The Tale of Tim: A journey into the wondrous world of Burton

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 28, 2011: Portrait of Tim Burton standing at the entrance to the new LACMA exhibition devoted to his work as a filmmaker and an illustrator in Los Angeles, CA May 28, 2011. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 28, 2011: Portrait of Tim Burton standing at the entrance to the new LACMA exhibition devoted to his work as a filmmaker and an illustrator in Los Angeles, CA May 28, 2011. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Does the name Tim Burton ring a bell? Of course it does.

Ranging from “Corpse Bride,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Edward Scissorhands,” and his latest work, “Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children;” Burton is iconic when it comes to dark and mysterious movies, most of which include a Halloween theme.

“Psychologically his films are quite compelling as the characters act out the stories and fears of our youth, of the adolescent compulsion to fantasize and construct elaborate ‘what if?’ scenarios of doom,” wrote Niamh Coghlan, in her article “The Imagination of Tim Burton” for Aesthetica Magazine. “Visually his characters tend to be fractured in appearance, distorted in size, and aesthetically disturbing.”

Burton is an American director, producer, writer, and animator. According to IMDb, after graduating from the California Institute of Arts, he took his first job as an animator for Disney. His first few films he worked on were “Fox and the Hound” and the “Black Cauldron.” However the first film in which he became in charge of, and was granted by Disney to direct by himself, was “Vincent,” an animated short film about a young boy wanting to be just like Vincent Price. It was narrated by Price himself, and won several awards.

From there, Burton went on to make other films, such as “Frankenweenie” in 1984 and “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” in 1985. He wanted to create something new, and did not make any films for three years, until he received the script for “Beetlejuice.” However, his next movie “Batman” starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson was Burton’s biggest box office hit to date!

Burton is a true visionary. Our culture usually doesn’t use that word for people whose visions look like cartoons and go down like dessert, but Burton is spitting in the eye of our culture while simultaneously celebrating it,” wrote David Breskin from Rolling Stone. “That’s the fabulous, odd thing about his work: He’s angrily spitting something sweet.”

To this day Burton is still known, and will always be known for his sense of style. In fact, most of his films are based on drawings he made as a kid, according to the “FW”. Burton is also one of Hollywood’s most well known directors capable of invoking us with a dark and mysterious feeling.

To quote Tim Burton on his work: “I have a problem when people say something’s real or not real, or normal or abnormal. The meaning of those words for me is very personal and subjective. I’ve always been confused and never had a clearcut understanding of the meaning of those kinds of words.”

Fun facts: Burton is actually “married” to Helena Bonham (also known as Bellatrix Lestrange from “Harry Potter”). They aren’t legally married, however in an interview Helena mentioned that they “live together in separate apartments.” Weird right?

Story by Carlie Somatis

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