AKA Timothy William Burton
Birthplace: Burbank, CA
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Film Director
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton is the director of visually arresting and oddball innovative mainstream films, including Batman, Beetlejuice, and Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
Burton graduated from California Institute of the Arts, and started his career at Disney, working on The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron. He found the work boring, but Disney's department chiefs let Burton goof around on his own personal projects, resulting in the short subjects Vincent (a tribute to Vincent Price) and Frankenweenie. Burton's shorts weren't released until after his later successes, but Paul Reubens came across them, and he was impressed. Burton was picked to bring Reubens' "Pee-wee Herman" character to the big screen, and the success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure got Burton a green light to make Beetlejuice.
Burton parlayed these successes into the director's chair for Batman, and argued to cast his Beetlejuice star, Michael Keaton, as the caped crusader. Fans of the comic books were aghast, because Keaton was mostly known for his comedies, but lots of ticketbuyers agreed that Burton, Keaton, and Batman kicked ass.
Burton's next film, Edward Scissorhands, was a straight-out fairy tale, with Johnny Depp as a man-made topiarist with scissors for hands, horror icon Price as his creator, and Winona Ryder as the girl he loves, but cannot touch (because of the scissors, remember?). Bizarrely beautiful, Edward Scissorhands is the quintessential Burton. Depp starred again in Burton's Ed Wood, as the awful auteur filmmaker, and in Sleepy Hollow, an endearing if unremarkable telling of the headless horseman's legend. Mars Attacks! was a minor science fiction spoof, and Burton's 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes was simply a simian mess, with a headscratching nonsense ending. Big Fish was something of a comeback, an enchanting story of a tale-spinning father and his grown son, unsure which of Dad's tall tales are true, if any.
Though Burton didn't direct the stop-motion-animated Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, he co-wrote the script and produced the film. He also produced James and the Giant Peach.
Burton's visual sense and off-the-wall presentation are unmistakable and infectious, but mainstream moviemaking is also about telling a story, and shallow scripts have been Burton's recurring weakness. Most of his movies are kind of like Elton John without Bernie Taupin, or Marilyn Monroe in a mud mask and curlers. Danny Elfman's music deserves as much credit for setting the needed mood and character development in Burton's films as any actor. Elfman has scored all of Burton's features, except Ed Wood.
Brother: Daniel Burton
Wife: Lena Gieseke (m. 24-Feb-1989, div. 31-Dec-1991)
Girlfriend: Lisa Marie (actress, 1992-2001)
Girlfriend: Helena Bonham Carter (actress, cohabited 2001-14, one son, one daughter)
Son: Billy Ray (b. 6-Oct-2003)
Daughter: Indiana Rose (b. 15-Dec-2007)
University: California Institute of the Arts (attended 1979-80)
Risk Factors: Bipolar Disorder
FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
Big Eyes (13-Nov-2014)
Dark Shadows (9-May-2012)
Alice in Wonderland (3-Mar-2010)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (21-Dec-2007)
Corpse Bride (8-Sep-2005)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (13-Jul-2005)
Big Fish (10-Dec-2003)
Planet of the Apes (27-Jul-2001)
Sleepy Hollow (17-Nov-1999)
Mars Attacks! (13-Dec-1996)
Ed Wood (28-Sep-1994)
Batman Returns (19-Jun-1992)
Edward Scissorhands (7-Dec-1990)
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (19-Jul-1985)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (27-Nov-2011) · Himself
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