Tim Burton

Tim Burton

Highest Rated: 95% The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Lowest Rated: 29% Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Birthday: Aug 25, 1958

Birthplace: Burbank, California, USA

It should come as no shock to the fans of director Tim Burton that he spent his formative years glued to the tube, watching old cartoons and horror flicks. Such early influences no doubt helped to form the deliciously ghoulish and artfully warped sensibility of a director who was to become known for his forays into the bizarre outer regions of mainstream celluloid. The emphasis on "mainstream" is notable: Burton's career has been distinguished in part by the director's skillful ability to remain just inside the realm of the mainstream while producing work of a decidedly unconventional vision.A native son of Southern California, Burton was born in Burbank on August 25, 1958. He never really took to suburbia, where he was raised, and instead of joining little league or selling lemonade spent his time drawing, watching old horror movies, and reading the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Winning a scholarship in 1980 to the Disney-created California Institute of the Arts, Burton went to work as an apprentice animator at Disney. It was an aesthetically and financially dead period for Disney animation (megahits like The Little Mermaid were years in the future), and Burton's most vivid memories of his time at the studio were of constant firings, ill-will, indecisiveness, and paranoia. He felt decidedly out of place working on cartoons like The Fox and the Hound, later saying "I was just not Disney material. I could just not draw cute foxes for the life of me." For their part, the Disney higher-ups weren't interested in any of Burton's independent ideas, and refused to release his 1984 short Frankenweenie on the grounds that it was "unsuitable" for children. His first animated short, Vincent -- a 1982 tribute to his idol Vincent Price, who also narrated the film -- met with a similarly cool reception from Disney executives.After leaving Disney, Burton found both greater creative freedom and commercial success thanks in part to actor/comedian Paul Reubens, who was looking for someone to helm a film about his alter-ego, Pee-Wee Herman. Reubens had watched Frankenweenie; impressed with what he saw, he helped to get Burton hired on as the director of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985). Burton wisely treated the whole project like a live-action Looney Tune, and the film, originally intended for limited release as a kid's picture, became one of Warner Bros.' biggest hits of the early '80s. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure led to the director's next project, Beetlejuice (1988), a comic twist on all the "Shock Theatre" pictures that had kept him up late as a child. The success of the film led to a job directing the 1989 big-budget version of Batman; a darkly lavish, gothic production, the film proved to be a huge hit, securing Burton a place on the roster of A-list directors.His next film, 1990's Edward Scissorhands was the tongue-in-cheek gothic tale of an artificial boy put together by a benign scientist, who dies before he can complete the boy; as a result, the fabricated youth has hedge clipper-like scissors for hands. Alternately frightening, funny, and touching, Edward Scissorhands proved that Burton could inject humanity and audience empathy into an otherwise unbelievable yarn. By this point Burton was able to write his own Hollywood ticket, which resulted in a stop-motion animated cartoon about the King of Halloween kidnapping Santa Claus. The film came to fruition as 1993's The Nightmare Before Christmas -- an immediate cult hit. Burton also produced the somewhat disappointing Cabin Boy, a 1994 film vehicle for Chris Elliott which Burton co-produced. But in 1994, Burton again rode high in film-critic circles thanks to his long-awaited Ed Wood (1994), the biopic of another visionary filmmaker, Edward D. Wood Jr., widely celebrated as the worst director in movie history. Burton well understood how it feels to be unappreciated for one's enthusiasms, and Ed Wood, deliberately filmed to emulate Wood's seedy visual style, has emerged as one of the most affecti


Highest Rated Movies



47% Dumbo Director Executive Producer 2019
No Score Yet Bitelchus Screenwriter Director 2018
64% Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Director $87.3M 2016
29% Alice Through the Looking Glass Producer $77.1M 2016
85% The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? Actor 2015
72% Big Eyes Producer Director $8.1M 2014
87% Frankenweenie Director Producer $35.3M 2012
34% Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Producer $37.4M 2012
36% Dark Shadows Director $79.8M 2012
92% Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan Actor 2011
71% Waking Sleeping Beauty Actor $33.6K 2010
51% Alice in Wonderland Director $319.4M 2010
57% 9 Producer $31.7M 2009
85% Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Director $53M 2007
No Score Yet Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight - The Legend Reborn Actor 2005
84% Tim Burton's Corpse Bride Producer Director $53.4M 2005
83% Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Director $206.2M 2005
75% Big Fish Director $66.3M 2003
44% Planet of the Apes Director $178.1M 2001
No Score Yet The World of Stainboy Director 2000
68% Sleepy Hollow Director 1999
No Score Yet Addams Family Reunion Producer 1999
54% Mars Attacks! Director Producer 1996
91% James and the Giant Peach Producer 1996
39% Batman Forever Producer Executive Producer 1995
92% Ed Wood Producer Director 1994
46% Cabin Boy Producer 1994
95% The Nightmare Before Christmas Director Producer Screenwriter $8.7M 1993
79% Singles Brian 1992
79% Batman Returns Producer Director 1992
No Score Yet Frankenweenie Director 1992
90% Edward Scissorhands Screenwriter Director Producer 1990
71% Batman Director 1989
84% Beetlejuice Director 1988
87% Pee-wee's Big Adventure Director 1985
No Score Yet Vincent Director Screenwriter 1982
No Score Yet Luau Director Actor 1982
No Score Yet Doctor of Doom Director 1979
No Score Yet Stalk of the Celery (Stalk of the Celery Monster) Director 1979
No Score Yet The Island of Doctor Agor Director 1971


69% The Grand Tour
Appearing 2017
No Score Yet CBS This Morning
Guest 2012
0% Family Dog
Executive Producer 1993
No Score Yet Beetlejuice
Executive Producer
67% The Movies


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