He’s known for his dark and surreal film creations. Welcome to Watchmojo.com and today we’re taking a look at the career of Tim Burton. Born on August 25th, 1958 in Burbank, California. Throughout his youth, Tim Burton was a shy boy that enjoyed drawing, painting and watching monster movies. These passions would take him to the California institute of the Arts, where Disney recruited him as an animator. There he spent his days tediously drawing individual frames for the 1981 film “The Fox and The Hound”, before being made a conceptual artist.
However, he gained recognition for his own side projects that he had submitted to several film festivals. These included his first stop-motion animation “Vincent”, which showcased his unique style, and his live-action short “Frankenweenie”, which drew the attention of Pee Wee Herman actor Paul Reubens. This resulted in Burton’s establishment as a director with the 1985 film “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”. The feature not only established his reputation as a director but introduced him to Danny Elfman, who would provide the score for many of his future productions. With a significant box office success under his belt, Burton was given creative control of 1988’s “BeetleJuice”.
To his surprise, the low-budget supernatural comedy pulled in 80 million dollars, won an Oscar for Best Makeup design, and caused Warner Brothers to choose him to direct 1989’s “Batman”. Miraculously, Batman became one of the biggest box-office sensations in history, causing the studio to plead for his return for the sequel. He accepted the job on the condition of being given full creative control. In 1990, Burton wrote and directed Edward Scissorhands. As a result of casting 80s teen idol Johnny Depp the film major buzz, and forged a lasting collaboration. Soon after, the two re-united for a loving homage to the world’s worst film director “Ed Wood”.
Though their passion generated high praise, it was dead on arrival at the box-office. Later that decade, Burton’s other retro-inspired project “Mars Attacks” further caused him financial heartache. This defeat was caused by the public’s perception that the film as nothing more then a spoof of Independence Day. Regardless, Burton’s stop-motion films were tremendous hits and reaffirmed his place as the leader in bizarre fantasy filmmaking. These hits included his holiday musical mash-up “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “James and The Giant Peach”. At the turn of the millennium, he released his highly anticipated re-imagining of the cult classics ‘Sleepy Hollow” and “Planet of The Apes”.
While both films failed to win over critics, it was an important period for Burton as it spurred a long-term relationship with Helena Bonham Carter, both on and off the screen. As a result, she was casted in a supportive role in his acclaimed 2003 fantasy drama “Big Fish”, and would regularly star opposite Johnny Depp in several high profile projects. These included 2005’s Academy-Award Nominated stop-motion musical “The Corpse Bride”, his offbeat re-imagining of “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”, and his horror musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”. In 2010, Burton and his group of close friends and collaborators brought “Alice in Wonderland” to the silver screen. Like his previous film adaptations, he completely re-imagined the source material, while putting Johnny Depp and Carter in the title roles. After his 2010 romp in Wonderland, Burton’s future projects include the big-screen adaptation of his early live- action short “Frankenweenee” and the classic Television show “Dark Shadows.”