top of page

Tim Burton – the Creator of Dark Worlds

Irina Ivașcu, 7A

Everybody’s seen movies by Tim Burton, right? They’re famous for their quirky and dark style that frequently draws on both elements of the fantastic and the macabre, which makes them fun to watch.

Burton was born on the 25th August 1958 in Burbank, California. From an early age, he developed a wide interest in making movies. Burton made his first film, “The Island of Doctor Agor”, when he was 13, using stop-motion techniques. After high school he studied character animation and made two more films as projects and one of them caught the attention of Walt Disney Productions’ animation division, which offered Burton an animator’s apprenticeship at the studio. There, he worked as an animator, a storyboard artist, graphic designer, art director and visual artist. He was involved in popular projects such as “The Fox and the Hound” and “The Black Cauldron”. After releasing “Frankenweenie” in 1984, he was fired under the pretext of spending the company’s resources on a film too dark and scary for children. Instead, actor Paul Reuben chose Burton to direct his next film, “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”, based on a character Reuben had played before. The film was a big success establishing Burton as an unconventional but profitable filmmaker. In the next years he directed and produced “Beetlejuice” (1988), “Batman” (1989), “Edward Scissorhands” (1990), “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993), “Corpse Bride” (2005) and “Alice in Wonderland” (2010), all of which might sound oddly familiar to you.

Burton’s movies often refer to his childhood experiences. He was a quiet child who loved watching films and drawing sketches. Whenever he felt down, Burton found solace in a cemetery near his house, where he would sit and get lost in his drawings. In an interview Burton stated: “It felt exciting and lonely and emotional. I guess it was a good place to think.” He also stated that “Edward Scissorhands” was his most personal film, due to his own inability to communicate with other teenagers when he was in high school. “Frankenweenie” represents the relationship between himself and his dog, whereas the main character of “The Nightmare Before Christmaswas inspired by a costume his mother made him for Halloween.

Tim Burton films have received numerous awards among which Academy Awards, Emmy and BAFTA Awards. There are different exhibitions featuring characters from his movies and displaying personal objects. A few biographies have also been written, under his coordination. We would recommend “Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker”, written by Ken Hanke.

Tim Burton

Burton was married to Lena Gieske from 1987 to 1991. After their divorce, Helena Bonham Carter became his partner and they had two children but they split in 2014. Although the director has been quiet for the past two years, he’s now working on a new Netflix series called “Wednesday”. I for one, can hardly wait to watch it!

In terms of favorite movies, mine is “Corpse Bride”. I first saw it on Halloween last year and I absolutely loved the music and how thoroughly the characters were designed. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone, as the plot is intriguing and rather funny, too. That is, if you have a dark sense of humor.

68 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page