarious if he'd said "You shall not pass!")
I'll probably get it when it comes out on DvD. The animation was great, and it really did have it's moments. I think that overall, my entire opinion on the film would have been a lot more positive if I'd enjoyed the songs in the musical sequences a bit more.
Anyway, I definitely think it's worth seeing. I'd love to see a much more recent Danny Elfman 3-4 disk compilation set with score selections from his different films. That way, I'd get the best chunks of the corpse bride score without the songs.