TIM BURTON (Director) created the highly imaginative and detailed
worlds of "Pew-wee's Big Adventrue," "Beetlejuice,"
"Batman," "Edward Scissorhands," "Batman Returns,"
"Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Ed Wood" and
Burton grew up in Burbank, California, where he fed his ravenous imagination
by watching classic horror films and drawing cartoons. his talent was formally
recognized in the ninth grade when he won a prize for an anti-litter poster he
designed for the local trash collectors, which adorned Burbank garbage trucks
for an entire year.
Burton attended the Cal Arts Institute on a Disney fellowship and soon after
joined Walt Disney Studios as an animator. It was during these early years at
Disney that Burton came up with the idea for "Tim Burton's The Nightmare
Before Christmas," but the studio shelved the project for 10 years until
after the success of "Batman." Burton gained early experience at
Disney, working on such projects as "The Fox and the Hound" and
"The Black Cauldron," and made his directorial debut with the animated
short "Vincent," an homage to one of Burton's childhood heroes. Drawn
in dark, tilted tableaus, the film told the story of a young boy who wanted to
be just like Vincent Price. Narrated by Price himself, the film was a critical
success and won a number of awards, including two from the Chicago Film
Burton's next project for Disney was "Frankenweenie." His first
foray into live-action, this inventive twist on Frankenstein tells the story of
a young boy who brings his dead dog back to life.
Following "Frankenweenie," Burton left Disney to pursue live-action
films. In 1985 Burton directed his first feature film, "Pee-wee's Big
Adventure," bring Paul Reubens' cartoonesque creation, Pee-wee Herman, to
movie life. The film was a hit at the box-office, and Burton was praised by
critics for his original vision of the surreal yet poignant world in which
The same visual power blossomed further in "Beetlejuice" (1988),
starring Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder. A
supernatural comedy about a New England family doggedly haunted by an amoral
ghost, "Beetlejuice" achieved an inventively skewed visual perspective
as macabre denizens of the hereafter mingled with the mundane artifacts of life
in a small-town New England. Critics praised this "Topper"
turned-on-its-head for surpassing the very limits of absurdity without ever
losing its affecting charms.
In 1989, Burton directed "Batman," starring Jack Nicholson, Michael
Keaton and Kim Basinger. Burton's tale of the mythic vigilante drew audiences in
with its vision of a futuristic landscape that straddled the line between gritty
urban realism and fabled apocalypse. Following the triumph of
"Batman," the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) awarded
Burton the Director of the Year Award. The film also won an Academy Award for
Burton next directed and produced "Edward Scissorhands," unleashing
another original myth for our modern times. This fantastic tale shorn out of
suburbia and hazardous creativity, starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder and Dianne
Wiest, was one of the biggest hits of the 1990 Christmas season and was
acclaimed for its wild vision and poignant, fairy tale sensibility. In 1992,
Burton once again explored the dark underworld of Gotham City in "Batman
Returns," the highest grossing film that year, starring Michelle Pfeiffer
as the formidable Catwoman and Danny DeVito as Penguin.
In 1993, roughly a decade after he had initially conceived of the story,
Burton was able to resurrect and bring to the screen a ground
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