Victor Van Dort
An article written by Redfox:
Although it is just a voice- over, Victor is an interesting addition in JD´s role list. Stop-motion on one hand and a member of one of the morbidest societies ever seen since Ol´ Vicci with her Albert passed on to the maggot side.
I don’t think neither stop-motion, the subject of the movie nor the character are very far from real life, in fact they are all also known symbols in our society. People are sometimes compared with puppets on a scene of life, which fate throws around and cruelly hands over to death. Through puppets people sometimes express the questions, fears, desires and doubts they would not dare to let show in person. With puppets, we can pretend it is just a game. But the story, taken from a folk-tale, is more than a childish game. It presents us a regret of not being able to still influence fate after taking the stairs down to six feet under. Don´t we all secretly wish there´s some kind of afterlife, even in a ghost form of sorts, to have a chance to come tell our eartly kind they have to finish what we left unfinished and put wrong to right, so we have a final chance of peace and long-seeked happiness? Oh – and on a merrier note, which guy wouldn´t want to have two wives? ( as a matter of fact, I am thinking if Vanessa was jealous on the female leads playing Victors two darlings, and if, then on which one…)
So, this pot of jam is quite enough sweet to make it attractive for an A-class star to get down buzzy on it. It is probably not very easy to nail it with a voice of a character, but since Victor is shy, artistic, bit clumsy, romantic and doesn’t have very good relations with his parents, he reminds me somewhat of Edward Scissorhands and Gilbert Grape. And the events surrounding the character and his journey remind me of Dead Man and William Blake. In fact, a lot of things about Victor bring Bill Blake to mind, like his clothes, his grim surroundings, being tossed around from one situation to another. I am thinking some similar characteristics with his previous roles could´ve made it easier for Johnny to find the right voice for Victor, possibly. Because I think he did pretty well, although there might be a bit too much Willy Wonka in the voice due to the parallel shooting of the two films.
But there is very little change in Johnny´s act in Corpse Bride, and of course I need to pay attention to the relative shortness of the film. Victor pretty much stays an introvert throughout the movie, despite opening up a bit to both the pleasures of the underworld and to the pitiful fate of Emily, who he feels truly sorry for. And, yes, Emily is mighty sexy for a corpse too, even with all her maggotty accessories. But it is still mainly compassion more than attraction that makes Victor decide to go all the way with that afterlife affair. He is not in spirit an afterlife character, who all seem to be excessively extroverted, on the verge of manic even… That’s where Victor differs from Bill Blake from Dead Man where Bill took the lead himself, Victor lets himself be sucked into the events and mainly just tries not to cause a bigger mess than he already constantly seems to be in. William Blake goes all the way, Victor goes back to the land of the living. He does show some signs of trying to be in charge of things that happen and shows a little wit and …quite surprising combat skills…but that’s where it ends. We end up with pretty much the same ol´Victor we begun with- and again, it is understandable that there really is not much room for character development in a film of just 70 minutes, so… This nice little introverted role was a curious appetizer for all the quirkier JD role achievements hopefully following in the future, and might have saved Johnny the necessary energy for El Capitan Sparrow.
Redfox still claims not to ever use drugs or alcohol.