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Films

This underrated Johnny Depp animation is perfect comfort viewing

Enough has been written about the personal life of Johnny Depp in the last few months to last a lifetime. So rather than dwell on his life outside of Hollywood, we thought we’d look back at the thing he does best: his films. There are more than a few great Johnny Depp flicks on Netflix right now, but this underrated animated gem is our pick for the weekend.

Corpse Bride may not be your go-to title when trying to select a perfect Johnny Depp film — you don’t see his face in it, to start off! However, working with Tim Burton is when Depp is at his best, and this picture deserves more love than it gets. As Burton’s vision for The Addams Family, AKA Wednesday gathers pace, we look back at another of his magical trips around the gothic centre of his stories.

Set in a 19th-century village, this beautiful stop-motion animated film features Victor, a young man who is taken to the underworld and married to a zombie while his real fiancé waits in the real world. Burton shared directorial duties with Mike Johnson for this film. The whimsical plot is underlined by a bittersweet and sad tone.

The filmmaker said, “Corpse Bride, I find, is even softer in a certain way. It’s basically a love story, an emotional story [with] humour. And like any kind of fable or fairy tale, there may be elements that are somewhat unsettling. But that’s part of the history of those kinds of stories.”

Victoria Everglot, who is part of an impoverished aristocratic family is set to marry the son of a nouveau riche fish merchant family, Victor Van Dort, as part of a mutually beneficial agreement. However, they soon fall in love but scared; Victor stutters with his vows before unknowingly practising his vows with a tree. As soon as he places his wedding ring on the root, it turns out to be the finger of Emily, who rises from the dead and becomes Victor’s wife. An epic love triangle ensues where Victor, who is bound to Emily now, wants to pursue Victoria, who is to marry Lord Barkis Bittern, despite her unwillingness.

With an incredible ensemble comprising Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, Emily Watson and more, the film is a fun, macabre musical dipped in chaotic romance and is a brilliant visual aesthetic. Johnny Depp was shooting for both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Corpse Bride, and it was indeed a challenging task for him, according to the director as he said that “it might have been a little schizophrenic for him”.

Adding: “But he’s great. It’s the first animated movie he’s done, and he’s always into a challenge.” Burton continued, “We just treat it like fun and a creative process. Again, that’s the joy of working with him. He’s kind of up for anything. He just always adds something to it.”

Watch Corpse Bride on Netflix now.