Tim Burton turns 64 | Discover the BEST and WORST films directed by the iconic filmmaker
One of the strong icons of Hollywood cinema in the 80s and 90s, the director Tim Burton completes today, August 25th, 64 winters in black and white. The veteran filmmaker began his career as an animation technician for major studios like Disney. Exotic taste, Burton he has always been passionate about old black and white films, horror and monster cinema, and stop-motion animation technique. This particular taste of his was put into practice when he had the chance to make his first short films, soon after transporting him to successful feature films. Precisely for this reason, in his early career Tim Burton would draw attention for the Gothic style in the architecture of its sets, art direction, costumes and makeup of its characters and films.
All this made him the perfect candidate to helm the Warner Bros. production that adapted for the big screen the comics of one of the most beloved characters in pop culture, the dark Batman. Well we can say it was Burton and his visual style that brought Batman back into the shadows – as his iterations at the time (comics, cartoons and even the sitcom “Soc, Pow, Bam”) were very colorful. Burton decided to return to the character’s roots, in a film with a monochromatic tone and an extremely melancholy atmosphere. Batman (1989) was a great success and a real fever. For the second film, Burton was given carte blanche by the studio to do whatever he wanted, soon after the same execs decided he had gone too far with Batman – The Return (1992).
This initial style of Tim Burton, who made his name, perhaps got lost in his most recent works – all of them very colorful and full of special computer effects, which take away some of his much-hyped visual identity. This has resulted in works that the public can’t even recognize as the director’s. However, all is not lost for Burton, as later this year he will be releasing his first series on Netflix – and one that has everything to do with old-school Burton: Wednesday, the Addams Family series focused on Wandinha. We can’t wait for the show, but while it doesn’t premiere, we’ll continue from here honoring the director and presenting his best and worst films (only the ones he directed) according to critics and the general public. Check out.
Many people may even confuse and think that the worshiped Jack’s wierd world (1993) is a film directed by Tim Burton, as the filmmaker’s name is used to sell stop-motion animation. But so much jack how much James and the Giant Peach (1996) are films produced solely by Burton, directed by the collaborator Henry Selick. Of course, in the 1993 film Burton also created the story and characters, but the first animated feature film directed by him was this The Corpse Bride. And that debuts with both right feet. The story is so impactful that it manages to transcend being “a movie for children”, without the need for a remake with real actors to come out someday.
04 | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
First and only musical of the career of Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd it was the director’s return to a more somber mood of his early career. Based on a famous stage musical, the story is all about Burton and seems to have been created for the filmmaker to actually take to the movies. in the plot, Johnny Depp lives a London barber wrongfully imprisoned after finding himself in the path of corrupt powerful people. After serving his sentence, he makes a macabre pact with a pie maker from whom he rents a room. So, the guy starts using his barbershop to do bloody justice, while his accomplice cooks unusual pies, which start to be very successful.
This list is based on the opinion of critics and the general public. If it were only the opinion of this friend who is speaking to you, probably Batman – The Return (1992) would enter this top 5 of the best films of Tim Burton. But as neither I nor anyone from CinePOP had a say in formulating both top 5, Beetlejuice ended up winning the bronze medal for the director’s best feature. Nothing against it, we loved the movie. I don’t know if it would necessarily enter my personal ranking. But it is also far from appearing in the ranking of the worst. Here, in this second film by Tim Burton for the cinema, and the first “authorial”, the filmmaker decides to invest in a tale of ghosts in a haunted mansion. Oh yes, it’s a comedy. It’s also one of the most beloved films of the ’80s. Burton has been trying to get a sequel out of the role for a long time.
Winning the silver medal is the version of Tim Burton for the classic Frankenstein. Just like the morbid tale of Mary Shelleythe director creates his own story about a man born artificially, assembled by an inventor, who ends up unable to teach him about life and its social dynamics. Edward is an extremely cult film in part due to its strong romantic streak, which recounts a forbidden love between an angelic teenager (Winona Ryder) and a kind and sweet-hearted monster (Johnny Depp) with scissors instead of hands. This is perhaps the first film by Tim Burton to mix different sensations and emotions, being in some ways a more human work than his comedies and action films that came before.
With the gold medal Ed Wood, and on this the general public, the critics and I all agree. Maybe if it were up to me to create a list of the 5 best movies from Tim Burton, I would change some positions, leave some that have appeared out here, and include some others not mentioned. However, one thing we agree on is the top 5 position, it needs to be from Ed Wood. There’s no way, this is really the best Tim Burton movie. That’s because it works in different areas. First, it’s the filmmaker’s most serious and mature film, one that lacks fantastical elements and one that kids who generally enjoy his films wouldn’t relate to as much. Second, don’t forget Burton’s oddities, even though it’s a more adult film, it’s still all created in black and white, portraying a “bizarre world”. And third, it works as a great tribute to the seventh art and the passion for films, with the biography of the subject considered the worst director of all time. Burton’s face.
05 | Mars Attacks! (1996)
We started the list from the bottom of the well of Tim Burton precisely with the film he made after what is considered the best film of his career, the item above. Here I will paraphrase the great critic Roger Ebert when he gave his verdict on Mars Attacks! – “Tim Burton made a movie about Ed Wood, and with his next work he seems to want to become Ed Wood”. After all, the “worst director of all time” became famous for his all-B extraterrestrial film. Tim Burton also made his, but using many millions of dollars in the budget. Much compared to a comic version of Independence Day because they were released in the same year, Mars Attacks! it’s actually based on a series of figurines from the 1960s, hence its lack of substance. It’s a cult guilty pleasure.
You can even say that Alice in Tim Burton is a film aimed at very young children, but we need to take into account that this does not justify the lack of quality of certain children’s films, after all we have excellent representatives of the genre – such as ET (1982), for example. That is, a movie for children does not automatically mean a bad movie for adults. AND Alicealthough it is one of the biggest financial successes of the director’s filmography, it simply lacks imagination, good characters (apart from the Mad Queen of Helena Bonham Carter) and ends up looking like Burton didn’t have much space to make the film his own work – maybe Disney restricted him too much. If we didn’t know that this is his movie we would never say. Now think how nice it would be to truly see an Alice in Wonderland by the hands of the Tim Burton root – that is, a strange and slightly disturbing film.
03 | Dumbo (2019)
Exactly everything said about Alice in Wonderland in the above item can be said of this Dumbo, a new live-action version of a famous animation by the same Disney. The feeling with these films is that Tim Burton it was extremely pruned, unable to let its true essence flow. Nine years after the severe criticism suffered by Alice, Tim Burton finds himself without autonomy again and in this period he has not done anything truly significant. It’s as if he’s just become a director-for-hire, obeying the behests and whims of producers and studio executives to deliver the movie they wanted and not what Burton wanted. The result: a film anyone could have made, without any sense of the Burton footprint of yesteryear. Once again, it would have been really nice to see Dumbo receive the Tim Burton root treatment, in a dark, melancholy and beyond insane film with disturbing doses – but still with big heart and enchantment.
However Mars Attacks! didn’t work out as planned, we can still feel in each frame the hands of Tim Burton and its oddities. This is where things started to go off the rails in the director’s career. When Tim Burton was made director of the remake of Monkey’s Planet for Fox, fans went wild, imagining it would be a movie in the style of their Batman, Edward Scissor Hands and Ed Woodeven more than his previous work had been The legend of the headless Knight (1999), a gothic horror tale that has the face and soul of Burton. What we got, however, was an action movie that anyone could have directed. Right away we realized that this would not be much of a Monkey’s Planet by Tim Burton when the makeup artist Rick Baker said he would only make the film if the apes were realistic and not “Tim Burton apes”, that is, surrealists. And then the problems of lack of identity began…
Three of the four items above are films that do not have “the face of Tim Burton”. The director’s films are not only recognizable by the look (which includes art direction, costumes and makeup), although this is indeed one of the major components. There is also a very specific climate that the filmmaker likes to work with. In essence, Burton puts a melancholy tenor in his narrative. What happens is that this climate ends up marrying perfectly with the proposed look. Perhaps Burton brightened his days and decided that life is now beautiful and daytime. That’s not really the problem with the above items. After all, a film may “not have the face of Tim Burton” and be good, as Big fish (one of the best in his repertoire). As well as others can be totally your face and not very good. This is the case with Night shadows, Tim Burton’s worst “Tim Burton movie”. for years the star Johnny Depp aimed to take his favorite soap opera from the small screen and take it to the big screen. Next to Burton, what was to be a worthy rival for The Addams Family owed a lot in terms of a leaner script and also more (much more) substantial.
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