Art of Tim Burton

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Ever since I was little, one of my favorite movies was The Nightmare Before Christmas. This was one of Tim Burton’s original movies that not only created a world of animation that was excellent then, but is still excellent now. Aside from this movie, Burton also did drawings and doodles that inspired his filmmaking and thus brought his artwork to life. Tim Burton always had the style in-between something dark and humorous with his artwork. You could look at his drawings and appreciate the creativity when he draws these characters representing his esthetic.

I loved the designing of Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas, and Edward from Edward Scissorhands. Both characters brought a sense of a heartwarming personality in the movies with a strong connection to underlying family themes. With The Nightmare Before Christmas I also had interest in the love story between Jack and Sally that became a cliché for some of my generation saying things like “we can live like Jack and Sally” setting a romantic standard for those with a dark but warming romance. From just looking at the artwork without knowing the story, Tim Burton would show Jack and Sally in a simple romantic gesture such as holding hands or being really close/ kissing. With the way he designed the characters it gave the sense of feel that they were meant to be together without looking exactly alike. Apart from this, as you watch the movie, you can easily relate to the character’s personalities with your own as you feel the design of them suit their sadness for most of the movie. I personally loved the fact that he created beauty in a darker form for not just the characters, but the setting as well. The Halloween theme has always been known, but Burton created this Halloween themed world in an illusioned texture that really complimented his use of certain colors and texture on his characters as well.

Edward Scissorhands wanted to be loved and Tim Burton made the audience feel for this strange boy with scissors for hands in a strange world to him where everyone is so happy and colorful while in his world dark was the “norm”. I personally felt that when Edward walks into the “normal town”, not only did he stick out like a sore thumb, but he walked into the land similar to Doctor Seuss. I felt that this gave the playful unbalanced of light with dark during those times of the movie when it was Edward vs. the town.

Tim Burton does have his art gallery online here to have a better understanding of his esthetic in everything he designs. You will see the playful humor he puts into his dark drawings and the balance of a happier emotion you may feel from his artwork, despite the fact the art is based on a darker atmosphere.

  • What do you like or not like about Tim Burton’s artwork?
  • Does his movies capture his artwork so you feel it “comes to life”? and if not why?
  • Do you feel his artwork is meant for pure enjoyment or has a deeper meaning? Why?

Amanda Stacey


16 thoughts on “Art of Tim Burton

  1. I am absolutely in love with the movie Edward Scissorhands! I was so happy to see someone choose this for their blog post! I love the intricate detail Burton uses in all of his work but particularly with the work of Edward Scissorhands. I think at face value his work is meant for enjoyment because it is used for such light hearted measures but I think the background behind it probably has some deeper meanings. Great post!!

  2. I have always loved Tim Burton’s work. He has such a unique way of portraying people, and even though they look completely different from us, he makes them in a way that we can relate to them. The characters’ quirkiness and complexity draw us in, and when they are outcast or faced with trouble, we relate and feel for them.

  3. I as well have always been a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas. I remember being a toddler watching that movie at least 3 times a day just because I loved it so much, and the songs were toooo catchy! I believe what Tim Burton tried to do with both of these characters, Jack and Edward, was to make them look extremely intimidating, while in reality they are softies at heart and most characters fail to see that. Most characters in the films look at them and see a scary and ominous figure, which is why they are led to believe they must have a reputation to uphold which creates a sense of confusion and self awareness in both characters, and I think Tim Burton’s art displays just that. He has a way of portraying each character so you know their inner battles just by being on the outside looking in.

  4. I believe that Tim Burton’s artwork is very interesting, his movies and drawing have this darkness to them with a sense of humor that makes us feel for his characters. I really like the picture of Jack with his head on is hand looking at the town. I like how the darkness is emphasized with the yellow moon in the background.

  5. I think you’ve done a good job of describing Tim Burton’s artwork as both dark and humorous. I’ve not seen either of the movies you referenced but I did see Charlie and the Chocolate factory another one of his movies, so I have a feel for the quirky humor you’re describing. I’ve heard people refer to “Jack and Sally” but didn’t know who or what they were talking about, thanks for filling me in.

  6. I enjoy looking at Tim Burtons artwork because it’s unique and interesting. I also like his Halloeen theme too! His movie of Edward scissorshand was such a very interesting movie. I also liked the way that he made everything colorful except Edward which really put the emphasis on him trying to be accepted in the town.

  7. Tim Burtons work is different from most, thats what makes it so interesting to me. I love the way he is able to portray darkness with humor, not to many artists can do that. I do believe that his artwork is meant for just pure enjoyment.

  8. as a child tim Burton has always scared me but Igrew to see the similarities and the bond he a made.through himself and the audience. I do believe that the films he had made stood out and were very unique however deeper meaming im sure that it just for entertainment deeper meanings. great pick makes me wanna go see it.

  9. Cool choice. I really like all of Tim Burton’s movies just because of his style. His style is unique and intriguing. I feel like his artwork is definitely for enjoyment but it has meaning. In his movies it always seems as though there’s some happiness in all the darkness. Not sure, just my opinion.

  10. I remember seeing commercials for this movie every christmas and i actually have never watched it! I have always been a fan of that kind of animation because it is an awesome mixture of real life and fantasy. His work is a good mixture of creepy and lovable.

  11. I love Burton’s films. They are very odd but that’s what makes them so interesting to me. I think is interesting how instead of making his character look friend he makes them kinda creepy reguardless of them being good or bad.

  12. It’s funny how every time someone brings up Tim Burton, the first thing that pops into my head is the game Kingdom Hearts. There is a segment in the game dedicated to Jack Skellington and the Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve always found Tim Burton’s work to be very interesting. I think there is a deeper side to his work than most people think. Maybe some details in his work reflect his true personality or how he feels at that moment.

  13. What I like most about Tim Burton’s work is that it is unusual and is visually interesting. Even though at first glance the subjects look a little frightening, (for the most part) Burton gives them a very warm and likeable quality. Yes, I think he is trying to say something about not judging a person/monster/thing by their appearance. It is what is inside that counts. Also, Jack and Sally should be the spokespeople for Diversity!

  14. It still blows my mind that this film wasn’t made with claymation but stop motion. It was made using stop motion animation and Burton stated that he did not use clay because the features of the characters would be lost in the clay.

  15. This blog brought back some very good childhood memories! I love the movie Edward Scissorshands. I think theres a meaning behind his art work. When I watched that movie I was amazed by all the cool things he used to make with his scissorshands but at the same time when i saw him having difficulties with some normal daily life activities I cherished having real hands.

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