Burton’s View REANIMATED

September 23, 2012 at 1:48 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )


“Visions are worth fighting for.  Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?”

Tim Burton

Hello all,

I love this quote.  It is true.  I’m afraid I am guilty of putting my visions up on a shelf and it is time to dust them off.

He is always quite an inspiring man.

I have left this blog unattended for some time and I do apologize.  I wanted to inform you that I intend to bring it back to life as Tim Burton  has with Frankenweenie.  If you have not viewed the original, I suggest you do.  It is live action, different from his latest creation which is stop-motion.

This blog was originally a school project, but now that I am out of school and living in Burton’s hometown of Burbank, I would like to continue with Burton’s View, his life work and creations.  Please feel free to suggest topics.

MK Lynn

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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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Pee Wee Herman’s Darkside

May 3, 2010 at 7:20 pm (Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure) (, , , , )

“What’s wrong with me?  They tell me I’m weird so I guess I must be, but I don’t feel weird.”

Tim Burton

I took a trip down memory lane and watched Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.  Before popping in the movie I was thinking, “Pee Wee Herman, bright smile and colorful bow tie, how is this a Tim Burton moive again?”  Then it started and I quickly remembered, this is why.

Pee Wee Herman, some may say a strange indivdual.  A grown man that wakes up, puts on his rabbit slippers and dances right away.  A grown man who slides down a firepole to his kitchen, a grown man in love with his bike.  A man who is not completely understood, perfect for Burton.

As Pee Wee goes on his search for his stolen bike, Burton lets you see the dark side of Pee Wee.  The man who is constantly laughing no longer can, not until his bike is found.  He has a three hour meeting about his missing bike that accomplishes nothing, we see this man break down, we see the darkside.

Pee Wee who is distraught about his lost love is surrounded by a colorful world.  This movie is all about the sets.  Pee Wee’s house is ridiculously packed with toys and fun objects, such as the lifesize Abraham Lincoln that flips pancakes in the kitcken.  Just look at the lawn.

What completes this film as a Tim Burton work is the scene where Pee Wee hitches a ride with Large Marge.  She tells her chilling ghostly story of the women who died on that same night ten years prior. Then Large Marge’s eyes pop out of her head as you see in the introduction photo.  The eyes of Large Marge were on display at the MOMA.

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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 Sleeping With Johnny Again?

April 20, 2010 at 12:45 am (Tim Burton Themes) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I would do anything Tim wanted me to. You know – have sex with an aardvark… I would do it.

Johnny Depp

Depp has signed on yet another film with Burton called Dark Shadows.  If you are a Tim Burton fan you certainly must be a Johnny Depp fan because he’s in almost every Burton film as of late.  Though he is not the only actor that has been used again and again.  Wikipedia created a chart of how many times each actor has been in his films and Helena Bonham Carter is gathering up points as well.


I am not sure of why Burton reuses actors but I will give him, Depp and Bonham Carter credit for creating new characters for each film.  When Depp first came on the scene it was as Edward Scissorhands, a softspoken man with scissors for hands, then forward through time a bit to the fainthearted Icabod Crane who curiosity in Sleepy Hallow almost gets him beheaded, then to Sweeney Todd, the hard hearted man who will stop at nothing to cut the throat of the man who ruined his life, to our most recent the Mad Hatter who is obviously different in appearance with red hair, green eyes and gapped teeth, and of course, well mad.  Each character provides a new voice, accent, tone, posture, NEW CHARACTER.

Both men are brilliant but let us not forget Miss. Bonham Carter, the women with say in Burton’s world.  Not only in appearance starting out with Burton in a full ape costume in Planet of the Apes but presence as well.  Gentle and welcoming mother in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory to the demanding and frightening Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland.  There is no stopping this women, she was an ape, then a big headed queen, she will transform herself into her character.

I assume it is easy for Burton to work with the same actors because they are comfortable with each other and know how they work, know what to expect and know that it will be brilliant.

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Burton at the MOMA

April 20, 2010 at 12:27 am (MOMA) (, , , , , , , )

“I’m a happy-go-lucky manic depressive.”

Tim Burton

My first visit to New York would not have been right without a trip to the MOMA to see Burton’s art exhibit.  Since on line tickets were sold on for the next week we ventured to the museum not one but three times before we could get tickets.  So on my last free day in New York, I entered Burton’s world and it was beyond amazing.
The exhibit lets you see a different side of Burton, a more personal side.  Along with sketches and puppets from his films, were pieces of his personal artwork.  Artwork of distorted furniture with faces, creatures of every shape and size, sculptures, one of which you use it’s mouth to enter the exhibit.  This visit relit the Burton fire for me.  I was not a child in a candy store but a candy factory, where you see how it is made and wrapped, where everything is wonderful, besides the heavy traffic of small children who also want a glimpse.  I was poor Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory.
The exhibit closes on the 26th of this month.  If you have the opportunity, take it.  You will see the Tim Burton we all have come to love.
“It brings together over seven hundred rarely or never before seen drawings, paintings, photographs, moving-image works, storyboards, puppets, concept artworks, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera related to his feature films and to unrealized and little-known personal projects, demonstrating his talents as artist, illustrator, photogrpaher, and writer in the spirit of Pop Surrelism.”

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Scissors for Hands

April 19, 2010 at 11:41 pm (Edward Scissorhands, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

“Movies are like an expensive form of therapy for me.”

Tim Burton

Back to the good days, Tim Burton and an original script!  A man who has scissors for hands, original enough for that alone.  A man who Burton was in touch with which is discussed in a wonderful book called Tim Burton Interviews edited by Kristian Fraga.  In one of the interviews Burton says, “the film is about not being able to touch, to communicate.  It’s about being at odds with your own body, doomed to misrepresent yourself and, in turn, to be miserably misperceived.”  Edward is someone Burton completely understood.  Burton is Edward Scissorhands, so to tell his story is like telling his own.

A book called Suburbia and Burton’s own childhood neighborhood inspired the look of the movie.  In the Suburbia book “people pose in front of their garages or in paneled rooms and explain their lifestyles.”  Burton says, “There’s one comment I love.  “I find a sense of freedom in the suburbs.  You assume the mask of suburbia for outward appearances, and yet no one knows what you really do.”  He goes on to say, “That’s what so incredible about it.  Because you’re so close to people and yet, you have no idea what they’re really about.  This is the way I grew up feeling.  And it can change at any moment.  You’re never so close and distant from people at the same time.”

The designer of the film, Bo Welch states that he shrunk the windows of the houses “to be a little less friendly, a little more mask-like and to heighten the hiding-in-suburbia feeling.”  Welch and Burton agreed on four-color scheme for the houses that included, “sea-foam green, dirty flesh, butter and dirty blue.”  Sounds delightful and uninviting to me :)

Burton himself describes his film as something less than crisp, “The camera moves a little more but don’t worry, it’s still clunky.  There’s still a few shaky camera moves.  It’s still got that same depressed..” and then trails off without finishing.  The author of the article David Edelstein finished by saying, “He has a way of bringing down the room, our boy.”

This is classic Tim Burton, the Burton we all fell in love with, when he knew his characters and shared they’re pain of being the odd man in.

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April 19, 2010 at 11:35 pm (Alice in Wonderland) (, , , , , , , )

“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality”

Tim Burton

Watching Alice in Wonderland made me thankful that Tim Burton still makes film, though the much used CGI muffled down the Tim Burton feel.  It was too crisp to be a Tim Burton film, that’s because it is also a Disney film.   Though if anyone should have made this film, it is Tim Burton, who can make a true Wonderland.

With a PG rating Burton had to keep a minimal to any gore.  Disney gave him enough room to create the Red Queen’s bloody moat which is filled with the head’s of her victims.  At one point Alice has shrunken and must cross the moat by using the heads as stepping-stones.

The color palette used was a bit more brighter than our usual Burton films.  This can be noticed in his Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in which they also used a lot of CGI.  I’m not sure if it was Disney that demanded a brighter film or if the artist involved in the CGI but we are far from Edward Scissorhand’s house and Halloweentown.

Overall I would suggest anyone who is a Tim Burton fan to go and watch this film, because no matter if it’s “not the same” because of Disney or Burton creating a more friendly vibe because he now has children himself, it is still a Tim Burton film.

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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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