We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Tim Burton?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tim Burton is one of Hollywood’s most left of center film directors. His directing style emphasizes the dark side of human nature and a dark humor pervades his work. It is impossible to see a Tim Burton film without realizing one has stepped into a bizarre world of Burton's own creation. Some of his films are received well, while others fail grandly. As a child of Hollywood, born in Burbank, California, in 1958, he can be said to have turned Hollywood on its ear. His later films have proven commercially successful, yet their gothic influence is remarkably unlike traditionally slick Hollywood productions.

Tim Burton expressed an early interest in campy horror films, and began making his own films with Super 8 cameras as a teen. He was interested in animation and was accepted as a student at the California Institute of Arts. Disney animators taught the courses, keeping Burton’s interest in animation fresh.

Disney immediately hired Tim Burton when he graduated from the institute. Burton’s style was out of step with Disney traditions regarding family films. Two short animated films from Burton’s early work with Disney enjoyed a limited release. The first work is the 1982 six minute short Vincent, which is a claymation tribute to Vincent Price. The second, Frankeweenie is a thirty minute short film about a boy who loses his dog and then attempts, in Frankenstein style, to bring him back from the dead.

On the strength of the second film, Peewee Herman asked Tim Burton to direct Peewee’s Big Adventure. The film was not critically favored, but did enjoy box office returns. 1988 saw the release of another cult classic Beetlejuice, which featured a critically acclaimed performance by Michael Keaton. Batman followed in 1989, strongly emphasizing gothic themes. Danny Elfman composed a dark and suitable score. It has been one of the most successful Tim Burton films. Though Batman had its share of critics, few criticize the scene-stealing performance of Jack Nicholson as the Joker. The Joker celebrates evil and the perverse. Batman, played by Keaton, is dark, morose, and though ultimately succeeding in destroying the Joker, he is less fun to watch.

Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp in 1990, was also well received by critics. It is a Pinocchio-style fairy tale, with a tragic ending. A boy with scissors for hands is injected into a very suburban world, and is at first embraced but then cast out by the suburbanites. It is interesting that the true ugliness of the film is not this bizarre boy with scissors for hands, but the boyfriend of the main female character, a jock that does everything he can to hurt and destroy Edward.

1992 and 1993 saw the release of Batman 2 and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Nightmare was produced by Tim Burton, and was his return to stop-motion animation. It is significant in its fantastic musical numbers written, composed, and performed by Burton’s long time partner in film, musician Danny Elfman.

Ed Wood is a 1994 biopic, again starring Depp, as the bizarre director Ed Wood, who frequently enjoyed cross-dressing. The film is shot in black and white and critics praised particularly Depp and Marin Landau’s performances. The film cannot be said to have found much of a commercial audience, though fans of Depp now consider it a one of the best films of his career.

In the late nineties, Tim Burton released Mars Attacks! (1996), and Sleepy Hollow (1999), neither of which received much in the way of media attention or box office success. In 2001, Burton directed a remake of the science fiction classic, Planet of the Apes, which was also largely unpopular among critics and fans.

Tim Burton's success turned with the 2003 Big Fish, earning him an Oscar nomination for the film. In 2005, Corpse Bride, produced by Burton, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, directed by Burton, were both released. Though much darker than the classic Willy Wonka, Burton's version is truer to his own style and to the book by Roald Dahl.

Animation, dark colors, and themes of misery, death, and incongruity are the hallmarks of Tim Burton's body of work. As with many filmmakers who have a unique style, he has established a production team, artistic colleagues, and acting talent that he continues to work with. Burton's upcoming project, a film remake of the Steven Sondheim musical Sweeny Todd is a fine example of this, employing Johnny Depp and other colleagues from his previous projects.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
By Glasis — On Mar 13, 2014

Although Charlie and the Chocolate Factory may seem tailor made for the Tim Burton style, his version is actually much more true to the original book written by Roald Dahl than the original movie starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka.

The book is much darker and more macabre than the original movie adaptation, and can even be called creepy.

That is probably why Tim Burton was considered the perfect fit for the new movie.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.