Tim Burton Biography: Creepy and Twisted but Brilliant Filmmaker

Monday, September 19 by T. Cousin

Tim honed his skills and set his sights on the glittering lights of Hollywood. Burton enrolled at the California Institute of Arts, and majored in animation. After graduating in 1980, he landed an apprenticeship with Walt Disney Studios as an animator. The legendary Walt Disney Studios must have been holding Burton's genius back, because he skipped within a year to do his own thing. In 1982, Tim's creepy short film (narrated by Vincent Price) "Vincent" hit the streets; it went on to win awards, but Tim made it to pay homage to his childhood idol Vincent Price. 

Tim Burton gets his big break on the big screen. By 1985, Tim's work had caught the eye on Paul Reubens, who commissioned Burton to direct the offbeat comedy "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure." Tim knocked the ball out of the part and more work came. In 1988, he directed the fantasy/horror film "Beetlejuice." "Beetlejuice" is often referred to as Tim Burton's prototypical movie.

Tim Burton extended his talent to producing feature length movies. By 1989, Burton had created his own production company, he also loaned his directing talent to the (1989) "Batman" movie which starred Michael Keaton an Kim Basinger. Tim's stylized version of "Batman" was the first film of its type to gross $100 million in its first ten days of release. The following year, Tim backed his directing skills up by writing, producing, and directing "Edward Scissorhands" which starred Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. Remember "James and the Giant Peach" and "Mars Attacks"? You guessed it, Tim Burton.

Tim Burton's future as a Hollywood filmmaker is secure. In 2001, Tim had a tough act to follow when he took on the task of directing the remake of the 1968 cult classic "Planet of the Apes," but once again he succeeded. In 2007, Tim flexed his directing muscles on "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," which also starred Johnny Depp. In 2010, Burton and Depp teamed up again to bring Burton's vision of Lewis Carrol's "Alice in Wonderland" to the big screen. Seven hundred of Burton's drawings were on display at New York City's Museum of Modern Art from November 2009 through April 2010. So don't sleep on Tim Burton. Tim and his partner, actress Helena Bonham Carter, have two children together.

- Tyrone Cousin

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