Director Who- Tim Burton

Director Who

Tim Burton

Born- August 25th, 1958


1984- Frankenweenie (Short) This is Tim Burton’s first film that the public got to see. A young boy who loses his dog gets an idea to bring his beloved pet back from the dead. It is a lovely and twisted short film worthy of your time even today.

My Grade (B+)

1985- Pee Wee’s Big Adventure– Goofy and strangely wonderful at the same time.  It takes the beloved children’s television character and puts him into his own movie. His bike was stolen and he is determined to get it back. Even if it means a crazy adventure is involved. My Grade: (B+)

1988- Beetlejuice-To me, when I think of Tim Burton, Beetlejuice is one of the first films to come to mind. It has everything one needs to define Burton’s style. From unique color and set designs, a twisted sense of humor, and just twisted story and characters in general.  Burton is this offbeat guy who created surprisingly refreshing films. This is still one of his best.My Grade: (A)

1989- Batman– Ah, welcome back, old friend.  Batman was sensational and Burton’s twisted take on life was perfect to bring this film into existence.  He really did a lovely job making it feel like a live-action comic book.  There is music and scenes that feel pulled right from the pages of the book. (It also gave some inspiration to the excellent animated series).  I feel like Burton after this movie became an A-List director.  A voice to the strange things that go bump in the night and I absolutely love it.

My Grade (A)



1990- Edward Scissorhands-Burton continues his dark brilliance with this film. If this isn’t quintessential Burton, then I don’t know what is.  I love everything about this movie. It is beautiful in its imperfection. A fantasy with romance and comedy and some social commentary on our society.  Excellent.  (I thought I discussed this movie in a rewind segment. I guess not. Very sad I did not.)


My Grade (A)

1992- Batman Returns-Not quite up to par with the original, but it brings out Burton’s version of Catwoman and Penguin.  (To this day, I say this is the best theatrical version Catwoman ever.)  It is dark, twisted, and campy. I love this film enough though overprotective mothers complained and ruined the franchise. (First they ruined Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then they ruin Batman, way to go 1990’s mothers!)

My Grade (B+)

Nightmare Before Christmas– Producer – I know he didn’t direct this film, but the characters were inspired by him. Many of the various aspects of the film have a Burton like quality to them.  He was so big at this time, anything with name attached was going to get some views.



1994- Ed Wood– Not my favorite film, but it is about Ed Wood, so I suppose that is appropriate. Burton would be the man to direct a film about the most imaginative and perhaps worst director in history. A decent biopic with a good cast.

My grade (C+)


1996- Mars Attacks– This movie is wild and crazy. I used to not like it so much because of how strange it was. It is filled with great actors and has some amazing moments in it. It is ridiculous, but also fun.

My Grade (C+)


1999- Sleepy Hollow– I know Johnny Depp has really had a lousy year. (Much of that his own fault.) However, he was good in this film. I particularly enjoy this unique version of a classic tale that Burton did wonderfully. Also, props to Christopher Walken for being villainous looking and acting without any lines.

My Grade:(B-)


2001- Planet of the Apes– Proof that even great directors can make mistakes. This movie is just not very good. Nothing came of it. I don’t even know what to say.My Grade:  (Fail)



2003- Big Fish- I really enjoy Big Fish, it was one of my favorite Burton films. (I’ll watch it over Life of Pi (2011) in fact.) I think Big Fish has a a lot of great magical moments, it tells a beautiful tale about life and our various relationships within it.  I love it!

My Grade (B+)



2005- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory– I don’t hate this movie like some do, but it does lose the charm which the original had. Let’s say, it removes the charm, but adds extra creepiness factor to it. Is it terrible as a movie, no, but it fails to fill me with wonder like the first one did.

My Grade (C)


Corpse Bride- Not nearly as good as Nightmare Before Christmas, but still better than a lot of other animated musicals I’ve seen. It certainly  has its moments and some cool songs along the way. I can’t deny that.

My Grade (C+)


2007- Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street – This was one of my favorite films Burton has done in the last decade. It remains one of my all-time favorite musicals put to screen. It is dark and violent, but also beautiful and morbid.  Such a wonderful cast too, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen. (I still listen to this soundtrack.)



My Grade (B+)


2010- Alice in Wonderland– Very colorful and long. Tim Burton is the reason people went to see it. It has that strange set design that isn’t quite Lewis Carroll or Tim Burton, but a collaboration of the two.  I can’t say I love all of this movie, but there are aspects of it which I adore.  (The Cheshire cat in this was amazing I feel. I want more of him.)

My Grade: (C)


2012- Dark Shadows-This movie isn’t all terrible, but it certainly wasn’t as good as it had the potential to be.

My Grade (D)


Frankenweenie (Full length)- This didn’t need to be made.  I think the regular short films was more than enough.  This animated version is longer, a bit more twisted, but it isn’t terrible. It has a lot of the Burton style I enjoy.

My Grade (C+)


2014- Big Eyes– Something new and refreshing from Burton. A biopic about an artist (played by Amy Adams) and also starring Christoph Waltz.  If you like artwork by Margaret Keane and good acting, this is a movie you need to watch.

My Grade (B)

We come to 2016 and as you can see, Mr. Burton has had a very interesting career. I loved him in the beginning and it faded some with time.  While my enjoyment of his films has been uneven in the last twenty years, Burton continues to intrigue me with interesting films and that unique troubled artist bent.


2016- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Right now this movie is looking pretty good. I said it reminds me of X-Men if Burton did it. I know it is a very different story and it has a very loyal fanbase. I’m interested to see how this movie works. Can it bring back some of that twisted magic which has made me love Burton or will it be more on the mediocre side. (Given his history, it probably won’t be all out terrible.)


Burton Future Projects

Beetlejuice 2 has been announced, but I hope it never comes to light.  I doubt any good would come of this movie. Another sequel which simply would not work. Though I suppose Keaton, Burton, and Ryder working together again may not be the worst thing I’ve heard of.


If you haven’t had enough Tim Burton, then please check out Sarah’s post about her to 8 movies made by him. It is well worth the read I think.




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