Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Magical, with scares most 10-year-olds can handle.
  • PG
  • 2005
  • 74 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 97 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Love and selflessness are presented neatly in this quirky fairy tale.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The central characters are intensely well-meaning; the evil villain never stood a chance agaisnt them. They are thoughtful, caring and, for the most part, unselfish. The main character, Emily, ascends to heaven after she has released Victor to his true love, Victoria, and protects him from a dastardly villain.


Some scariness (crows in trees, talking skeletons, and dead bodies with rotting flesh and maggots).


Some spicy sayings but nothing too out of line.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The skeletons drink, but it's clearly fantasy.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie includes multiple references to dead bodies, skeletons, decay, and death, though all in good fun. The corpse bride's eye pops out occasionally, to show the talking maggot who lives inside and offers romantic advice. The story concerns a young man and woman who meet for a marriage arranged by their parents, both families in need of money. The young man's betrothal to the corpse bride leads him to contemplate his own death, in order to fit in with her friends. Song and dance numbers feature skeletons, corpses, and ghosts. Both sets of parents are using their children to achieve money and status. And when the live bride-to-be asks the local pastor for help, the film raises questions concerning the effectiveness of organized religion.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykamikazecook October 31, 2011

Beautiful, touching & funny love story from the master of the bittersweet

If your children are fearful of death or ghoulish images, this movie is not for them. If, however, they find Hallowe'en imagery fun, then they will have no... Continue reading
Adult Written byNeversideFaerie July 14, 2017

A masterpiece!

This film may look like it will be dark and serious, but don't be fooled - it has less in common with a horror film than it does a Roald Dahl story! Though... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMissBlackShadow February 15, 2010

Loved it!

Wow, just wow. Another amazing film pulled out of the Tim Burton hat. Even if children are scared by monsters, all the corpses in this film are presented in a p... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 23, 2021

Touching But dark romance

The film isn’t violent per se, it’s more comedic and funny but some bits are quite intense and may scare younger kids there is a bit bit where lord Barkis(a rea... Continue reading

What's the story?

TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE begins as Victor Van Dort (voiced by Johnny Depp) and Victoria Everglott (Emily Watson) are to be wed in an arranged marriage. Their parents -- nouveau riche Nell and William Van Dort (Tracey Ullman and Paul Whitehouse) and recently poor gentry Maudeline and Finis Everglot (Joanna Lumley and Albert Finney) – expect the marriage to leave both families better off, either by means of money or class status. When a nervous Victor flubs the ceremony rehearsal, Pastor Galswells (Christopher Lee) sends him off to practice his vows. Stumbling around in the dark woods, Victor finally seems to get it right, slipping the ring onto what seems a twig. But no: the wood is really the skeletal finger of the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter). Victor is transported immediately to the Bride's netherworld. Though Victor wants to get back to Victoria -- currently menaced by a next suitor, the devious Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant) -- he is also sympathetic to the sweet Bride's lonely plight, and he waffles, lies, and generally watches his life and possible death go on around him.

Is it any good?

This movie is self-consciously clever. Victor is an exceedingly empathetic sort, but he is, after all, a bit of a wimp who spends so much time trying to please everyone else that he loses sight of what he wants for himself. Corpse Bride follows Victor's coming to terms with himself, as he figures out what he does want. Lucky for him, Victoria and the Bride are both very understanding. And lucky for us, the stop-motion animation is delightful. Though the story runs thin quickly, the visual show remains airy and charming. Especially if you don't mind the clattering of bones during dance numbers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the dilemma facing Victor, who comes to love both the corpse bride and his arranged bride and so must choose between them.

  • How do Victor's and Victoria's parents pressure them to marry?

  • How might Victor have handled the confusion he felt differently to avoid hurting Victoria's or the Corpse Bride's feelings?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love a little kooky with their spooky

Themes & Topics

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