Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 78
    The dead have more fun than the living, again, in Tim Burton’s new stop-motion animated feature, a gift to gothlings everywhere and as exquisitely crafted as one of Federico’s post-mortem still lifes on "Six Feet Under," and just as melodramatically melancholic.
  2. 88
    Will be hailed for its macabre imagination and inventive farce. But it also elegantly renders an archetypal teenage tale.
  3. 88
    Burton, who directed the film with animator Mike Johnson, has rarely been in brisker, friskier form.
  4. Corpse Bride had me at the maggot.
  5. 80
    This may be light family entertainment, but it's also a pleasingly perverse celebration of Victorian morbidity.
  6. 75
    Not the macabre horror story the title suggests, but a sweet and visually lovely tale of love lost.
  7. If "Nightmare" was a jazzy pop number, "Bride" is a waltz--an elegant, deadly funny bit of macabre matrimony.
  8. 90
    Not just great fun but high art.
  9. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    A precious thing, if likely to please refined aesthetes and odd children rather than win over Pixar-sized crowds.
  10. As an achievement in macabre visual wizardry, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride has to be reckoned some sort of marvel.
  11. 80
    A visual triumph, and also a work of surprising warmth. No small accomplishment for a bunch of cadavers.
  12. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    There is much clattering and clanking plus a couple of songs; some of the gothic-inspired, neo-Victorian visuals are quite arresting; and the corpse bride herself is, dare one say, surprisingly hot. But the whole thing just isn’t much fun.
  13. Corpse Bride has more warmth and appeal than its title would indicate, but it is finally more grotesque than good-humored. And, even at 75 minutes, it feels longer than its content can comfortably support.
  14. 63
    Populated by all kinds of grinning skeletons and decomposing zombies, but in Burton's universe, they aren't the slightest bit threatening. It's the drab, flesh-and-blood living you have to worry about.
  15. The story itself is a smooth little gem.
  16. Easily the best stop-motion animated necrophiliac musical romantic comedy of all time. It is also just simply, wonderful: a morbid, merry tale of true love that dazzles the eyes and delights the soul.
  17. 83
    Such a treat for the eyes, ears and funny bone that you feel cheated that it clocks in at less than an hour-and-a-quarter.
  18. Reviewed by: Ryan Devlin
    The Poe-esque story, the wonderfully twisted physical geometry of the characters, and the director’s signature sense of humor, combine to make Corpse Bride a fun movie, and one that breathes life not only into stop motion, but into animation as a whole.
  19. 75
    As animated films go, this is easily the best of a weak year.
  20. 88
    It's warped and wonderfully effervescent. Ditto the songs by Danny Elfman, who sings the role of Bonejangles, the frontman for a skeleton jazz band at a swinging underworld club. Best of all is the love story.
  21. 100
    A lush, modern valentine to old-fashioned sentiment, and to old-fashioned moviemaking, too.
  22. One more good thing is that the movie doesn't overstay its welcome. At 76-minutes, it's wisely calculated to give us as much of its ghoulish whimsy as we can take in one sitting, and not a second more.
  23. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The movie is so Burtonesque that it verges on self-parody--but it's fun and stunningly beautiful anyway.
  24. 90
    Like all Burton's best work, it takes place in a distorted, vividly colored, meticulously crafted world where whimsy and gleeful ghoulishness mix freely.
  25. Ghoulishness and innocence walk hand-in-hand in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, a movie that digs into Hollywood's past to resurrect the antique art of stop-motion animation and create a fabulous bauble of a movie.
  26. A wondrous flight of fancy, a stop-motion-animated treat brimming with imaginative characters, evocative sets, sly humor, inspired songs and a genuine whimsy that seldom finds its way into today's movies.
  27. There is something heartening about Mr. Burton's love for bones and rot here, if only because it suggests, despite some recent evidence, that he is not yet ready to abandon his own dark kingdom.
  28. 100
    But the real marvel is that beneath the ghoulish in-jokes and horror-geek allusions, there's a core of the same bittersweet truth that makes the best fairy tales resonate from one generation to the next.
  29. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Features the season's most tragic heroine along with some of the liveliest dead people ever seen on film.
  30. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    An endearingly schizoid Frankenstein of a movie, by turns relentlessly high-spirited and darkly poignant.
  31. Corpse Bride never skimps on the sass (as a good folktale shouldn't). And the variety of its cadaverous style is never less than inspired; never has the human skull's natural grin been redeployed so exhaustively for yuks.
  32. This stop-action animated feature is downright sweet and tender, as well as all the other things we've come to expect from him -- funny, bizarre, graphically stunning and blithely necrophilic.
  33. 70
    For all its charm, we can't quite figure out for whom the film is intended: Talking maggots and decaying bodies do not a kiddie movie make.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 316 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 108
  2. Negative: 18 out of 108
  1. AmyC.
    Nov 28, 2007
    This is the best movie that i have even seen, in my option it is MUCH better than the nightmare before Christmas. i do not understand why This is the best movie that i have even seen, in my option it is MUCH better than the nightmare before Christmas. i do not understand why people are judging the two movies they are totally different. sure they are Tim Burton's movies but still you don't see a skeleton trying to kidnap Christmas in the corpse bride and you don't see a man marrying a corpse in the nightmare before Christmas. overall I LOVE THIS MOVIE Full Review »
  2. ElizabethC.
    Dec 20, 2006
    Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are an awesome team.... I loved this movie!!!
  3. FelixQ.
    Jul 25, 2006
    I feel strongly that The Nightmare Before Christmas was one of the great films of my lifetime, and that the charm and unrepressable... oomph I feel strongly that The Nightmare Before Christmas was one of the great films of my lifetime, and that the charm and unrepressable... oomph it had cannot be reproduced in any way. Not even, or most specifically by the original director. Yes, Corpse Bride had the same demi-goth elements that have made Tim Burton who he is today, and Danny Elfman didn't do a completely shoddy job with the music, but it's no longer a first. Nightmare was just that- comepletely unique and overwhelming. I still get cold shivers up and down my body when I listen to the songs, and the concept, however basic, just fit like a jigsaw puzzle to make a master-piece. Corpse Bride very conciously felt like a rip-off, like Burton wanted desperately to have another go with the medium, and thought somehow he could make another classic by just utilizing the same elements. Nope. Sorry. Didn't work. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't really good, either. I almost worship the ground Burton and Elfman walk on, and I even loved Big Fish, but I love Burton's films because although each retainting a flavor that very clearly indicating Tim's touch, each movie still remains a completely seperate entity and holds it's own charm. It almost feels like Corpse Bride is a badly disguised sequel to Nightmare, but cops out at the last. Full Review »