The Living Dead Kill it for Burton

May 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm (Corpse Bride) (, , , , , )

“We all know interspecies romance is weird.”

Tim Burton

There was a lot of criticism about Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and I feel he deserves more credit.  I have heard many complaints that “I just thought it was going to be more like The Nightmare Before Christmas.”  A different film means a different story and a different tone.  We are no longer in Halloweentown where Jack Skellington wants more, we are in the confusing lives of Victor Van Dort and the Corpse Bride. 

The cast was fantastic as always, but the sets and the movements of the puppets are what is being ignored.  If you would watch the behind the scenes features you would see the beauty in the film and the progress that has been made since The Nightmare Before Christmas.  The time it took, the beautiful sets, and the tragic story of the Corpse Bride Emily.  If you take the time to see the film as art you will appreciate Burton’s work. 

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Burton’s Design

April 20, 2010 at 2:45 am (Tim Burton Themes) (, , , )

“I am not a dark person and I don’t consider myself dark.”

Tim Burton

From previous study I had come to the conclusion that Burton isolates his main characters using the camera to create a more distant feeling.  Burton shows the main character often by themselves using a one shot and does not include other characters into that space.  I used three films from different parts of his career to collect this data, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hallow and more recent film , Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.  With each film I used three different scenes to analyze.

I created pie charts to show percent of individual shots of the main character, individual shots of the secondary character and two shots that include both the main and secondary character.  Each film proved that the main character is shown by themselves more than 50% of the time.

The Nightmare Before Christmas:

Jack Skellington 58%

Sally 24%

Two 18%

Sleepy Hallow:

Ichabod 57%

Katrina 21%

Two 22%

Sweeney Todd:

Sweeney 51 %

Mrs. Lovett 34 %

Two 15 %

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Burton’s Nightmare

April 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm (the Nightmare Before Christmas) (, , , )

“There’s a painful quality when you grow up and you’re not perceived correctly”

Tim Burton

Tim Burton and Danny Elfman have proven to compliment each other with the beautiful films they have created that is pleasant to our eyes and ears.

I feel the music and lyrics by Danny Elfman add to the “friendliness” in The Nightmare Before Christmas. The songs Elfman wrote help to provide a more inviting feeling that sits on top of the dark settings and ghoulish creates. The monsters sing their HEARTS out.

If you watch this film without sound as a parent there may be a feeling of uneasiness as they prepare for Christmas and make a dead rat a hat, and as the toys chase after the children.  They have the best intentions of “improving” Christmas as they sing, “Making Christmas.  Time to give them something fun, they’ll talk about for years to come.”

It’s funny how right they were and 17 years later we still talk about The Nightmare Before Christmas.  The music and songs are a major part of why this film has become a classic that we still enjoy today.

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Misunderstood Monsters

April 19, 2010 at 11:31 pm (the Nightmare Before Christmas) (, , , , )

“I found that most monsters were completely misunderstood.  They usually had more sensitive souls than the human characters around them.”

Tim Burton

Tim Burton did not direct The Nightmare Before Christmas though he produce it.  The director Henry Selick does credit Burton with the story concept, character design, look and tone of the film.  In this post I would like to discuss the concept of misunderstood monsters as well as the message given in the film.

When you explain The Nightmare Before Christmas to someone they may feel that it sounds too morbid and or scary for children.   Selick states in the bonus features of The Nightmare Before Christmas. that , “As gruesome as these characters may look, none of them are actually are cruel, with the exception of Boogie.  Most of them are sweet, kind of like misunderstood monsters.”  What needs to be understood is that these creatures are doing their job in Halloweentown and desire to do what they do best, even if it is to hide under your bed.

As a child these monsters were not scary and that is because Tim Burton gave them souls, feelings and passion.  We see deep sadness as Jack Skellington enters the grave yard and sings, “Oh somewhere deep inside of these bones, an emptiness began to grow.”  At this point we also see Sally the rag doll display empathy for Jack and his feeling of needing something more.  As with most of Burton’s main characters, Jack feels misunderstood.  He tried to become something more by becoming something he is not.  Jack discovers in the end that is harder to be someone you are not then to just be yourself.

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My Mission

April 19, 2010 at 11:24 pm (The Start) (, , , )

“People ask me when I’m going to make a film with real people.  What’s real?”

Tim Burton

My name is Makayla Lynn and I am now a graduate of Webster University.  The original purpose of this blog was to demonstrate my skills in film analysis and express my views of Burton’s films for my senior overview project.

Tim Burton made an extreme impact on me from an early age with the films Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas and has continued to do so with each film he has produced from his visions.  I feel he has created a world for the uncomfortable to be comfortable and thank him for that.

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