More Tim Burton Bios & Profiles
Biography #2 (for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)Tim Burton directed Big Fish, a heartwarming tale of a fabled relationship between a father and his son. The film was hailed as Burton's most personal and emotional to date, earning respectable reviews and box office. Big Fish starred Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Jessica Lange and Billy Crudup.
His previous film was Planet of the Apes, a project that brought him together with producer Richard D. Zanuck, the former 20th Century Fox studio head who had greenlit the original film in l968. Burton's Planet of the Apes starred Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan and Kris Kristofferson and was a summer 2001 box-office hit.
All of Burton's films are well known for the highly imaginative and detailed world he creates to surround and inform the story. They include Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks! and Sleepy Hollow.
Burton began drawing at an early age, attended Cal Arts Institute on a Disney fellowship and, soon after, joined the studio as an animator. He made his directing debut with the animated short Vincent, narrated by Vincent Price. The film was a critical success and an award-winner on the festival circuit. Burton's next in-house project was a live-action short film called Frankenweenie, an inventive and youthful twist on the Frankenstein legend.
In 1985, Burton's first feature film Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, was a box-office hit and the director was praised for his original vision. Beetlejuice (1988), a supernatural comedy starring Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder, was another critical and financial success.
In 1989, Burton directed the blockbuster Batman, starring Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger. 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 Best Art Direction.
Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder and Dianne Wiest, was one of the big hits of the 1990 Christmas season and acclaimed for its original vision and poignant fairytale sensibility. In 1992, Burton once again explored the dark underworld of Gotham City in Batman Returns, the highest grossing film of that year, which featured Michelle Pfeiffer as the formidable Catwoman and Danny DeVito as The Penguin.
In 1994, Burton produced and directed Ed Wood, starring Johnny Depp in the title role. The film garnered Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi) and Best Special Effects Makeup.
Burton conceived and produced the stop-motion animation adventure Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, an original holiday tale that has become a seasonal perennial. He also produced 1993's Cabin Boy and 1995's summer blockbuster Batman Forever, as well as the 1996 release of James and the Giant Peach, based on Roald Dahl's children's novel.
Burton produced and directed Mars Attacks!, a sci-fi comedy based on the original Topps trading card series, starring an elite array of 20 leading players including Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito and Annette Bening.
In 1999 Burton directed Sleepy Hollow, which was inspired by Washington Irving's classic story and starred Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson and Michael Gambon. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Costume Design and Best Cinematography and won the Oscar for Best Art Direction. Honors from BAFTA included Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.
Burton authored and illustrated a children's book for The Nightmare Before Christmas, released in conjunction with the film. His next book of drawings and rhyming verse, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories, was praised by the New York Times for conveying the pain of an adolescent outsider.
Biography #3Tim Burton created the highly imaginative and detailed worlds of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, and Mars Attacks!
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 ten years until after the success of Batman. Burton gained experience early 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 Festival.
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, bringing Paul Reubens' cartoonesque creation, Pee-wee Herman, to movie life. The film was a hit at the boxoffice, and Burton was praised by critics for his original vision of the surreal yet poignant world in which Pee-wee lived.
The same visual power blossomed further into 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 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 set design.
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 groundbreaking work of stop-motion animation wonder, Tim Burton's The Nightmare before Christmas. This was almost immediately followed in 1994 by his film Ed Wood which Burton produced and directed, and which starred Johnny Depp as the infamous 1950's cross-dressing, cult movie director of Glen or Glenda and Plan Nine From Outer Space. The film garnered Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi, and Best Makeup.
In addition to directing, Burton also produced 1993's Cabin Boy and 1995's summer blockbuster Batman Forever as well as producing the 1996 release of James and the Giant Peach based on Roald Dahl's children's novel.
Burton's latest film, Mars Attacks!, a sci-fi comedy which he directed and also produced in conjunction with Warner Brothers, starred an elite array of twenty leading actors including Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito, Pierce Brosnan and Annette Bening. Mars Attacks!, in which Burton revisited the grade-B science-fiction movie classics of the '50's, was based on the original Topps trading card series of 1962.
In 1989 Burton formed Tim Burton Productions, his own production company based at Warner Brothers, which is engaged in the development of projects for film, television, animation, and books. Among his other projects, Burton released a children's book entitled The Nightmare Before Christmas featuring imaginative illustrations by Burton and published by Hyperion Books in 1993 simultaneously with the release of the Touchstone film. The most recent book added to Burton's repertoire is The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories, a composite of illustrated vignettes with short stories of unusual characters stemming from Burton's imagination. The book, released in the fall of 1997, was published by Rob Weisbach Books, a division of the William Morrow Company.
Bio courtesy Paramount (05-Jan-2003)
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