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Tim Burton

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Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (Fullscreen)... Tim Burton and animator Mike Johnson create a gorgeous surreal stop-motion... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory... Children and adults alike will delight in Tim Burton's twisted remake of the... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

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Pee-Wee's Big Adventure... Call the fbi. Alert the president. Tell the press. Pee-wee hermans bicycle the... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

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Ed Wood DVD Surprisingly enough, it takes a lot of effort to make a really bad movie. No one... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Timothy W Burton, Timothy William Burton Died:
Born: August 25, 1958 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Burbank, California, USA Profession: director, producer, screenwriter, cartoonist, animator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Despite his contrarian artiste nature and indie filmmaker persona, director Tim Burton helmed some of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood history. With his roots in drawing and animation, Burton crafted over his career distinctly designed films that reflected the gothic horror influences of his youth. Starting with "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" (1985), Burton quickly developed a reputation for a surreal artistic vision that often overshadowed narrative necessities. But his films were financially successful, leading to him directing the first two installments of the lucrative Dark Knight series, "Batman" (1989) and "Batman Returns" (1992). With "Ed Wood" (1994), however, Burton finally earned the respect of critics with his comically optimistic look at a befuddling filmmaker (Johnny Depp) prone to cross-dressing and making bad movies. Further cementing his reputation as a visual artist of the highest caliber, Burton lent his dark, deft touch to the likes of "Sleepy Hollow" (1999), "Big Fish" (2003) and the acclaimed macabre musical, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007). Three years later, the director delivered the smash hit "Alice in Wonderland" (2010), quickly followed by "Dark...

Despite his contrarian artiste nature and indie filmmaker persona, director Tim Burton helmed some of the biggest blockbusters in Hollywood history. With his roots in drawing and animation, Burton crafted over his career distinctly designed films that reflected the gothic horror influences of his youth. Starting with "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" (1985), Burton quickly developed a reputation for a surreal artistic vision that often overshadowed narrative necessities. But his films were financially successful, leading to him directing the first two installments of the lucrative Dark Knight series, "Batman" (1989) and "Batman Returns" (1992). With "Ed Wood" (1994), however, Burton finally earned the respect of critics with his comically optimistic look at a befuddling filmmaker (Johnny Depp) prone to cross-dressing and making bad movies. Further cementing his reputation as a visual artist of the highest caliber, Burton lent his dark, deft touch to the likes of "Sleepy Hollow" (1999), "Big Fish" (2003) and the acclaimed macabre musical, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007). Three years later, the director delivered the smash hit "Alice in Wonderland" (2010), quickly followed by "Dark Shadows" (2012) and "Frankenweenie" (2012). Once considered an eccentric outsider, Burton had, without a doubt, evolved in to one of Hollywood's most admired and successful filmmakers with an instantly recognizable point of view.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Designed anti-litter poster that won top prize in local California refuse company contest, while still in high school; Burton's artwork adorned Burbank garbage trucks for one year
:
After graduating from art school, worked as animator at Walt Disney Studios
1982:
Released first animated (stop-motion) short film "Vincent"; won several film festival awards
1984:
Made live-action short "Frankenweenie" about a boy who brings his deceased dog back to life; film inspired Paul Reubens to give him his first feature directing assignment
1985:
Feature directing debut, "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" starring Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman); also marked first collaboration with music composer Danny Elfman
1988:
First collaboration with Michael Keaton, Wynona Ryder and Jeffrey Jones, "Beetlejuice"
1989:
Founded Tim Burton Productions
1989:
Helmed the enormously popular "Batman," starring Jack Nicholson as the Joker and Keaton as the Caped Crusader
1990:
First feature producing credit, "Edward Scissorhands," starring Johnny Depp and Ryder; also directed
1992:
Helmed "Batman Returns," starring Danny De Vito as the Penguin; Reubens showed up in cameo as the Penguin's father
1992:
Feature acting debut in Cameron Crowe's "Singles"
1993:
Produced "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas," a 72-minute animated musical feature, directed by stop-motion guru and friend Henry Selick
1994:
Second feature with Depp starring as the title role in "Ed Wood"
1995:
Turned the directing reins over to Joel Schumacher but retained his connection to the franchise as a producer of "Batman Forever"
1996:
Produced Selick's stop-motion animated feature "James and the Giant Peach"
1996:
Produced and directed "Mars Attacks!"; second film with Nicholson, who played dual role of U.S. President and a sleazy Las Vegas car dealer
1998:
Directed first TV commercial, pitching Hollywood Gum for the European market
1999:
Reteamed with Depp (as Ichabod Crane) in "Sleepy Hollow," adapted from Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
2001:
Helmed the remake of "Planet of the Apes," starring Mark Wahlberg
2003:
Directed "Big Fish," a life-affirming story about fathers and sons starring Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor
2005:
Reteamed with Johnny Depp (as Willy Wonka) to remake Roald Dahl's classic tale "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
2005:
Helmed the animated feature "Corpse Bride," featuring the voices of Depp and Helena Bonham Carter; received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature
2007:
Directed "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," the feature adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical; re-teamed with longtime collaborator Depp who played the title role; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director for a Motion Picture
2009:
Produced the animated sci-fi film "9"
2010:
Directed the fantasy adventure film "Alice in Wonderland," an extension of the Lewis Carroll novels <i>Alice's Adventures in Wonderland</i> and <i>Through the Looking-Glass</i>
2012:
Once again directed Depp (as Barnabas Collins) in feature remake of the gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows"
2012:
Directed full-length animated feature "Frankenweenie" based on his 1984 short film
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

California Institute of the Arts: Valencia , California - 1979 - 1980

Notes

On the apoplectic response to "Batman Returns" and parental upset about a McDonald's merchandising tie-in: "I mean, I'm sorry, but I didn't ask to put this stuff on the side of a McDonald's carton. Besides, why aren't these people objecting to the junk McDonald's is pushing as food? I felt the whole controvery was simply remnants of the whole family values baloney. These movies are people running around in bad costumes. How relevant are we being here?" --Tim Burton, quoted in Daily News, October 12, 1993.

"If you take all these guys in a row--Batman, Beetlejuice, Pee-wee, Scissorhands, Skellington--they define Tim. The characters in his movies have an emptiness, they have soul and they have heart. They're trying to become accepted for their own weirdness. And they end up doing it . . . Just like their creator." --David Hoberman, president of Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures quoted in "Writing Music to Horrify in a Disney Nightmare" by Joseph Gelmis in New York Newsday, November 12, 1993.

"Kind of sad, really, the way they experience the seasons in California, walking down the aisles at Thrifty's." --Burton on Christmas in California, quoted in People, November 22, 1993.

About his experience as an assistant animator on Disney's "The Fox and the Hound": "I felt they were saying, 'Okay, this is Disney--this is supposed to be the most incredible gathering of artists in the world.' At the same time they were saying, 'Just do it this way; shut up and become like a zombie factory worker.' After a while I was thinking, Is my restaurant job still available? I realized I'd rather be dead than work for five years on this movie." --Burton to Mimi Avins in Premiere, November 1993.

"Tim is a genius and I don't use that word lightly. The definition of a great artist is someone who doesn't care much what other people think. Tim cares what people think of his movies but he has that core essence, that compulsion, to do his art. I accept that about him. And his instincts are unerring. I've never seen them to be wrong on any small or large decision. Ever. His instincts emanate from a place that's very pure, truly artistic." --Producer Denise Di Novi on Burton's talent quoted in Movieline, June 1994.

"There's something beautiful in the catharsis of doing something, which a lot of people don't understand. I grew up around people who were afraid to do anything, and hid behind these masks of normality, just falling into line, not saying anything of their own, but just sort of together, like the angry villagers in 'Frankenstein'. Talent is secondary, really. If people ask, 'Who's your favorite filmmaker?' I don't have any favorites. I like anybody, I don't care if I've seen their movies or not . . . They should get a certain amount of credit for just fighting through things.

"I grew up in this puritanical American Dream kind of thing where everybody's suppose to be normal, and people attacked anybody who tried to make something . . . I shielded myself from that, and punched through it. Because I couldn't draw either. If I had listened to those people, I'd have ended up like everyone else. 'I can't do this, I can't do that." --Tim Burton to Village Voice, October 4, 1994.

"I enjoyed working with animation a little," he says. "But I love actors and sets and all of that. It's just more fun. No matter what you're doing, you stand back, and it's like there are all these people standing around in funny clothes looking at you and ... Maybe I seem to them like the most foul-tempered, sealed-off zombie creature, but I get such incredible joy. It's like a wonderful, absurd dream." ---Burton, quoted in Time Magazine November 24, 2003

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Lena Gieseke. Painter. German; married in February 1989; separated in spring 1992.
companion:
Lisa Marie. Model, actor. Appeared as Vampira in Burton's "Ed Wood", an alien in "Mars Attacks!" and in "Sleepy Hollow" and "Planet of the Apes"; together from 1992 until 2001; reportedly were engaged.
companion:
Helena Bonham Carter. Actor. Co-starred in "Planet of the Apes" (2001); began dating in October 2001.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Bill Burton. Minor league baseball player, parks sports coordinator. A Burbanks parks official.
mother:
Jean Burton. Shop manager. Once owned a cat accessory store.
son:
Billy Raymond Burton. Born October 4, 2003 in London; mother Helena Bonham Carter.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Burton on Burton" Faber and Faber
"The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories" William Morrow
"Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker" Renaissance Books

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