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Tim Burton

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Title: Tim Burton  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Chris Lebenzon, List of film director and actor collaborations, Batman (1989 film), Alice in Wonderland (2010 film), Frankenweenie (2012 film)
Collection: 1958 Births, American Animators, American Expatriates in France, American Expatriates in the United Kingdom, American Film Directors, American Male Screenwriters, American Music Video Directors, American Screenwriters, California Institute of the Arts Alumni, Chevaliers of the Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres, Disney People, English-Language Film Directors, Fantasy Film Directors, Film Directors from California, Gothic Fiction, Living People, People from Burbank, California, People from Sutton Courtenay, Stop Motion Animators, Tim Burton
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Tim Burton

Tim Burton
Burton at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Born Timothy Walter Burton
(1958-08-25) August 25, 1958
Burbank, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Burbank High School
Alma mater California Institute of the Arts
Occupation Film director, film producer, writer, artist
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Lena Gieseke (1989–1993)
Partner(s) Lisa Marie Smith (1993–2001)
Helena Bonham Carter (2001–present)
Children Billy Burton
Nell Burton
Awards See below

Timothy Walter "Tim" Burton[1] (; born August 25, 1958) is an American film director, producer, artist, writer, and animator. He is known for his dark, gothic, macabre, and quirky horror and fantasy films such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie, and for blockbusters such as Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Batman, its first sequel Batman Returns, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland.

Burton has worked repeatedly with Johnny Depp, who has become a close friend of Burton since their first film together. He has also worked with musician Danny Elfman, who has composed scores for all but two of the films Burton has directed. Actress Helena Bonham Carter, Burton's domestic partner, has appeared in many of his films. He also wrote and illustrated the poetry book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, published in 1997, and a compilation of his drawings, sketches and other artwork, entitled The Art of Tim Burton, was released in 2009.

Burton has directed 16 films and produced 12 as of 2012. His latest film, Big Eyes, a biographical drama film about Walter Keane and his wife Margaret will be released on Christmas Day 2014 in the United States. Burton's next two films are to be directing a film adaption of Ransom Riggs' novel Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children starring Eva Green as Miss Peregrine and producing a sequel to Alice in Wonderland subtitled Through the Looking Glass, which will mark his ninth collaboration with Depp and their first where Burton doesn't direct. Both are aiming for a 2016 release.[2][3]


  • Early life 1
  • Early career: 1980s 2
    • Pee-wee's Big Adventure 2.1
    • Beetlejuice 2.2
    • Batman 2.3
  • 1990s 3
    • Edward Scissorhands 3.1
    • Batman Returns 3.2
    • The Nightmare Before Christmas 3.3
    • Cabin Boy 3.4
    • Ed Wood 3.5
    • Batman Forever 3.6
    • James and the Giant Peach 3.7
    • Mars Attacks! 3.8
    • Superman Lives 3.9
    • Sleepy Hollow 3.10
  • 2000s 4
    • Planet of the Apes 4.1
    • Big Fish 4.2
    • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 4.3
    • Corpse Bride 4.4
    • "Bones" 4.5
    • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 4.6
    • 9 4.7
  • 2010s 5
    • Alice in Wonderland 5.1
    • Dark Shadows 5.2
    • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 5.3
    • Frankenweenie 5.4
    • "Here with Me" 5.5
    • Big Eyes 5.6
    • Future projects 5.7
    • Refused projects 5.8
  • Personal life 6
  • Frequent collaborators 7
  • Exhibitions 8
    • "Tim Burton" at Museum of Modern Art 8.1
    • "Tim Burton" at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) 8.2
    • "Tim Burton" at the TIFF Bell Lightbox 8.3
    • "Tim Burton" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 8.4
    • "Tim Burton" at the Cinémathèque Française 8.5
    • "Tim Burton" at Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) 8.6
    • "Tim Burton" at the Stone Bell House 8.7
  • Bibliography 9
  • Filmography 10
  • Awards 11
  • References 12
  • Further reading 13
  • External links 14

Early life

Burton was born in 1958, in the city of Burbank, California, to Jean Burton (née Erickson), the owner of a cat-themed gift shop, and Bill Burton, a former minor league baseball player who would later work for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department.[4][5] As a preteen, Burton would make short films in his backyard on Evergreen Street using crude stop motion animation techniques or shoot them on 8 mm film without sound (one of his oldest known juvenile films is The Island of Doctor Agor, that he made when he was 13 years old). Burton studied at Burbank High School, but he was not a particularly good student. He was a very introspective person, and found his pleasure in painting, drawing and watching films. His future work would be heavily influenced by the works of such childhood heroes as Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl.[6]

After graduating from Burbank High School with Jeff Riekenberg, Burton attended the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, California, to study character animation.[7] As a student in CalArts, Burton made the shorts "Stalk of the Celery Monster" and "King and Octopus".[8] He graduated in 1979.

Early career: 1980s

"Stalk of the Celery Monster" attracted the attention of Walt Disney Productions' animation department, which offered Burton an animator's apprenticeship at the studio.[7] He worked as an animator, storyboard artist and concept artist on films such as The Fox and the Hound (1981), The Black Cauldron and Tron. [9] However, Burton's personal style clashed with Disney's standards, and he longed to work on solo projects.

While at Disney in 1982, Burton made his first short, Vincent, a six-minute black-and-white stop motion film based on a poem written by the filmmaker, and depicting a young boy who fantasizes that he is his hero Vincent Price, with Price himself providing narration. The film was produced by Rick Heinrichs, whom Burton had befriended while working in the concept art department at Disney. The film was shown at the Chicago Film Festival and released, alongside the teen drama Tex, for two weeks in one Los Angeles cinema. This was followed by Burton's first live-action production Hansel and Gretel, a Japanese-themed adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale for the Disney Channel, which climaxes in a kung fu fight between Hansel and Gretel and the witch. Having aired once at 10:30 pm on Halloween 1983 and promptly shelved, prints of the film are extremely difficult to locate, fueling rumors that the project did not exist. The short would finally go on public display in 2009 at the Museum of Modern Art, and again in 2011 as part of the Tim Burton art exhibit at LACMA.

Burton's next live-action short, Frankenweenie, was released in 1984. It tells the story of a young boy who tries to revive his dog after it is run over by a car. Filmed in black-and-white, it stars Barret Oliver, Shelley Duvall (with whom he would work again in 1986, directing an episode of her Faerie Tale Theatre) and Daniel Stern. After Frankenweenie was completed, Disney fired Burton, under the pretext of him spending the company's resources on doing a film that would be too dark and scary for children to see.[10]

Pursuing then an opportunity to make a full-length film, he was approached by Griffin Dunne to direct the black comedy film After Hours. However, after Martin Scorsese's project The Last Temptation of Christ was cancelled (though later completed and released in 1988), Scorsese showed an interest in directing After Hours. Respectfully, Burton bowed out.

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Not long after, actor Paul Reubens saw Vincent and Frankenweenie and chose Burton to direct the cinematic spin-off of his popular character Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee Herman gained mainstream popularity with a successful stage show at The Groundlings and then the Roxy which was later turned into an HBO special. The film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, was made on a budget of $8 million and grossed more than $40 million at the box office. Burton, a fan of the eccentric musical group Oingo Boingo, asked songwriter Danny Elfman to provide the music for the film. Since then, Elfman has scored every film that Tim Burton has directed except for Ed Wood (because of a falling out that they had[11]) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street because the music was based on Stephen Sondheim's musical.


After directing episodes for the revitalized version of '50s/'60s anthology horror series Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre, Burton received his next big project: Beetlejuice (1988), a supernatural comedy horror about a young couple forced to cope with life after death, and the family of pretentious yuppies who invade their treasured New England home. Their teenage daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) has an obsession with death which allows her to see the deceased couple. Starring Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, and featuring Michael Keaton as the obnoxious bio-exorcist Beetlejuice, the film grossed $80 million on a relatively low budget and won an Academy Award for Best Makeup. It would be converted into a cartoon of the same name, with Burton playing a role as executive producer, that ran on ABC and later Fox.


Burton's ability to produce hits with low budgets impressed studio executives, and he received his first big budget film, Batman. The production was plagued with problems. Burton repeatedly clashed with the film's producers, Jon Peters and Peter Guber, but the most notable debacle involved casting. For the title role, Burton chose to cast Michael Keaton as Batman following their previous collaboration in Beetlejuice, despite Keaton's average physique, inexperience with action films, and reputation as a comic actor. Although Burton won in the end, the furor over the casting provoked enormous fan animosity, to the extent that Warner Brothers' share price slumped. Burton had considered it ridiculous to cast a "bulked-up" ultra-masculine man as Batman, insisting that the Caped Crusader should be an ordinary (albeit fabulously wealthy) man who dressed up in an elaborate bat costume to frighten criminals. Burton cast Jack Nicholson as The Joker (Tim Curry being his second choice) in a move that helped assuage fans' fears, as well as attracting older audiences not as interested in a superhero film.

When the film opened in June 1989, it was backed by the biggest marketing and merchandising campaign in film history at the time, and became one of the biggest box office hits of all time, grossing well over US$250 million in the US alone and $400 million worldwide (numbers not adjusted for inflation) and earning critical acclaim for the performances of both Keaton and Nicholson, as well as the film's production aspects, which won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction. The success of the film helped establish Burton as a profitable director, and it also proved to be a huge influence on future superhero films, which eschewed the bright, all-American heroism of Richard Donner's Superman for a grimmer, more realistic look and characters with more psychological depth. It also became a major inspiration for the successful 1990s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series, in as much as the darkness of the picture and its sequel allowed for a darker Batman on television.

Burton claimed that The Killing Joke was a major influence on his film adaptation of Batman:

"I was never a giant comic book fan, but I've always loved the image of Batman and the Joker. The reason I've never been a comic book fan – and I think it started when I was a child – is because I could never tell which box I was supposed to read. I don't know if it was dyslexia or whatever, but that's why I loved The Killing Joke, because for the first time I could tell which one to read. It's my favorite. It's the first comic I've ever loved. And the success of those graphic novels made our ideas more acceptable."[12]


Edward Scissorhands

In 1990, Burton co-wrote (with Caroline Thompson) and directed Edward Scissorhands, re-uniting with Winona Ryder from Beetlejuice. His friend Johnny Depp, a teen idol at the end of the 1980s due primarily to his work on the hit TV series 21 Jump Street, was cast in the title role of Edward, who was the creation of an eccentric and old-fashioned inventor (played by Vincent Price in one of his last screen appearances). Edward looked human, but was left with scissors in the place of hands due to the untimely death of his creator. Set in suburbia (and shot in Lakeland, Florida), the film is largely seen as Burton's autobiography of his childhood in Burbank. Depp wrote a similar comment in the foreword to Mark Salisbury's book, Burton on Burton, regarding his first meeting with Burton over the casting of the film. Edward is considered one of Burton's best movies by some critics.[13] Following this collaboration with Burton, Depp starred in Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark Shadows.

In 2004, Matthew Bourne came to Burton with the idea to turn the story of Edward into a ballet. In 2005, the ballet first aired. It has now toured the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and parts of Europe.

Batman Returns

The day Warner Brothers declined to make the more personal Scissorhands even after the success of Batman, Burton finally agreed to direct the sequel for Warner Brothers on the condition that he would be granted total control. The result was Batman Returns which featured Michael Keaton returning as the Dark Knight, and a new triad of villains: Danny DeVito (as the Penguin), Michelle Pfeiffer (as Catwoman) and Christopher Walken as Max Shreck, an evil corporate tycoon and original character created for the film (similar to Superman III '​s Ross Webster). Darker and considerably more personal than its predecessor, concerns were raised that the film was too scary for children. Audiences were even more uncomfortable at the film's overt sexuality, personified by the sleek, fetish-inspired styling of Catwoman's costume. One critic remarked, "too many villains spoiled the Batman", highlighting Burton's decision to focus the storyline more on the villains instead of Batman. The film also polarized the fanbase, with some loving the darkness and quirkiness, while others felt it was not true to the core aspects of the source material. Burton made many changes to the Penguin which would subsequently be applied to the character in both comics and television. While in the comics, he was an ordinary man, Burton created a freak of nature resembling a penguin with webbed, flipper-like fingers, a hooked, beak-like nose, and a penguin-like body (resulting in a rotund, obese man). Released in 1992, Batman Returns grossed $282.8 million worldwide, making it another financial success, though not to the extent of its predecessor.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Next, Burton wrote and produced (but did not direct, due to schedule constraints on Batman Returns) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) for Disney, originally meant to be a children's book in rhyme. The film was directed by Henry Selick and written by Caroline Thompson, based on Burton's original story, world and characters. The film received positive reviews for the film's stop motion animation, musical score and original storyline and was a box office success, grossing $50 million. Burton collaborated with Selick again for James and the Giant Peach (1996), which Burton co-produced. The film helped to generate a renewed interest in stop motion animation.

Cabin Boy

In 1994, Burton and frequent co-producer Denise Di Novi produced the 1994 fantasy-comedy Cabin Boy, starring comedian Chris Elliott and directed/written by Adam Resnick. Burton was originally supposed to direct the film after seeing Elliott perform on Get a Life, but handed the directing responsibility to Resnick once he was offered Ed Wood. The film was almost entirely panned by critics, even earning Chris Elliott a 1995 Razzie Award for "Worst New Star".[14] The film also has a 45% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating more mixed contemporary reviews.

Ed Wood

His next film, Ed Wood (1994), was of a much smaller scale, depicting the life of Ed Wood, a filmmaker sometimes called "the worst director of all time". Starring Johnny Depp in the title role, the film is an homage to the low-budget science fiction and horror films of Burton's childhood, and handles its comical protagonist and his motley band of collaborators with surprising fondness and sensitivity. Owing to creative squabbles during the making of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Danny Elfman declined to score Ed Wood, and the assignment went to Howard Shore. While a commercial failure at the time of its release, Ed Wood was well received by critics. Martin Landau received an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actor category for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi, and the film received the award for Best Makeup.

Batman Forever

Despite Burton's intention to still lead the Batman franchise, Warner Bros. considered Batman Returns too dark and unsafe for children. To attract the young audience, it was decided that Joel Schumacher, who had directed films like The Client, lead the third film, while Burton would only produce it in conjunction with Peter MacGregor-Scott. Following this change and the changes made by the new director, Michael Keaton resigned from the lead role and was replaced by Val Kilmer. Filming began in late 1994 with new actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman, Chris O'Donnell and Jim Carrey; the only two actors who returned were Pat Hingle and Michael Gough. The film, a combination of the darkness that characterized the saga and colors and neon signs proposed by Schumacher, was a huge box office success, earning $336 million, in spite of the controversy over the characters and plot. Warner Bros. demanded that Schumacher delete some scenes so the film did not have the same tone as its predecessor, Batman Returns (later they were added as deleted scenes on the 2005 DVD release). Schumacher was rehired to lead another sequel, the infamous Batman & Robin, in which Burton, for unknown reasons, did not participate.

James and the Giant Peach

In 1996, Burton and Selick reunited for the musical fantasy James and the Giant Peach, based on the book by Roald Dahl. The film, a combination of live action and stop motion footage, starred Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, David Thewlis, Simon Callow and Jane Leeves among others, with Burton producing and Selick directing. The film was mostly praised by critics, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score (by Randy Newman).

Mars Attacks!

Elfman and Burton reunited for Mars Attacks! (1996). Based on a popular science fiction trading card series, the film was a hybrid of 1950s science fiction and 1970s all-star disaster films. Coincidence made it an inadvertent spoof of the blockbuster Independence Day, which had been released five months earlier. The film boasted an all-star cast, including Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Danny DeVito, Pierce Brosnan, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Lukas Haas, Martin Short, Rod Steiger, Christina Applegate and Jack Black.

Superman Lives

After Kevin Smith had been hired to write a new Superman film, he suggested Burton to direct.[15] Burton came on and Warner Bros. set a theatrical release date for the summer of 1998, the 60th anniversary of the character's debut in Action Comics.[16] Nicolas Cage was signed on to play Superman, Burton hired Wesley Strick to rewrite Smith's script and the film entered pre-production in June 1997. For budgetary reasons, Warner Bros. ordered another rewrite from Dan Gilroy, delayed the film and ultimately put it on hold in April 1998. Burton then left to direct Sleepy Hollow.[16] Burton has depicted the experience as a difficult one, citing differences with producer Jon Peters and the studio, stating, "I basically wasted a year. A year is a long time to be working with somebody that you don't really want to be working with."[17]

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow, released in late 1999, had a supernatural setting and contained another offbeat performance by Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, now a detective with an interest in forensic science rather than the schoolteacher of Washington Irving's original tale. With Hollow, Burton paid homage to the horror films of the English company Hammer Films. Christopher Lee, one of Hammer's stars, was given a cameo role. A host of Burton regulars appeared in supporting roles (Michael Gough, Jeffrey Jones and Christopher Walken, among others) and Christina Ricci was cast as Katrina van Tassel. A well-regarded supporting cast was headed by Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Richard Griffiths and Ian McDiarmid. Mostly well received by critics, and with a special mention to Elfman's Gothic score, the film won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, as well as two BAFTAs for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. A box office success, Sleepy Hollow was also a turning point for Burton. Along with change in his personal life (separation from actress Lisa Marie), Burton changed radically in style for his next project, leaving the haunted forests and colorful outcasts behind to go on to directing Planet of the Apes which, as Burton had repeatedly noted, was "not a remake" of the earlier film.


Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes was a commercial success, grossing $68 million in its opening weekend. The film has received mixed reviews and is widely considered inferior to the first adaptation of the novel.

Big Fish

In 2003, Burton directed Big Fish, based on the novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace. The film is about a father telling the story of his life to his son using exaggeration and color. Starring Ewan McGregor as young Edward Bloom and Albert Finney as an older Edward Bloom, the film also stars Jessica Lange, Billy Crudup, Danny DeVito, Alison Lohman and Marion Cotillard. Big Fish is also notable as Miley Cyrus' first film—she plays "Young Ruthie" credited under her birth name, Destiny Hope Cyrus. Big Fish received four Golden Globe nominations as well as an Academy Award nomination for Elfman's score. Big Fish was also the second collaboration between Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, who played the characters of Jenny and the Witch.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Burton at premiere of the film in 2005.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Roald Dahl. Starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Bucket, the film generally took a more faithful approach to the source material than the 1971 adaptation, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, although some liberties were taken, such as adding Wonka's issue with his father (played by Christopher Lee). Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was later nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design. The film made over $207 million domestically. Filming proved difficult as Burton and Danny Elfman had to work on this and Burton's Corpse Bride at the same time.

Corpse Bride

Corpse Bride (2005) was Burton's first full-length stop motion film as a director, featuring the voices of Johnny Depp as Victor and Helena Bonham Carter (for whom the project was specifically created) as Emily in the lead roles. In this film, Burton was able again to use his familiar styles and trademarks, such as the complex interaction between light and darkness, and of being caught between two irreconcilable worlds.


"Bones" (2006) was the first music video Burton directed. The song "Bones" is the sixth overall single by American indie rock band The Killers, the second released from their second studio album, Sam's Town. Starring in this video were actors Michael Steger and Devon Aoki. Also featured in the video are scenes from films like Creature from the Black Lagoon, Jason and the Argonauts and Lolita.

The band, as well as Steger and Aoki, change temporarily into partial CG skeletal versions of themselves, before becoming complete skeletons by the end of the video. At the 2007 Shockwaves NME Awards, it won the award for Best Video.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tim Burton (right) and Pedro Almodóvar (left) at the première of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Madrid, in 2007

The DreamWorks/Warner Bros. production was released on December 21, 2007. Burton's work on Sweeney Todd won the National Board of Review Award for Best Director,[18] received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director[19] and won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction. Helena Bonham Carter won an Evening Standard British Film Award for her portrayal of Mrs. Lovett, as well as a Golden Globe nomination. The film blends explicit gore and Broadway tunes, and was well received by critics. Johnny Depp was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for the role of Sweeney Todd. Depp also won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy, as well as the award for Best Villain as Todd in the 2008 MTV Awards.


In 2005, filmmaker Shane Acker released his short film 9, a story about a sentient rag doll living in a post-apocalyptic world who tries to stop machines from destroying the rest of his eight fellow rag dolls. The film won numerous awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. After seeing the short film, Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, director of Wanted, showed interest in producing a feature-length adaptation of the film. Directed by Acker, the full-length film was produced by Burton, written by Acker (story) and Pamela Pettler (screenplay, co-writer of Corpse Bride) and featured the voice work of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau and Crispin Glover, among others.


Tim Burton speaking about 9 at Comic-Con, 2009.

Alice in Wonderland

In Burton's version, the story is set 13 years after the original Lewis Carroll tales. Mia Wasikowska, who featured in the HBO series In Treatment and Defiance, was cast as Alice. The original start date was May 2008.[20] Torpoint and Plymouth were the locations used for filming from September 1 – October 14, and the film remains set in the Victorian era. During this time, filming took place in Antony House in Torpoint.[21] 250 local extras were chosen in early August.[22][23] Other production work took place in London.[24] The film was originally to be released in 2009, but was pushed to March 5, 2010.[25] Johnny Depp plays the Mad Hatter, while Matt Lucas, star of Little Britain, is both Tweedledee and Tweedledum; Helena Bonham Carter portrays the Red Queen; Stephen Fry is the Cheshire Cat; Anne Hathaway stars as the The White Queen; Alan Rickman voices Absolem the Caterpillar, Michael Sheen voices McTwisp the White Rabbit and Crispin Glover's head and voice were added onto a CGI body to play the Knave of Hearts.

Tim Burton appeared at the 2009 Comic-Con in San Diego, California, to promote both 9 and Alice in Wonderland. When asked about the filmmaking process by an attendee, he mentioned his "imaginary friend" who helps him out, prompting Johnny Depp to walk on stage to the applause of the audience. The film won two Academy Awards, for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

Dark Shadows

Burton's film Dark Shadows once again starred Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in leading roles. The film was based on the original Dark Shadows gothic soap opera, which aired on ABC from 1966 to 1971. Other members of the cast included Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Bella Heathcote, Gulliver McGrath and Chloë Grace Moretz. Filming began in April 2011, with the film released on May 11, 2012. Danny Elfman once again composed and conducted the score and soundtrack for the film, and Colleen Atwood was the costume designer. It has received mixed reviews from critics, some of whom think it is a tongue-in-cheek gothic comedy, visually appealing and fitting as an adaptation of the melodramatic soap opera, whereas others think the film has a very loose plot, is not particularly humorous, and that Burton and Depp's collaborative efforts have worn thin. Depp's performance has also had a mixed reception, with some claiming that his performance is the best thing about the film, while others have accused him of overacting.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Burton co-produced Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, with Timur Bekmambetov, who also served as director (they previously worked together in 9). The film, released on June 22, 2012, was based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the film's screenplay and also authored Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The film starred Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln, Anthony Mackie as William H. Johnson, Joseph Mawle as Lincoln's father Thomas, Robin McLeavy as Lincoln's mother Nancy and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Lincoln's love interest (and later wife) Mary Ann Todd. It has received mixed reviews.


Burton in Paris at Frankenweenie's French premiere, October 2012.

Burton remade his 1984 short film Frankenweenie as a feature-length stop motion film, distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.[26] He has said, "The film is based on a memory that I had when I was growing up and with my relationship with a dog that I had."[27] The film was released on October 5, 2012 and met with positive reviews. [28]

"Here with Me"

Burton went to direct a second music video for The Killers, starring Winona Ryder.[29]

Big Eyes

Big Eyes is an upcoming biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton. The film will focus on Walter Keane, an artist known in the 1950s and 60s for his kitsch paintings of large-eyed waifs, and his then-wife Margaret Keane. The film is said to tell the story of their heated divorce battle wherein Margaret accused Walter of stealing her paintings. Walter Keane will be played by two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, with Margaret being portrayed by five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams. The script was written by the screenwriters behind Ed Wood, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, and is based in Los Angeles. The film, pitched a few years earlier, was intended to be directed by Alexander and Karaszewski and produced by Burton, featuring Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds as its leads. However, Burton overtook the directing roles and Alexander and Karaszewski became its scriptwriters. Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz fill the roles intended for Witherspoon and Reynolds. The film will be distributed by The Weinstein Company. Filming began in Vancouver B.C. in the summer of 2013.

Future projects

It was reported that Burton would direct a 3D stop motion animation adaptation of The Addams Family, which was confirmed by Christopher Meledandri,[30] but the project was scrapped on July 17th, 2013.[31] On July 19, 2010, he was announced as the director of the upcoming film adaptation of Monsterpocalypse.[32]

In 2012, Shane Acker confirmed that Burton will work with Valve to create his next animated feature film, Deep. Like 9, the film will take place in a post-apocalyptic world (although set in a different universe). Deep will be another darker animated film, as Shane Acker has expressed his interest in creating more PG-13 animated films.[33]

As of Summer 2012, following the release of both Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, it was reported that screenwriter and novelist Seth Grahame-Smith is working alongside Tim Burton on a potential Beetlejuice sequel. Actor Michael Keaton has also expressed interest in reprising his role as the title character.[34]

Tim Burton is also set to direct an adaptation of Ransom Riggs' book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children[35] and produce a sequel to Alice in Wonderland subtitled Through the Looking Glass, which will mark his ninth collaboration with Depp and their first where Burton doesn't direct. They will be released on March 4, 2016 and May 27, 2016 respectively.[36]

Refused projects

On January 19, 2010, it was announced that after Dark Shadows, Burton's next project would be Maleficent, a Wicked-like film that showed the origin and the past of Sleeping Beauty '​s antagonist Maleficent. In an interview with Fandango published February 23, 2010, however, he denied he was directing any upcoming Sleeping Beauty film.[37] However, on November 23, 2010, in an interview with MTV, Burton confirmed that he was indeed putting together a script for Maleficent.[38] It was announced in The Hollywood Reporter on May 16, 2011 that Burton was no longer attached to Maleficent.[39]

Personal life

Burton was married to Lena Gieseke, a German-born artist, for two years, whom he left to live with model and actress Lisa Marie; she acted in the films he made during their relationship from 1992 to 2001, most notably in Ed Wood and Mars Attacks!. After leaving her, Burton developed a romantic relationship with English actress Helena Bonham Carter, whom he met while filming Planet of the Apes. Lisa Marie responded in 2005 by holding an auction of personal belongings that Burton had left behind, much to his dismay.[40]

Burton and Bonham Carter have two children: a son, Billy Raymond, named after his and Bonham Carter's fathers, born in 2003; and a daughter, Nell, born in 2007.[41] Close friend Johnny Depp is a godfather of both of Burton's children. In Depp's introduction to Burton on Burton, he writes, "What more can I say about him? He is a brother, a friend, my godson's father. He is a unique and brave soul, someone that I would go to the ends of the earth for, and I know, full and well, he would do the same for me."

Burton was the President of the Jury for the 63rd annual Cannes Film Festival, held from May 12 to 24, 2010 in Cannes, France.[42]

On March 15, 2010, Burton received the insignia of Chevalier of Arts and Letters from then-Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand.[43]

Burton has stated that his favorite films are Dracula A.D. 1972, The Wicker Man, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, The War of the Gargantuas and The Omega Man.[44]

Frequent collaborators

Burton often casts certain actors in multiple directing projects. This includes Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, Danny DeVito, Conchata Ferrell, Albert Finney, Carmen Filpi, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Jan Hooks, Rance Howard, Jeffrey Jones, O-Lan Jones, Michael Keaton, Martin Landau, Christopher Lee, Lisa Marie, Catherine O'Hara, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Vincent Price, Missi Pyle, Paul Reubens, Alan Rickman, Deep Roy, Winona Ryder, Diane Salinger, Glenn Shadix, Martin Short, Timothy Spall, Sylvia Sidney, Christopher Walken, Frank Welker, and Paul Whitehouse.

Burton also often works with certain crew members in multiple directing projects. This includes composer Danny Elfman, screenwriters Caroline Thompson, John August, and Seth Grahame-Smith, producers Denise Di Novi, Allison Abbate, and Richard D. Zanuck, costume designer Colleen Atwood, production designers Bo Welch, Alex McDowell, and Rick Heinrichs, cinematographers Philippe Rousselot and Dariusz Wolski, and editor/executive producer Chris Lebenzon.

Burton has worked with fellow producer/director Timur Bekmambetov and producer Jim Lemley on 9 and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, for which Bekmambetov also served as director.


"Tim Burton" at Museum of Modern Art

From November 22, 2009 to April 26, 2010, Burton had a retrospective at the MoMA in New York with over 700 "drawings, paintings, photographs, storyboards, moving-image works, puppets, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera," including many from the filmmaker's personal collection.[45] The show also included his amateur and student films, music videos, commercials, and digital slide shows, as well as a complete set of features and shorts.

"Tim Burton" at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

From MoMA, the "Tim Burton" exhibition traveled directly to Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne. Running from June 24 to October 10, 2010, the ACMI exhibition incorporated additional material from Burton's Alice in Wonderland, which was released in March 2010.[46]

"Tim Burton" at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

The exhibition was displayed at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from November 26, 2010 to April 17, 2011. It was accompanied by several personal appearances by Burton as well as a retrospective of his films.

"Tim Burton" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

"The Art of Tim Burton" was exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from May 29 to October 31, 2011 in the Museum's Resnick Pavilion.[47] LACMA also featured six films of Tim Burton's idol, Vincent Price, for the anniversary of the what would have been the actor's 100th birthday during the closing weekend of the Exhibit.

"Tim Burton" at the Cinémathèque Française

"Tim Burton, the exhibition/Tim Burton, l'exposition" was exhibited at the Cinémathèque Française from March 7 to August 5, 2012 in Paris, France.[48] All Tim Burton's movies are programmed during the exhibition.

"Tim Burton" at Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA)

"Tim Burton at Seoul Museum of Art" was exhibited as a promotion of Hyundai Card at Seoul Museum of Art from December 12, 2012 to April 15, 2013 in Seoul, South Korea.[49] This exhibition featured 862 of his works including drawings, paintings, short films, sculptures, music and costumes that have been used in the making of his feature-length movies.

The exhibition was divided into three parts. The first part, titled Surviving Burbank covers his younger years from 1958 to 1976. He was born Timothy Walter Burton in Burbank, California, United States. He was an introvert with a wild imagination that often gave birth to unique creations. The second, Beautifying Burbank, covers the years 1977 to 1984 including his time with Cal Arts and Walt Disney. Most of his work in that period was based on his fascination with childhood fantasies, inspiring the wacky but humorous Tim Burton characters that many of us recognize today. The last segment of the exhibition, Beyond Burbank, covers his most productive years from 1985 to the present. This is the period in which he created the great movies that made him world famous.[50]

"Tim Burton" at the Stone Bell House

"Tim Burton and His World" is exhibiting at the Stone Bell House from March 3 to August 8, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic.




Emmy Award

Academy Awards

BAFTA Awards

Cannes Film Festival

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

Golden Globe Awards

National Board of Review Awards

Producers Guild of America Awards

  • (2006) Nominated – Animated Motion Picture / Corpse Bride
  • (2008) Honored — Scream Awards: Scream Immortal Award, for his unique interpretation of horror and fantasy
  • (2009) Won — Best Producer / 9

64th Venice International Film Festival

  • (2007) Honored — Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Lacanian Psychoanalysis Prize

The Order of the Arts and Letters

  • (2010) Knighted by Culture Minister of France

Moscow International Film Festival

  • (2012) "Golden George" for his contribution to world cinema.


  1. ^ Tim Burton's middle name is cited as Walter by the Museum of Modern Art on its web appearance for a 2009 exhibition on Burton's artwork and a book covering Burton's career as an artist and filmmaker, though it is cited as William by other sources, such as the Tim Burton Collective.
  2. ^ Daley Lauren (January 28, 2012). Miss Peregrine's' author is a different kind of image conscious"'". South Coast Today. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ Donovan Longo (August 4, 2014). Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass' Begins Production; Johnny Depp, Tim Burton Return For Sequel!"'". Latin Times. Archived from the original on August 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ Morgenstern, Joe (April 9, 1989). "Tim Burton, Batman and The Joker". Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ Gray, Sadie. "Tim+Burton". The Times (London). Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ Alison McMahan (2005). "The Films of Tim Burton: Animating Live Action in Contemporary Hollywood". p.27. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005
  7. ^ a b Kashner, Sam (2014). "The Class That Roared". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Tim Burton's early short: 'King and Octopus' Clip". YouTube. December 5, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Fox and the Hound".  
  10. ^ Edward Bovingdon (October 18, 2012). "Tim Burton: How Disney fired me".  
  11. ^ Calamar, Gary. "Danny Elfman". The Open Road. KCRW. 
  12. ^ Tim Burton, Burton on Burton: Revised Edition (London: Faber and Faber, 2006) 71.
  13. ^ Biodrowski, Steve (October 24, 2000). "Edward Scissorhands – Film & DVD Review". Cinefantastique Online. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  14. ^ Cabin BoyAwards for at the Internet Movie Database
  15. ^ Edward Gross (May 12, 2000). , Part 2: Writer Kevin Smith"SUPERMAN LIVES". Mania Movies. Retrieved February 3, 2008. 
  16. ^ a b Ken Hanke (1999). Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker.  
  17. ^ Paul A. Woods (2007). Tim Burton: A Child's Garden of Nightmares. Plexus Publishing. p. 150.  
  18. ^ "Tim Burton (i) – awards". May 1, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  19. ^ "65th Annual Golden Globe awards". May 1, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  20. ^ Marc Graser (November 15, 2007). "Burton, Disney team on 3D films".  
  21. ^ "Alice in Wonderland — starring Johnny Depp? – to be filmed at National Trust house".  
  22. ^ Tristan Nichols (July 31, 2008). "Plymouth in Wonderland".  
  23. ^ Tristan Nichols (August 21, 2008). "Historic house unveiled as location for Tim Burton's Alice film".  
  24. ^  
  25. ^ Pamela McClintock (February 20, 2008). "Disney unveils 2009 schedule".  
  26. ^ Marc Graser (November 15, 2007). "Burton, Disney team on 3D films".  
  27. ^ Tim Burton: I Love All Monsters
  28. ^ Russ Fischer (August 9, 2010) "Disney Sets 2012 Release Dates For ‘John Carter of Mars’ and ‘Frankenweenie’" – though this reference does not support anything in the article's text.
  29. ^ "Watch The Killers’ "Here With Me" video, directed by Tim Burton and starring Winona Ryder". Consequence of Sound. December 14, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  30. ^ Perri Nemiroff. "Tim Burton's Animated Addams Family Confirmed". Cinema Blend. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Exclusive: Tim Burton Developing Monsterpocalypse, Full Details Revealed – Exclusive: Tim Burton Developing Monsterpocalypse, Full Details Revealed – /Film". July 19, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  33. ^ "'"’9′ Director Teaming With Valve for Post-Apocalyptic Animated Film, 'Deep. June 11, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  34. ^ Brian Brooks (July 20, 2012). "Beetlejuice 2 Possible Says Tim Burton".  
  35. ^ Daley Lauren (January 28, 2012). Miss Peregrine's' author is a different kind of image conscious"'". South Coast Today. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. 
  36. ^ Donovan Longo (August 4, 2014). Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass' Begins Production; Johnny Depp, Tim Burton Return For Sequel!"'". Latin Times. Archived from the original on August 4, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Tim Burton Creates a Wonderland". Retrieved February 25, 2010., February 23, 2010, Elisa Osegueda, Fandango Film Commentator.
  38. ^ !"The Addams Family and Maleficent, Frankenweenie, Dark Shadows"Tim Burton Talks . MTV Movies Blog. 
  39. ^ Kit, Borys (May 16, 2011). "Maleficent"Tim Burton Won't Direct Disney's . The Hollywood Reporter. 
  40. ^ Tim Burton Riled over Sale by Ex Lisa Marie by Stephen M. Silverman for
  41. ^ Norman, Pete (August 7, 2008). "Helena Bonham Carter Reveals Her 7-Month-Old's Name".  
  42. ^ "Tim Burton, President of the Jury of the 63rd Festival de Cannes". Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Burton receives the insignia of Chevalier of Arts and Letters from Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand". London:  
  44. ^ "Trivia". Imdb. 
  45. ^ Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) web appearance for a 2009 exhibition on Tim Burton's art work.
  46. ^ Coslovich, Gabriella. " ACMI snares Tim Burton show for Winter Masterpieces, The Age, October 22, 2009.
  47. ^ "LACMA. Exhibitions: Tim Burton". Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  48. ^ "Cinémathèque Française. Exhibitions: Tim Burton". March 2, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  49. ^ Posted by 슈퍼시리즈. "[프로젝트 안내] 현대카드 컬처프로젝트 09 <팀 버튼 전> 티켓 안내". Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Seoul Metropolitan Government – Seoul Museum of Art(SeMA)". December 12, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  51. ^ Massat, Guy (July 11, 2010). "Lewis Caroll, Lacan et Tim Burton". Psychoanalyse-Paris. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 

Further reading

  • Bassil-Morozow, Helena (2010): Tim Burton: The Monster and the Crowd. Routledge, London, ISBN 978-0-415-48971-3 Read Introduction at
  • Heger, Christian (2010): Mondbeglänzte Zaubernächte. Das Kino von Tim Burton. Schüren, Marburg, ISBN 978-3-89472-554-9 Read Excerpts at
  • Gallo, Leah (2009): The Art of Tim Burton. Steeles Publishing, Los Angeles, ISBN 978-1-935539-01-8
  • Magliozzi, Ron / He, Jenny (2009): Tim Burton. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, ISBN 978-0-87070-760-5
  • Lynette, Rachel (2006): Tim Burton, Filmmaker. KidHaven Press, San Diego, CA, ISBN 0-7377-3556-2
  • Page, Edwin (2006): Gothic Fantasy: The Films of Tim Burton. Marion Boyars Publishers, London, ISBN 0-7145-3132-4
  • Salisbury, Mark (2006): Burton on Burton. Revised Edition. Faber and Faber, London, ISBN 0-571-22926-3
  • Fraga, Kristian (2005): Tim Burton – Interviews. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS, ISBN 1-57806-758-8
  • Odell, Colin / Le Blanc, Michelle (2005): Tim Burton. The Pocket Essentials, Harpenden 2005, ISBN 1-904048-45-5
  • McMahan, Alison (2005): The Films of Tim Burton: Animating Live Action in Contemporary Hollywood. Continuum, New York, ISBN 0-8264-1566-0 Read Chapter 3 at
  • Smith, Jim / Matthews, J. Clive (2002): Tim Burton. Virgin, London, ISBN 0-7535-0682-3
  • Woods, Paul A, (2002): Tim Burton: A Child's Garden of Nightmares. Plexus, London, ISBN 0-85965-310-2
  • Merschmann, Helmut (2000): Tim Burton: The Life and Films of a Visionary Director (translated by Michael Kane). Titan Books, London, ISBN 1-84023-208-0
  • Hanke, Ken (1999): Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker. Renaissance Books, Los Angeles, ISBN 1-58063-046-4

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Martin Scorsese
for The Departed
National Board of Review Award for Best Director
for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Succeeded by
David Fincher
for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Batman film
Preceded by
Leslie H. Martinson
Succeeded by
Joel Schumacher
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