The Corpse Bride is an iconic Tm Burton film – with plenty of villains to hate, and charming (if dead) characters to love.
The characters of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005) included a range of colorful personalities – from the dead (at various stages of decomposition), the alive and breathing, maggots, and spiders. And surprisingly, it wasn’t the living who were the most colorful!
When the grey world above was measured against the wildly energetic land of the dead, it was clear the corpses weren’t the spooky ones. As personalities came into being, some stole viewers’ hearts while others provided frustration and anger.
10 Barkis Bittern
If his name is anything to go by, viewers already know this bitter man has bark and bite. He’s a money-hungry con man. He tricked Emily into thinking he was in love with her and that they would elope, but he murdered her instead and left her body to the harsh snow of winter. He married Victoria against her will and tried to kill Victor, Victoria, and Emily in the final showdown.
9 Finis Everglot & Maudeline Everglot
Finis and Maudeline Everglot arrange for their daughter to marry Victor Van Dort, but Victor goes missing after the wedding rehearsal. So they move on. They look to Barkis Bittern as the new groomsman.
Victoria’s parents will do anything to rid their family of poverty, even if it means marrying their daughter to a man they just met. Even without their callous attitude toward their daughter’s wellbeing, the two individuals are quite unlikeable.
8 Pastor Galswells
Just because Victor stumbled on his vows didn’t mean he didn’t want to marry Victoria, but Pastor Galswells skewed Victor’s words and commented on his actions. He gave his opinion that Victor was not ready for marriage. He also thought Victoria was insane when she came to him about Victor marrying a corpse. He tricked her and took her back to her house where she was ill-treated. Although his concerns were with reason, his attitude and actions were not kind natured.
7 Maggot & Black Widow
Although Maggot and Black Widow tried to do everything in their power to cheer Emily up, their means didn’t justify their intention. During Emily’s song “Tears To Shed,” they called Victoria names to make Emily feel better about herself. When Elder Gutknecht told Emily that her marriage to Victor was invalid, Maggot found glee in telling Emily Victor’s fate.
6 Nell Van Dort & William Van Dort
Victor’s parents Nell and William Van Dort were neither incredibly pleasant nor displeasing. They certainly weren’t as disagreeable as Finis and Maudeline Everglot, even though they also wanted their offspring to marry for money.
They stood up for Victor after he went missing and rumors of him running off with another woman were spread. Their treatment of Mayhew was concerning and Victor claimed his mother “never approved of anything.”
5 Elder Gutknecht
Elder Gutknecht helped Victor and Emily return to the land of the living. He was worried because a corpse walking around above ground wasn’t natural, but when Emily took his hand and asked again, he held her hand back and said he would see if there was something he could do. He told Emily the truth about her marriage to Victor and wanted to help her. He was a voice of reason to the dead when they wanted to interfere with Barkis Bittern, and a consult for Emily during her struggles.
4 Victoria Everglot
Victoria Everglot was a woman held back by expectations and her controlling parents. But instead of becoming vindictive and sour, she maintained her sweet and loving disposition. She loved music despite her mother calling it too passionate for a young lady and admired Victor’s skill at playing the piano. She tried her best to help Victor when he came to her with his corpse bride in tow and she held her own when she was forced to marry Barkis Bittern.
3 Victor Van Dort
Victor handled himself well during the events of the film, especially considering he was suddenly married to a corpse and living in the land of the dead. He was awkward, honorable, kind, and of high morals. Perhaps what contributed most to him being a congenial character was how he managed his relationships. He embraced the land of the dead, was civil to Mayhew, loyal to Victoria, and had a loving relationship with Emily. He used music to communicate with Emily and was willing to sacrifice his life to make her happy.
2 The Company Of The Dead
The locals down in the land of the dead were one big family who created a supportive community. They looked after Emily and welcomed Victor into their world. Bonejangles introduced audience members and Victor to the story of Emily’s past. He was a jazzy skeleton with a single eyeball rolling from one orbit to another.
Mrs. Plum made Victor and Emily’s wedding cake and provided weaponry for Victor’s battle against Barkis. Paul The Head Waiter made jokes and was a funny little pun, and General Bonesapart helped to diffuse tension and was an interesting character.
Emily captured viewers’ hearts despite her creepy opening scene. She was revealed to be funny, witty, awkward, tragic, and brave. She was dead but oh so alive. She danced in the moonlight, played the piano, tearfully sung about her broken heart, and stood up for those she cared for. Viewers loved Emily so much that even though she moved on in the end they wanted her to stay. They wanted her to be with Victor, to be loved, and to have the conventional happy ending she was torn from.
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