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October --> November

Last night we celebrated Halloween Proper by going to see The Corpse Bride, me with A Bat On My Head again (although I did very thoughtfully take it off while in the cinema). It was delightful, in every way an animated Tim Burton film featuring legions of the dead, tragic lovers and cold-hearted parents should be delightful. And Christopher Lee! Wow. *wide-eyed admiration*

Of Tim Burton's offerings this year, I think I liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory better overall as a film, but I liked Christopher Lee much more in Corpse: perhaps precisely because he was playing an animated character, forcing a concentration on his voice. And did Tim Burton know what that voice counts for! Quite deliberately, we heard it booming out in disapproval and exasperation significantly before we set eyes on the character it belonged to (Pastor Galswells), demanding our attention and making us sit up straight in our seats. From that point in, the character really stood out for me as a brilliantly gruff authority figure, with Christopher Lee milking it for all it was worth. And his utter dismissal of Victoria when she turned to him for help was just the icing on the cake.

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter were fab too, of course, as was Richard E. Grant as the slimy, pompous Barkis Bittern and a much-beloved Michael Gough as the wizened old skeleton, Elder Gutknecht. But I think the greatest thrill for me (besides, Mr. Lee, natch) was the performance of some chap I'd never heard of called Enn Reitel as the worm who lived inside the Corpse Bride's head. It's obvious from his IMDb page that he specialises in vocal work, and his brief for Corpse was clearly to sound as much as he could like Peter Lorre. Which, given that the real thing can no longer be had, was most effectively done, and suited both the Burtonesque context and the character of the worm beautifully.

On the other hand, Danny Elfman is just not as good as writing songs as he once was. Or ever was? No - I swear some of the songs in Nightmare Before Christmas were ace. But Charlie was disappointing musically, and so was Corpse. Pity, but not enough to spoil them.

And so Halloween is over, and November begins. Good luck to all the writers out there who are starting NaNoWriMo, and the painters who are starting NaPaPaMo. And may I wish a Happy All Saint's and Happy Diwali to everyone.

Corpse Bride bits about to be cross-posted to christopherlee_.

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