15 Fun Facts About “The Corpse Bride”

2005 was quite the year for Tim Burton as he had not one, but two major releases.  Only two months after Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Burton released a grimly delightful musical about love, loss, and death.

The Corpse Bride remains a fun gem in his filmography and today it celebrates its 15th anniversary.  So in honor of that, here are 15 fun facts about The Corpse Bride.

1. Despite what countless fans believe, Henry Selick, not Tim Burton directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, meaning that The Corpse Bride was in fact the first theatrically released movie that Burton directed. He would do it again 7 years later with Frankenweenie.

Frankenweenie was based on a 1984 short film Burton made, but that was live action.

2. Tim Burton didn’t direct the movie alone. The Corpse Bride’s co-director Mike Johnson had previously worked on The Nightmare Before Christmas in the animation department.  He also directed several episodes of the Eddie Murphy produced/starring stop motion comedy series The PJs.

3. Johnson described the co-directing situation as Burton focusing more on the overall tone, story, and big picture, while Johnson focused on nitty gritty of stop motion animating.

4. The film took a total of 55 weeks to shoot due to the stop motion animation. This was however a huge improvement and advancement in technology, as The Nightmare Before Christmas took a whopping three years to film.

The sets were so large that crew members could actually walk around them (albeit crouching).

5. They actually created several models of each character so that they could film different scenes simultaneously.

6. Initially Burton planned to shoot on 35mm film, but it would up being the first movie he shot on digital, which made it easier to do many effects.

7. Allegedly Jim Carrey and Angelina Jolie were considered for the two lead roles, but given that this was a Tim Burton film, it’s really not surprising that Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were cast.

8. Johnny Depp was both filming Charlie and Chocolate Factory and recording his dialogue for The Corpse Bride at the same time.

Burton described Depp as Willy Wonka by day and Victor Van Dort by night.

9. As is common with Burton movies, the vast majority of the cast was British, with the only exception being Johnny Depp doing an accent.

10. The premise was based on a Jewish folktale that originated in 16th Century Russia.

11. Each puppet was roughly 11 inches tall and made of a stainless steel frame coated in silicone.

12. Composer Danny Elfman was reportedly left quite hoarse from the strain of singing as Bonejangles.

He’s one of the most fun characters in the movie.

13. Burton cast Albert Finney, because he felt bad after turning him down for the role of Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

14. The Corpse Bride was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars but lost to Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which coincidentally also starred Helena Bonham Carter.

It was quite the year for stop motion animation!

15. It did however win the Saturn Award for Best Animated Feature.

Which of these did you already know?  Which ones surprised you?  Let us know in the comments!

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