As production on The Nightmare Before Christmas came to a close, storyboard supervisor Joe Ranft approached Tim Burton with a macabre little yarn that he knew the auteur would eat
As production on The Nightmare Before Christmas came to a close, storyboard supervisor Joe Ranft approached Tim Burton with a macabre little yarn that he knew the auteur would eat right up, pulled from a 17th-century volume of Jewish folk stories. Called “The Finger,” it’s the story of a young bridegroom who slips his wedding ring onto the finger of a corpse while reciting his vows. Suddenly, the cadaver leaps up and exclaims “My husband!” Duly horrified, the man brings his would-be spouse before a local rabbi, who annuls their marriage by declaring that the dead can lay no claim to the living. With a piercing shriek, the corpse then falls apart into a pile of disjointed bones, never to rise again. Suffice it to say Ranft knew his audience: Burton was immediately drawn to the tale and began developing a big-screen adaptation of it. Corpse Bride wed some innovative, groundbreaking animation techniques to a centuries-old story about life, death, and devotion (although Burton was smart enough to give it a much more sympathetic ending because, you know, kids’ movie), and the film’s all-star cast and state-of-the-art puppetry secured it a chorus of critical praise and an Academy Award nomination.
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