After attending Cal Arts, Tim was snatched up by Disney once they saw his student film, Stalk of the Celery Monster. There, Mickey and company tortured Tim with such films as The Fox and the Hound. Tim finally received approval to do a short film, Vincent, about a boy who thinks he is Vincent Price. Tim even got Price to narrate the piece of animation. Next came the live-action Frankenweenie. Starring Shelley Duvall and Daniel Stern, Frankenweenie involved the reanimation of a beloved pet dog who'd been run over by a car while playing fetch.
Tim then moved to television, where he made an episode of Shelley Duvall's Fairy Tale Theatre. It was a Japanese (i.e. "Godzilla"-style) Hansel and Gretel. An episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents was also made.
In the mid-eighties, Tim Burton began working with Paul Reubens on Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. The film also marked the beginning of Burton's professional relationship with composer (then Oingo Boingo lead) Danny Elfman. Next came Beetlejuice, with a cast that includes Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Catherine O'Hara and Jeffrey Jones.
With Pee-Wee and Beetlejuice under his belt, Tim followed with Batman, once again calling on Michael Keaton for the lead roll. Flawed, but commercially successful, Batman secured Tim's place within the studio system; as a gothic kook who can bring the kids into a theatre.
Next, Tim pulled Johnny Depp out of Teen Idol hell and into the childlike roll of Edward Scissorhands. Burton also used Batman Returns to further explore Gotham City and it's head case comic book characters. At the beginning of the nineties, Tim brought together Danny Elfman, Paul Reubens and Catherine O'Hara, among others, to help in the realization of the stop-motion animation musical, The Nightmare Before Christmas.
At that point Tim decided to try convincing the world of the greatness of b-movie director Ed Wood. Once more, Johnny Depp brought Burton's title character to life. But despite an Oscar win for Martin Landau (for his portrayal of screen legend Bella Lugosi) Ed Wood was unable to make much money at the box office. Burton worked to bring up the slack with the sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks!, which, unfortunately, was neither a commercial nor a critical success.
With Sleepy Hollow, Burton hopes to prove to the world that he is not another Ed Wood. But with so many blockbusters and classics already behind him, there's no way Tim could be.
For more Tim Burton info visit: