Over the decades Tim Burton has delivered cinematic masterpieces to his fans, including Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, his adaptation of the Disney classic, Dumbo, and he is currently working on Wednesdaythe spin-off of The Addams Family.
But in his long career, Burton also created audiovisual gems that, like his most known works, have something gothic or play with the colors of the scenes but at those times did not have such an impact on his audiences, and yet, they’re still part of his talented portfolio of films.
Have you ever imagined what Mary Shelley’s universal classic Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus would look like from a child’s perspective? Surely that was the question this director asked himself when he created this short film as a homage.
But in the story presented by Burton in 1984, Victor Frankenstein (Barret Oliver) is a boy who revives his dog Sparky through a scientific experiment at school, and just like the literary work, people react badly when they discover the dog. Of course, the ending is a twist on the original plot, and it really made it, that’s why in 2012 this short film became a stop-motion remake by itself.
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
If you have never seen The Pee-Wee Herman Show on TV, surely when you see an image of him on the poster of this film, you think he is a plain and good-natured character. But what’s wrong with the simplicity and goodness of people today? Pee-Wee became one of the most remembered from tv shows on the 80s.
Well, 36 years ago the creator of Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Rubens) and Burton teamed up and out of it came this film that shows viewers that despite the misfortunes that the main character lives, there are always life lessons and people that leave a mark and even become part of your future success.
Ed Wood (1994)
Most of the Hollywood Golden Era was developed in black and white films, and great productions like Count Dracula with Bela Lugosi came out, and if we talk about this actor, we must mention his friend for many years, the filmmaker Ed Wood (Johnny Depp).
Based on the friendship between Wood (Depp) and Lugosi (Martin Landau), Burton directed this biography with a comic and dramatic tone about Wood and how he tried several times to create striking works with his peculiar directing style, which nowadays would be considered B movies.
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
What could a small village with Dutch roots and a series of mysterious murders be hiding? Uncovering the truth behind these secrets is the job of Ichabod Crane (Depp), a NY police officer. And this is the basis for the movie Sleepy Hollow, based on the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.
This gothic fantasy that focused on when to follow your rational mind or your heart, stands out for its plot and the performance of its main characters, including the Headless Horseman (Christopher Walken), a warrior who must have given many viewers more than one scare with his razor-toothed mouth.
Big Fish (2003)
Part of Burton’s style when he makes films is the far-fetched and magical component, yet so grounded in reality. This characteristic stands out in Big Fish, where the audience is taken on a journey into the past of Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor), a man who claimed to have caught a huge fish using his wedding ring as a hook on the day his son was born.
His stories, full of innocence and surprise, accompany the protagonist throughout his life as he lives through a series of unusual events, which on his deathbed allow him to mend his relationship with his son Will (Billy Crudup), concluding with a beautiful and dignified farewell and teaching the viewers about the importance of the relationship between father and son.
Dark Shadows (2012)
One of the most interesting love affairs that could emerge from the melodramatic gothic imaginary of American television culture is the one between the vampire Barnabas Collins (Depp) and the witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), protagonists of Dark Shadows, which were highlighted in a very interesting (not to say sexy) way in the adaptation created by Burton.
And although this film was not so well received in the US, abroad it was a success, presenting a plot with a light and constant humor, where despite the circumstances, the protagonist always tried to get the Collins family out of the condition in which he lived, as well as solving his “little” love triangle.
Big Eyes (2014)
As a biopic, this film was presented to the public as a more serious or mature proposal by Burton, and yet, he found a way to still have the characteristic touch of his works to tell the story of the artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams).
Why the big eyes? What did Margaret want to represent with their size? For her, they were the windows to each person’s soul, which contradicted the purpose of her second husband, Walter Keane (Christopher Waltz) in appropriating her recognition and artistic skills. This film inspires to recognize the value and talent of each person rather than allowing someone else to take credit for it.
Next: ‘Wednesday’: Cast, Filming, Director, and Everything We Know So Far