Corpse Bride movie poster

Corpse Bride is a 2005 British-American fantasy comedy film directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson. The film was produced by Laika Entertainment and Tim Burton Productions and was distributed by Warner Bros.. It was released on September 25, 2005.


In a European village, Victor Van Dort, the son of fish merchants, is arranged to be married to Victoria Everglot, the daughter of bitter aristocrats. Victor and Victoria instantly fall in love, but Victor ruins the wedding rehearsals and is berated by Pastor Galswells as a result. Victor then flees into the forest and practices his wedding vows, placing his wedding ring on a tree root. However, the root turns out to be the finger of a deceased woman, who rises from the grave, assuming that Victor has married her. Victor panics and attempts to flee, but the corpse follows him and takes him to the Land of the Dead. There, Victor learns that the corpse is Emily, a woman who was murdered years ago on the night of her elopement. Victor attempts to flee again, but Emily reunites him with his dead dog, Scraps.

Victor, wanting to reunite with Victoria, goes to meet Elder Gutknecht, the ruler of the underworld, who agrees to send Victor and Emily to the world of the living temporarily. Once in the forest, Victor abandons Emily and reunites with Victoria, confessing to wanting to marry her. Victoria agrees, but Emily arrives and sees Victor with Victoria. Angered at Victor's deception, Emily returns Victor to the Land of the Dead and demands that Victor leave Victoria, but Victor refuses. Victoria, meanwhile, informs her parents of Victor having been taken away by a dead woman, but they refuse to believe her and lock her in her bedroom. Victoria escapes and arrives at the church to receive help from Galswells, but he returns her to her parents. The Everglots then decide to marry Victoria to Lord Barkis Bittern, a presumably wealthy newcomer.

While in the Land of the Dead, Victor reconciles with Emily while playing the piano with her. Afterwards, Victor's recently deceased coachman arrives in the underworld and informs Victor of Victoria's impending marriage to Barkis, leaving him heartbroken. Meanwhile, Emily learns from Gutknecht that wedding vows are only binding until after death, and since Emily is already deceased, her marriage to Victor was never valid. Victor overhears from Gutknecht that in order for their marriage to be valid, Victor must repeat the wedding vows in the Land of the Living and then commit suicide, joining Emily in death. With Victoria already set to be married to Barkis, Victor agrees to this. The dead than return to the Land of the Living, causing panic amongst the townspeople.

After the living recognize the dead as their deceased loved ones, the living and the dead joyously reunite with each other and arrive at the church for Victor and Emily's marriage. Meanwhile, Victoria learns that Barkis is only marrying her for her riches, and reveals to him that her family is actually poor. Victoria then rejects Barkis and arrives at the church just as Victor is announcing his wedding vows to Emily before he plans to drink a poisoned drink. Emily notices Victoria and stops Victor from drinking the poison, realizing that by marrying Victor she is taking away Victoria's chance of happiness. Victor and Victoria reunite, but Barkis interrupts and attempts to abduct Victoria. Emily and Barkis recognize each other and Emily reveals that Barkis was her former fiance who had murdered her years ago. In desperation, Barkis holds Victoria hostage with a sword, but Victor duels him, wielding a fork. Eventually, Emily manages to disarm Barkis.

Emily demands that Barkis leave, but before going, Barkis performs a mock-toast, unknowingly drinking the poison. Barkis dies and becomes a corpse, and the dead immediately descend upon Barkis and drag him into the underworld to punish him. Emily frees Victor of his wedding vows and returns his wedding ring before exiting the church. Having found peace, Emily transforms into hundreds of butterflies and descends as Victor and Victoria watch.