Tim Burton

Timothy Walter “Tim” Burton is an American director, producer, artist, writer, and animator, who is most popular for creating dark, gothic, and fantasy film, including Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), and the animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Burton also created the films Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Dark Shadows (2012), and Frankenweenie. In addition, Burton also directed the adventure comedy Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), the superhero films Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), Planet of the Apes (2001), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and Alice in Wonderland (2010).

Burton has also repeatedly worked with Johnny Depp and his former partner, Helena Bonham Carter.


Tim Burton was born in 1958 to his parents Jean and Bill Burton, in Burbank, California. When he was young, Burton was fond of creating short films in their backyard using stop motion animation techniques. He attended Burbank High School but did not excel in academic work. After finishing high school, Burton went to the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.


One of Burton’s earliest work, Stalk of the Celery Monster, caught the attention Walt Disney’s Productions’ animation division, and he was an apprenticeship. The man became an animator, storyboard artist, and concept artist, and he was part of the production of some films, including The Fox and the Hound (198), The Black Cauldron, and Tron.

In 1982, Burton created his first short film, Vincent. Vincent was screened at the Chicago Film Festival. Afterward, Burton worked on the live action Hansel and Gretel. He also worked on the live-action short film, Frankenweenie (1984). Burton was fired from Disney after finishing Frankenweenie because the company deemed his work too dark for viewing by children.


  1. BEETLEJUICE (1988)

Beetlejuice is a supernatural comedy horror film, which focuses on a young couple who are trying to deal with their death and a family who have just moved in to the couple’s home in New England. The film starred Winona Ryder, the young teenage daughter who can see ghosts, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, and Michael Keaton as the bio-exorcist, Beetlejuice. The film was a box-office hit and won the Academy Award for Best Makeup.


Burton worked with Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands. The film was about Edward, a human-like invention with scissors as hand, who was left alone after his creator’s death. He would then encounter the other characters, including that of Winona Ryder’s, which would initiate the adventures of Edward in the suburbia.


Burton was the writer and producer of The Nightmare Before Christmas. The animated musical was a box-office hit and was positively reviewed. The film would become iconic because it depicted Burton’s original style and characters.

  1. SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999)

Burton was another film that involved Johnny Depp. The film was about Ichabod Crane, a detective who was investigating the deaths of the town of Sleepy Hollow. Christina Ricci joined Depp in the film as Katrina van Tassel. Sleepy Hollow received the Academy Award for Best Art Direction and BAFTAs for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. The film was most noted for showcasing the change in Burton’s style of creating movies.

  1. CORPSE BRIDE (2005)

The stop-motion film included the voices of Johnny Depp as Victor and Helena Bonham Carter as Emily. The film also was also famous for showing Burton’s signature style.


Sweeney Todd was one of Burton’s greatest works. The film earned the National Board of Review Award for Best Director, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director, and an Academy Award for Best Art Direction. Helene Bonham Carter’s portrayal of Mrs. Lovett earned her an Evening Standard British Film Award and Golden Globe nomination. Meanwhile, Johnny Depp received nomination for the Best Actor Oscar and won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy and Best Villain in the 2008 MTV Awards. Sweeney Todd also received positive reviews from the critics.


Basically a fantasy, Alice in Wonderland was based on the works of Lewis Carroll. The film starred Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Matt Lucas as both Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Anne Hathaway as The White Queen, Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Alan Rickman as the voice of Absolem the Caterpillar, Michael Sheen as the voice of McTwisp the White Rabbit, and Crispin Glover as the voice of the Knave of Hearts.

  1. DARK SHADOWS (2012)

An adaptation of the original gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows included Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Bella Heathcote, Gulliver McGrath, and Chloe Grace Moretz.


Burton proceeded with the creation of a full-length film for his 1984 short film. Burton has a personal connection with the film, as it reflected his relationship with his dog in the past.


  • Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

  • Batman (1989)

  • Batman Returns (1992)

  • Cabin Boy (1994, as producer)

  • Ed Wood (1994)

  • Batman Forever

  • James and the Giant Peach (1996)

  • Mars Attacks! (1996)

  • Superman Lives

  • Planet of the Apes (2001)

  • Big Fish (2003)

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

  • 9 (2009, as producer)

  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012, as co-producer)

  • Big Eyes (2014)

  • Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016, as producer)

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)