The curious world of Tim Burton
10 October 2012
Frankenweenie is the latest offering by the darkly idiosyncratic director Tim Burton. With this release in mind, 63336 delves a little deeper into the wonderful world of one of the world's best directors.
Burton was born in California in 1958 and went to work for Disney after graduating from college. Frankenweenie (2012), about a beloved dog that gets brought back to life, is actually a remake of a short film Burton made for Disney in 1984. Unsurprisingly, Disney were horrified at the content of the film (a young boy raising his pet from the dead isn't typical Mickey Mouse fare) and ended up firing Burton.
Burton courted controversy with the actors he chose for his next films. For his 1985 film Pee-wee's Big Adventure, the lead role was taken by Paul Reubens, who was later arrested in 1991 for some particularly lewd behaviour in a cinema. In 1989 Burton chose comedian Michael Keaton to play Batman, a controversial choice as Batman fans clamoured for another actor to play the role. However, Keaton ended up being the best big screen Batman until Christian Bale came along.
After entertaining cinema-goers with films like Edward Scissorhands and Mars Attacks! Burton released what could be considered his most controversial film: Sleepy Hollow (1999). It is a spooky and macabre film featuring Johnny Depp hamming it up as the almost useless detective Ichabod Crane. But how did a film with vast amounts of gore, people getting shot, stabbed and decapitated, bats being wringed dry, arms being sliced off and blood gushing everywhere only get a 15 rating? Teenagers are obviously made of strong stuff these days.
The last decade has been less controversial for Burton, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland have been big hits for the auteur; Alice in Wonderland grossed over $1 billion! Clearly becoming a father has made Burton tone down his films, as the director himself recently commented in an interview for the BBC:
"It's watching the Teletubbies and The Wiggles. I just have a much cheerier outlook. I'm a happy person!"
He may be happier, but surely it is only a matter of time before Burton casts Johnny Depp as a re-animated patchwork Tinky Winky with a penchant for blood?
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