Corpse Bride (2005)

1h 17m / PG / Animation

As production on The Nightmare Before Christmas came to a close, storyboard supervisor Joe Ranft approached Tim Burton with a macabre little yarn that he knew the auteur would eat right up, pulled from a 17th-century volume of Jewish folk stories. Called “The Finger,” it’s the story of a young bridegroom who slips his wedding ring onto the finger of a corpse while reciting his vows. Suddenly, the cadaver leaps up and exclaims “My husband!” Duly horrified, the man brings his would-be spouse before a local rabbi, who annuls their marriage by declaring that the dead can lay no claim to the living. With a piercing shriek, the corpse then falls apart into a pile of disjointed bones, never to rise again. Suffice it to say Ranft knew his audience: Burton was immediately drawn to the tale and began developing a big-screen adaptation of it. Corpse Bride wed some innovative, groundbreaking animation techniques to a centuries-old story about life, death, and devotion (although Burton was smart enough to give it a much more sympathetic ending because, you know, kids’ movie), and the film’s all-star cast and state-of-the-art puppetry secured it a chorus of critical praise and an Academy Award nomination.

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Additional support is provided by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.