Mon. Nov 29th, 2021


Tim Burton undoubtedly has a style that is unique to him. His tales of fantasy, monsters, and superheroes have been delighting audiences for decades. His movies introduced us to original characters, and his dark, gothic stories make him one of the best filmmakers in the business.

His frequent collaborators including Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and composer Danny Elfman prove that many of the biggest talents in Hollywood are always looking for an excuse to work on a Tim Burton film. His movies sometimes seem as if they are from another world – in a very good way. His stories are original and he can make even the most monstrous of characters lovable.

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Burton was born in Burbank, California, and began making films in his backyard at a young age. From the very beginning, he had a passion for stop motion animation which can be seen in many of his films. He continued to study character animation at the California Institute of the Arts where he made the short film entitled Stalk of the Celery Monster which grabbed the attention of Walt Disney’s animation division. From there, Burton worked as a concept artist on many animated films including The Fox And The Hound and The Black Cauldron. Burton caught the attention of Paul Reubens with his short film, Frankenweenie, and Burton landed the job to direct his first major film, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. From there, it’s history.

Currently, Burton has some exciting projects in the making including the Netflix series, Wednesday and Beetlejuice 2. Before then, let’s take a look at five of his best films.

5Batman

Batman

In 1989, Burton tackled the classic comic book story of Batman and paved the way for all of the superhero films that we love today. Michael Keaton was cast as the caped crusader despite a lot of resistance from producers. Several A-list actors auditioned for the role but it was Keaton, who at that point was known for his comedic roles, who ultimately got the part.

Burton has stated in the past that Keaton’s piercing bright eyes were a main reason for landing the part. Jack Nicholson lights up the screen as the menacing Joker and the combination of him against Keaton delivers a classic superhero movie.

The film was a box office success and Burton went on to direct the sequel Batman Returns with Keaton returning as Batman and Danny Devito taking the role of The Penguin. Burton’s dark and animated filmmaking techniques played exceptionally well to bring the beloved comic book to the big screen.

4Ed Wood

Ed Wood

This 1994 biographical drama follows the accounts of the cult filmmaker, Ed Wood, brilliantly played by Johnny Depp. The eccentric filmmaker was a perfect figure for Burton to create a biography around. Wood was known for his extremely strange films that were constantly ripped apart by critics due to his lack of talent. Against all odds, Wood was able to create the films that he wanted with the help of actor Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau) as well as his devoted crew.

The cast also includes Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, and Bill Murray. Like Burton, Wood was certainly an original who followed the beat of his own drum. Ed Wood was a critical success and won two Academy Awards.

3Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 

Sweeney Todd

When news broke that Tim Burton was going to tackle the acclaimed Broadway musical, fans were ecstatic. Sweeney Todd was certainly the right musical for Burton to adapt. The dark, gothic story fits perfectly within Burton’s style and unsurprisingly, Johnny Depp was cast in the leading role as Sweeney Todd. The ensemble cast is filled with many talents such as Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Alan Rickman.

The film brilliantly tells the classic story of the serial killer barber who slashes his customers’ throats with a straight razor. Bonham Carter plays his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, who infamously grinds the bodies up in her meat pie shop. Stephen Sondheim’s classic music plays well on the big screen and the film was nominated for three Academy Awards.

2Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice may be the most beloved film of Burton’s career. The film is a pure original filled with music, lovable characters, and fantastic practical effects. The classic story follows a deceased couple, played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, who are disrupted by an eccentric family that moves into their home.

The ghost couple calls upon the demon named Beetlejuice, brilliantly played by Michael Keaton, to help them. Chaos ensues and the couple embarks on a crazy adventure through the underworld. The film is an original take on a ghost story and it has a big heart at the center of it all.

The couple eventually fills the role of surrogate parents to the gothic and nonconforming child Lydia (Winona Ryder). Beetlejuice is a non-stop thrill from beginning to end and the film is carried by Keaton’s hilariously wild performance. The film went on to be a successful Broadway musical and Burton is in the process of making a sequel.



1Edward Scissorhands 

Edward Scissorhands

The 1990 fantasy film Edward Scissorhands is a story that could only have been told by Tim Burton. The story follows Edward (Johnny Depp), an artificially made man, whose creator never finished. Instead of hands, Edward has razor-sharp scissors. He is discovered by a sweet saleswoman named Peg (Diane West) and Edward navigates the quirky suburban neighborhood, eventually falling in love with Peg’s daughter Kim (Winona Ryder).

Edward looks upon other teenagers in awe but unfortunately, he is unable to be accepted as an equal. He earns a job as the neighborhood barber and landscaper but what Edward really wants is the love of Kim. It is a heartwarming, yet dark, tale about a misfit with a good heart but who will never fit into society because he is so different.

Danny Elfman once again delivers a beautiful and haunting score proving he is one of the best composers in the business. The colorful scenery and wacky supporting characters all work perfectly to tell this one-of-a-kind tale.

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