Corpse Bride

Rated 3.0

Director Tim Burton (with co-director Mike Johnson) returns to the puppet animation of The Nightmare Before Christmas with this impishly macabre tale of a timid young man (voice by Johnny Depp) who inadvertently betroths himself to a dead (yet ambulatory) girl (Helena Bonham Carter), to the dismay of his true (and living) love (Emily Watson). The sweetly ghoulish story has a mock Victorian air, like something dreamed up by a naughty boy who’s peeved at being forced to read too much Dickens, and the expert animation gives a vigorous charge to the gleefully gruesome goings-on. Still, Nightmare was a full 12 years ago, and there’s a nagging aura of been-here-seen-this about Bride. Danny Elfman’s catchy songs are all but overwhelmed by Burton and Johnson’s visual embellishments.