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