Tim Burton is an American writer, director, producer, artist, and animator. Endowed with outstanding design skills and imaginativeness, Burton turned his hobby into a career and moved on to become successful. A graduate of the ‘California Institute of Arts,’ he began his career by taking up the space of an assistant animator at ‘Walt Disney Studios.’ This was just the start of his illustrious career as he set forward to make a mark as a director, producer, writer, poet, and stop motion artist in the American movie industry. In a career crossing almost 50 years as of 2020, he has directed dark, gothic, macabre, and quirky horror and fantasy movies.
The efficient use of musical interludes, which is prominently seen in nearly all his movies, adds to the dark gothic structure. Most of his films concentrate on a misunderstood outcast and combine characters who distrust the hero. Some of his victorious films include ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,’ ‘Batman,’ ‘Batman Returns,’ ‘Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ and ‘Edward Scissorhands.’
Tim Burton Wiki/Bio[table id=1836 /]
Tim Burton was born in Burbank, California, the son of Jean Burton (née Erickson), later the owner of a cat-themed gift shop, and William “Bill” Burton (1930-2000), a former minor league baseball player who was working for the Burbank Parks and Recreation Department.
As a preteen, Tim would make small films in his backyard on Evergreen Street employing crude stop motion animation techniques or shooting on 8 mm film without sound (one of his earliest identified juvenile movies is The Island of Doctor Agor, which he made when he was 13 years old).
Burton joined Providencia Elementary School in Burbank. Burton moved to Burbank High School, but he was not a particularly good student. He performed on the water polo team at Burbank High. Burton was an introspective person and found pleasure in painting, drawing, and watching movies.
His future work would be profoundly affected by the works of such childhood heroes as Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl. After graduating from Burbank High School, Burton attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, to study complex animation. As a student at CalArts, Burton gave the shorts Stalk of the Celery Monster and King and Octopus.
Tim Burton Net Worth
Tim Burton has a net worth of $130 million dollars.[table id=1837 /]
When Tim and Helena were mutual, they famously lived in London in two next-door houses which were connected together. After their breakup, Helena took ownership of the dual property while Tim bought a new house nearby for $14 million.
Movies, TV Shows, and Art Career
- He began his career by working as an assistant animator at ‘Walt Disney Studios.’ However, his stay at the studio was short-lived due to the creative variations that he had with some of the executives there.
- During his time at ‘Disney,’ he started on his solo career and made a short film named ‘Vincent’ which was showcased at the ‘Chicago Film Festival.’ The movie met with a positive acknowledgment and fetched him an award too.
- He served this up with his first live-action production ‘Hansel and Gretel.’
- In 1984, he delivered his next live-action short film ‘Frankenweenie.’ The year also scored his last term of service with ‘Disney.’
- The success of his first two short films directed him to direct the cinematic sequel of his famous character ‘Pee-wee Herman.’ The film was named ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.’ The movie saw the very first collaboration of Tim and songwriter Danny Elfman which would remain for years.
- ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ was extremely successful and provided him an excuse to direct more such movies throughout the decade. These films included ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘Batman.’ Both films were highly successful and established his fame as a top-notch director. ‘Batman’ became one of the most significant box offices hits at the time of its release.
- He began the 1990s with the romance fantasy film ‘Edward Scissorhands.’ The movie, which went on to become prosperous, is rated by critics as one of his best movies to date.
- Thanks to the success of ‘Batman,’ he came up with its sequel ‘Batman Returns’ in 1992. The movie was a darker arrangement of its prequel and was focused on the villains than the superhero. It earned positive responses from both audience and the critics.
- In 1993, he wrote and produced the film ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas,’ an animated musical. The film, which was applauded by the critics and audience alike, went on to achieve commercial and critical success.
- In 1994, he came up with two more movies, ‘Cabin Boy’ and ‘Ed Wood.’ Both films were panned by the audience and were commercial flops. The only preserving grace was the critics’ appreciation for ‘Ed Wood.’
- In 1994, he began producing the next movie in the ‘Batman’ franchise, ‘Batman Forever.’ Directed by Joel Schumacher, the movie was a blockbuster hit, earning more than $336 million at the box office.
- After the success of his latest movie from the ‘Batman’ franchise, he clasped hands with Denise Di Novi to produce ‘James and the Giant Peach.’ Directed by Henry Selick, the film was well-received by the critics.
- He finished the 1990s with three more movies; ‘Mars Attacks!,’ ‘Superman Lives,’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow.’ While ‘Mars Attacks!’ bombed at the box office, ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ which was an evolution of Washington Irving’s ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ went on to receive average reviews from the public.
- In the new millennium, he came up with his next plan, ‘Planet of the Apes.’ The film was a commercial success, despite receiving combined responses from the audience and critics alike.
- He served this up with the film ‘Big Fish,’ which was based on the novel of the same name. The film was a major success commercially and critically. It went on to win four ‘Golden Globe’ nominations as well as an ‘Academy Award’ nomination.
- In 2005, he arrived up with ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Corpse Bride.’ The former received $475 million at the box office and was nominated for an ‘Academy Award’ under the ‘Best Costume Design’ category. ‘Corpse Bride’ was his first full-length stop motion film as director.
- In 2007, he directed ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.’
- In 2009, he produced an adult computer-animated science fiction movie titled ‘9.’ Both the movies were universally appreciated and went on to receive several nominations and awards at prestigious award ceremonies, such as ‘Academy Awards,’ ‘Golden Globe Awards,’ etc.
- In 2010, he came up with the film ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which went on to receive ‘Academy Awards’ for ‘Best Art Direction’ and ‘Best Costume Design.’ He followed this up with ‘Dark Shadows’ which received mixed reviews from the critics.
- He worked as the co-producer of the film ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ which released in 2012. The film was based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel of the same name. It opened to mixed response from the public.
- The same year, he directed the film ‘Frankenweenie’ which was an evolution of his 1984 short film.
- In 2014, he co-produced and directed a biographical drama film named ‘Big Eyes.’
- In 2015, the film was nominated at the ‘British Academy Film Awards’ under the ‘Best Production Design’ category.
- In 2016, he directed a fantasy film named ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.’ The film was a commercial success, earning $296.5 million at the box office.
- The same year, he also produced ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass,’ a series to his 2010 movie ‘Alice in Wonderland.’
- In 2019, he directed the fantasy adventure movie ‘Dumbo’ which premiered on March 11, 2019, in Los Angeles. The film was a tremendous box office success, earning $353.3 million against a budget of $170 million.
Facts About Tim Burton
- His family resided near Valhalla Cemetary in Burbank on Evergreen Street.
- As a child, he fantasized about dressing up in a monster costume and destroying Tokyo city, but after growing up, he chose to be an animator.
- His childhood idols were Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl.
- His movies often have a Gothic setup that involves either Christmas or Halloween scenes.
- Composer Danny Elfman often acts in his movies.
- Actors like Jeffrey Jones, Paul Reubens, Michael Keaton, Glenn Shadix, Lisa Marie, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gough, Deep Roy, and Christopher Lee are often cast in his movies.
- Stories in his films often involve townspeople that confuse or distrust the lead character.
- He likes Bollywood films.
- He often brings a pocket-sized sketchbook and a small watercolor kit with him most times.
- Tim prefers dressing in black as he does not like spending time deciding upon a color combination to wear.
- Entertainment Weekly called him the 49th Greatest Director of all time on their list of 50.
- His cinematic attractions include Mario Bava, Vincent Price, Roger Corman, and Barbara Steele.
- He is a follower of director Russ Meyer.
- In the 100th issue of Tropopkin, he was placed #6 amongst the “Top 25 Most Intriguing People”.
- He is a fan of Italian director Mario Bava and has once said his desire to remake Mario’s classic Black Sunday (1960) with his previous partner, Lisa Marie.
- In 1997, he starred as one of the members of the ‘Official Competition’ jury at the 50th International Film Festival in Cannes.
- Johnny Depp was marked as the godfather of his son Billy Ray Burton.
- He wanted to cast Al Pacino in the future Batman chapter as a villain after seeing his performance in Dick Tracy (1990).
- When Steven Spielberg considered him to direct Gremlins (1984), Tim refused as he had not directed a full-feature length movie at that time.
- In 1988, his look-alike doll show called Les Guignols de l’info in French was staged.
- Chimpanzees are his most inclusive fear.
- He was supposed to direct the X-Men movie in 2000.
- In 2006, he was introduced as one of the members of the ‘Short Films and Cinéfondation Jury’ during the 59th International Film Festival in Cannes.
- In 2010, he starred as the President of the ‘Official Competition’ jury at the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival.
- Many of his movies including Batman (1989), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), and Alice in Wonderland (2010), have won an Academy Award for “Best Art Direction”.
- At the age of 31, he became the youngest person to direct the film Batman (1989).
- He hates cats.
- He is good friends with Joel Schumacher.
- There is a Tim Burton themed bar named Beetle House LA in Hollywood, California which was opened on May 20, 2017.
- He has also served as an animator for movies like Luau (1982), TRON (1982), The Fox and the Hound (1981), Stalk of the Celery Monster (1979), and several more.
- He is recognized to wear pinstriped socks for good luck.
Tim Burton is one of those directors who has an easily identifiable visual style. Almost all of his films revel in gothic imagery. From the characters themselves to the props, to the houses and cities where the films take place are sculpted in an exaggerated, almost cartoonish way to emphasize goth features.
In a weird full circle fashion, this Tim Burton-directed stop-motion fable, loosely based on a Russian folktale, was an early first show of force for Laika as an animation production company, which would eventually make a powerhouse animated debut with Coraline, directed by Nightmare Before Christmas helmer Henry.
Christopher Lee, Edward Gorey, Alan Moore, Georges Méliès, Paul Whitehouse.
He had that soulful, expressive quality, says Burton. Johnny also understands physical humor and movement and things like that. And he’s just got expressive eyes. That’s almost one of the more important things for me.
An examination of how color, light, and dark have been used in Tim Burton’s films to reflect the viewpoints of his characters and the observance of the mundane vs the outrageous.
There’s no actual proof that Burton and Depp parted ways permanently as collaborators, and certainly not as friends, though after a typical boilerplate this is not the person I know, etc. statement Burton has remained curiously silent on Depp’s various scandals over the past few years.