Tim Burton is all set to enthrall his legion of fans later this month with Johnny Depp starrer Dark Shadows. We trace his journey so far and explore some of his quirkiest films till date
There aren’t too many filmmakers in Hollywood who have followed Tim Burton’s footsteps. The audacity with which he has stuck to making some of the most quirkiest films in the past three decades speaks volumes about his career. Films like Beetlejuice, Edwards Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland are few examples of his penchant to explore quirkiness and often dark themes.
Tim Burton’s tryst with cinema began when he was in high school. He made a short film titled The Island of Doctor Agor when he was only 13. He liked painting and drawing so much that he later enrolled in California School of Arts to study character animation. Soon, he landed himself in Disney where he worked as a concept artist and animator for films like Tron and The Fox and the Hound. Stop motion animation became an important fields of study for Tim and after he rose to prominence with films like Beetlejuice and Pee-wee’s big adventure, he went on to direct stop motion animated films such as The Night Before Christmas and Corpse Bride. In 1989, he directed his first big budget film, Batman. Tim Burton’s vision of Batman was unlike any other superhero film made till then and it went on become a major box-office hit. Film historians credit Tim Burton for creating a new image for superheroes and how they are perceived by the audience. Batman Returns, the sequel to Batman, was the only other superhero film he directed before moving on to explore darker subjects.
In 1990, Tim Burton teamed up with Johnny Depp for the first time for a romantic fantasy film Edward Scissorhands. On several occasions Tim and Johnny Depp have stated that Edward Scissorhands was their most personal film till date and the financial success of this film catapulted their fame to newer heights. Together, the duo went on to collaborate in seven films including Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland. This month, their brand new film Dark Shadows, in which Johnny Depp plays a 200-year-old vampire, rolls into theatres across the world. Unlike some of Tim Burton’s earlier films like Sleepy Hollow and Swee-ney Todd, this film is a quirky comedy, a genre which has become Johnny Depp’s forte.
In his career spanning more than two decades, Tim Burton has garnered a great reputation for the art direction and costumes, apart from visual effects, in his films. His films have won plenty of awards in these two categories. He is a great artist of our times, almost everything in his film looks like a painting. Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are two fine examples. When he isn’t exploring the quirky side of his imagination, Tim Burton directed films like Ed Wood and Big Fish. In Ed Wood, Johnny Depp plays a legendary filmmaker named Ed Wood who used to make awful films in the 50s and 60s. Tim surprised everyone by showing Ed Wood and his bunch of friends in a positive light instead of mocking him. Although the film was not a box-office success, Ed Wood was a critical success. In 2003, Tim Burton collaborated with Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney for a drama titled Big Fish. The film which dealt with a son trying to know more about his dying father by reliving the stories and myths the latter told about his life is nothing short of a masterpiece.
After Dark Shadows, Tim Burton is coming up with a black and white 3D film titled Frankenweenie. Will he ever stop experimenting or exploring darker and quirkier themes? We don’t think so.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hemanth writes primarily about Telugu cinema, although he finds inspiration from the works of filmmakers like Woody Allen. Apart from writing, he spends most of his time on Twitter discussing about cinema, travel and life in Hyderabad.