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Copyright © 2011 Tim Burton

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.K. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Kilburn Press and Company 2 B Kilburn Park Road Maida Vale London NW6 5UY United Kingdom Visit our website at This catalogue is only to be used with the Tim Burton Exhibits that travels to different states. This is purelly been made to show in more detail some of Tim Burton’s films and illustrations.

ISBN 978–8–432–12457–7

Library of Congress Control Number: 2010943734

10987654321 RRD–C Printed in the United Kingdom

TIM BURTON Introduction Biography Films Vincent Pee Wee’s Big Adventure BeetleJuice Batman Edward Scissorhands The Nightmare Before Christmas Corpse Bride


Taking inspiration from popular culture, Tim Burton (American, b. 1958) has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as an expression of personal vision, garnering for himself an international audience of fans and influencing a generation of young artists working in film, video, and graphics. This exhibition explores the full range of his creative work, tracing the current of his visual imagination from early childhood drawings through his mature work in film. It brings together over seven hundred examples of rarely or neverbefore-seen drawings, paintings, photographs, moving image works, " tim burton also revolves a lot of his films around concept art, fantasies, fairy tales with worlds structured by storyboards, puppets, striking visually memorable characters in films..." maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera from such films as Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Mars Attacks!, Ed Wood, and Beetlejuice, and from unrealized and little-known personal projects that



Burton is known almost exclusively for his style of films and illustrations. This exhibition provides a wide range of his creative output, including his sketchbooks, concept art, drawings, paintings, photographs and amateur films. Tim Burton also revolves a lot of his films around fantasies; fairy tales with worlds structured by striking visually memorable characters in films such as Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. His films are very unique with their use of beautiful and detailed settings as well as his collaborators like Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter and the composer Danny Elfman. Many of his well known films were created using stop-motion animation, which he has helped to bring back to life.

reveal his talent as an artist, illustrator, photographer, and writer working in the spirit of Pop Surrealism. The gallery exhibition is accompanied by a complete retrospective of Burton’s theatrical features and shorts, as well as a lavishly illustrated publication.




"goddamit, i don’t care if i can’t draw, i’m

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, just gonna draw how i California on August 25, feel about it. all of a 1958 in a sunny, middle class neighboursudden i had my own hood. As a child he never personal breakthrough, felt at home. He was and then i could draw, a very shy boy and had and satisfied myself. a restless imagination, which he consoled with i’ve had very few drawing, painting and experiences like that, making short films. and i’ll never forget it." His work was influenced by newspaper comics, advertising, animated cartoons, monster movies, science fiction films, Mexican Day of the Dead imagery, toys and carnival sideshows. A lot of his themes and

subjects were explored in his feature film shorts and commercials that came from those influences. Another person of great inspiration for him was Edgar Allen Poe and Dr. Seuss. In 1976 he entered Cal Arts in Valencia, CA, where he created a short animated film called Stalk of the Celery Monster, it was written, directed and animated entirely in pencil by him. This film got him noticed by Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1979 where he was offered an animator’s apprenticeship. His personality and temperament wasn’t really fit for Disney even though he helped work on The Fox and the Hound (1981). He also helped with The Black Cauldron but none



of his work was used. Disney knew he had great talent so they let him produce a couple shorts like Vincent (1982), Hansel and Gretel (1983) & Frankenweenie (1984). The movies that helped jump start his career were Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure & Beetlejuice. In 1997 he published a book of illustrated verses called, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories and in 2003 Darkhorse Comics introduced his collectible figures Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys.

"movies are like an expensive form of therapy for me."



$12,000,000 Fox and the Hound


$4,819,215 $43,899,231

$6,000,000 Pee Wee’s Big Adventure


Movie earnings break down

$99,184 $40,940,662

$15,000,000 Beetlejuice


$8,000,000 $73,326,666

$48,000,000 Batman

1989 Alice in Wonderland

Edward Scissorhands

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory



Corpse Bride

Sleepy Hollow

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Sweeny Todd

Fox and the Hound

Big Fish

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Mars Attack

Ed Wood

$42,705,884 $411,348,924

$20,000,000 Edward Scissorhands


The Nightmare Before Christmas



$70,000,000 Big Fish







Corpse Bride






Charlie and the Chocolate Factory






$70,000,000 Mars Attack


Sweeny Todd $9,384,272




$30,060,467 $206,071,502

$13,635,390 $152,523,073


Sleepy Hollow

$385,078 $53,337,608

$18,000,000 Ed Wood


$200,000,000 Alice in Wonderland


$116,101,023 $1,024,299,011


Directors come in all styles Tim Burton is known as a pataphysical director. The word pataphysical was established in France in 1948. These types of films get there name from how they make fun of established systems of knowledge especially academic and scientific. They also follow an alternative narrative logic and include special effects that are blatant and obvious. Their plots are thin and include very thinly drawn characters, because the narrative relies more on intertextual, nondiegetic references. All of these have made Tim Burton one of the most influential pataphysical film directors today; he inspires many people with his style and creativity.





V INCENT This was Burton’s first film that was actually released. Vincent was inspired by a story Burton had written as a child about the sad tale of Vincent Malloy. He was a suburban boy who wanted to be just like his idol Vincent Price. This was of huge importance for Burton because he was able to work with Tich Heinrich, who he worked with at Disney, and his idol Vincent Price. This animated movie was a combination of 3D animations of stop-motion animation and 2D animation created in black and white. The classic horror star’s role also reinforced the theme of the film, which is that fantasies about monsters and mad scientists can become more important to kids than their own mundane lives.

"the fact that disney closed down its cell animation division is frightening to me. someday soon, somebody will come along and do a drawn animation film, and it'll be beautiful and connect with people, and they'll all go, 'oh, we've got to do


that!' it s ridiculous."





BIG ADVENTURE A director’s first feature film is always a momentous occasion for both auteur and audience; it can make or break a career. Perhaps it is fitting then that a director such as Tim Burton, whose works are known for their whimsical imagery and This mo vie had wacky humor, would choose "Pee-wee’s a limited million s budget o o they n Big Adventure," a film that defies, and f $6 e e d e d to director fi nd a tale that wou indeed pokes fun at, the mundane n t ed ld small bu be able to work dget but through brilliant one-liners and zany o still be a na the gran ble to gr d cinem sight gags, for his debut. Told from eat atic idea brought s. Burto on to br the perspective of the man-child known n wa s ing his u to t h e s c n ique cre reen usin to the world as Pee-wee Herman, the ation g a scrip classic M t that w arx Bro film is at once subversive and charma s t h ers com number edy for of laugh ing, all the while lulling us under its s h s eer per scen imagina e and viv tion. Wit endearing spell. id h this sm h e us e d all of a it to his budget advanta film with g e to creat a wholly ea unique s This wa ense of s a grea r e t ality. s u cc e s s a name ou nd broug t into H ht his olly wood .





Beetlejuice is about a couple that ends up haunting their own house after a tragic accident. They are trying to scare away the family that resides there now, but when they fail, an exorcist by the name of Betelgueuse has to intervene. Betelgueuse

transforms into various disguises, which were all made by Robert Short. The score in this movie was made by Danny Elfman and featured two songs from Harry Belafonte, including "Banana Boat Song", which later became the theme song.




The story w asn’t like m ost, it cause it and Burt d people to on was con question st antly defen a lot of onedi ng it. This liners and si film uses ght gags, w worked and hich luckily help to wra en oug h p up the st range movi e. He fell "i found that when you put in love with this film aft er reading script after make up on people it actually script that p assed acro his desk. T ss his movie h ad everythi frees them. they’re able to hide he w ng ould have w anted in a movie, ghoulish, bi behind a mask and therefore zarre, imagi native, dark perverse se , nse of hum show another side of themselves, o r with potential fo r outrageou s set design which is great. it is very and innova tive special ef fects. liberating


This movie includes m references any visual that surface through oth like, model er of his wo town, chara rks cters patter and white st ned with bla ripes and a ck graveyard were over 3 settings. T 00 differen here t sp ec ia l ef fects and were stop -m 15 otion.




BATMAN Batman was a huge box office hit released in June 1989 and reached $100 million in the first ten days. It was a cultural phenomenon and Warner Brothers biggest film in history, reaching $500 million at the time. Without this project Burton’s career wouldn’t have been the same. He was picked to be the director of this movie after the grossing income for Beetlejuice the first weekend it opened.

"I like it when character and

Batman was based on the original comic book story. Burton the set is a wasn’t normally drawn not just a set to comic book stories but because the hero seemed to have a split personality, with a light and a dark side, unable to find the balance he found it intriguing. As the director he chose to show the audience a side of Batman that

[ ]


"One unhappy character dresses up to express something but still feels hopelessly out of

everyone wasn’t used to, place in the real world; another, which was darker and an extremist, creates his or very different from the TV series. The actor who her own demented reality. " played Batman was Michael Keaton and many of the comic book fans didn’t like the casting choice or the new costume that was designed for the movie. Like in all Burton’s films, the design and atmosphere produced from the film were very important. He worked with Anton Furst and Danny Elfman again to create the music and sounds for the movie.





SCISSORHANDS Edward Scissorhands was directed, produced and written by Burton and the story was about self-discovery. It was a very personal film because he had come up with this concept as a teenager. This movie was also very important because he in some ways connected it back to his life and how people were fake, passionless and blank like his hometown of Burbank. This movie contains a level of emotion that none of his other movies have been able to attain. The main characters inability to touch what he desires without destroying it is heartbreaking. With the help of stunning visuals and the heartbreakingly beautiful score by Danny Elfman, he has created an all-time classic movie.

"I have always loved monsters and monster movies. I was never scared, I simply loved them, for as long as I can remember… King Kong, Frankenstien, Godzilla, Creature from the Black Lagoon—they’re all quite similar, and only

differ in terms of

costume design and make up… monsters were

I found that most

completely misunderstood.

They usually had more sensitive souls than the human characters around them."




After Batman, Burton wa s the “it” director. This made it easy to find a stu dio that would let him take full contro l of his new project. He worked for Twentiet h Century-Fox and the screenplay had alread y been started during the filming of Be etlejuice with the help of Caroline Thompso n. Edward, who is the ma in character, is Burton’s literal Franke nstien monster who is unable to touch others with his razor-sharp fingers. He is a physical manifestation of isolation, one of Burto n’s predominant themes. Edward’s lack of communication skills gave him only one way to communicate, through shaping things like hedges, hair and ice into wondrous scu lptures. The character is an original creation he is the first true misunderstood outcast of Burton’s feature

on top of a films. He’s left alone in a mansion creators’ sudden death and ed hill after his ink society by l brought into a cookie-cutter suburban s wa home d him s n the kind Avon Lady; who take ya ch l u s o u t a to her family and tries to dress him in normal cio to to s d d n e an o ke clothes. He is throughout the story ant lin ubc ge tw ch a es a he so an” u hum h m m even i t m a outsider and “not he er ry it c t t e . . g c v ythin f . ever roys a " o s r runs away where he dest wa ion a cha t t . i a s a ical t a . ips he has on to break the metaphor to fes iw t .. nsh ani en an’ o i h c m t w link to society. but the ela nt . e r r t g I h a . lin wit app ate fee do nic elf how o s u t d t m i n d m a a o de ge th tc ma ith ima r. i dn’ e l r g u sw u a o d o n c d y o tee ti at hat fel re gt t a n s i l ou i ju fee ey v he i t e s wa erc ..." ep l you p e o d pe nsi is i t a wh




T HE N I G H T M A R E BEFORE CHRISTMAS Burton star ted working on the draw ings and storyboards for The Nightmare Befo re Christmas after he had filmed Vincent while he was still working at Disney. The visual inspirati on came from his love for Dr. Seuss and the othe r stop-motion specials such as Rudolph u the Red-Nosed Reindeer "there’s this thing yo , e er th and How the Grinch Stole k or sign when you w Christmas. He decided to at any which states th make the story be told in ve during ha u yo the similar style as those ts gh thou other animated musicals, ent are your employm creating a new holiday ought owned by the th classic. Disney at the time didn’t want police." to produce this and said they’d make it a TV series but Burton didn’t like that idea so he postponed it. Year s later he found out that because he was work ing at Disney during the time of the idea for, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Disney owned the rights to it.

Disney was willing Luckily this time around the film with a to allow Burton to create otion animation. strong emphasis in stop-m a lot of work and he He decided that it was end to so he had other projects to att ect the film and asked Henry Selick to dir Danny Elfman on continued to work with people working on the score. The crew and k for inspiration the film continued to loo ic his style and from Burton trying to mim ges in this film are ton throughout. The ima alive with a vibrancy and enthusiasm rarely seen in films, animated or


1993 FILMS

" w e to

ok an ol d t the h echn ighes ique t-qua ha s e and d lity ver b id s t o p-mo een d minu t ion one f te s . that or th i t h at m ink w mot i any on to e mo v a e d h manc igh l stop evel e in t o iming f per comp , forlight uter ing a a i d e made nd d cam it a era m s eriou oves rath s con . we er th t ende an th toys r ings on a that t a look ble t fl a r l i ke op w ing l i th tw ights ." o




y Elfman’s live action, all complemented by some of Dann Before best work as a film composer ever. "The Nightmare song tion, anima of Christmas" is an absolute masterwork 12 of total a writing, and above all else, story telling. As space, animators, 100 other artists, 40,000 sq ft of "several had which of each 230 sets and 74 characters that parts ate separ puppet versions of themselves and n to millio constantly needed replacing." It cost about $18 d about make the movie and after being released it earne . office $51 million at the box characters The inspiration for the story started with the weentown of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Hallo films, the his all in Like . stumbling onto Christmas Town really, isn’t but main character is perceived as "scar y" movies. just like in most of Burtons’ favourite monster tion of the Despite the first rule he was taught in anima cter chara main his ssion, impor tance of eyes for expre eyes. ut witho ed Jack Skellington and others were creat





Burton came up with the idea for The Corpse Bride after hearing an old folk tale told by his friend Joe Ranfit. The tale was based off of a nineteenth century Russian Folktale that apparently was based from anti-Semitic gangs who would often attack Jewish wedding parties, killing and burying the bride in her wedding gown. He decided that he wanted to follow the emotional quality that was produced within, The Nightmare Before Christmas into his new stop-motion animation.

"growing up in suburban america where people are afraid of death and then you have cultures like mexico where they have a fun holiday


for the day of the dead




t not for technique bu

"burton used his animations a complex set of 'to tell a story and to create acters.'" een a group of char relationships betw

of amusing moments While there are plenty unexpected "I think best when in the film (including an erence), the Gone With the Wind ref it’s played straight biggest surprise is that the puppet characters for the most part, with ight as flesh and given almost as much we o some wonderfully blood actors. There’s als h as when Victor romantic moments, suc together. and the play the piano

I’m drawing."


2005 FILMS


Pen and Ink, water color on paper 11 x 14"

Untitled (The Melancholy Death of oyster Boy an dOther Stries) 1998

Ink, marker, and colored pencil on paper 12 x 16"

Untitled (Romeo and Juliet) 1981–84

Ink, marker, and colored pencil on paper 11 x 14"

Untitled (The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other stories) 1998





Pen and Ink, water color wash, colored pencil and marker on paper 12 x 14"

Untitled (True Love) 1981-83

Pen and Ink, water color wash, colored pencil and marker on paper 9 x 12"

Untitled (The World of Stainboy) 2000

Ink and water color wash on paper 11 x 14"

Jack Skellington 1991

Pen and ink and colored pencil on paper 9 x 11"

Untitled (Creature Series Drawing) 1980-89

Pen and ink on paper 11 x 14"

Edward Scissorhands 1998

Ink and Marker on paper 11 x 15"

Untitled (Number Series, #6) 1982

Ink and Marker on paper 11 x 14"

Untitled (Number Series, #5) 1982

Ink and Marker on paper 12 x 14"

Untitled (Number Series, #4) 1982


Ink and Marker on paper 11 x 14"

Untitled (Number Series, #3) 1982

Ink and Marker on paper 11 x 14"

Untitled (Number Series, #2) 1982

Ink and Marker on paper 11 x 14"

Untitled (Number Series, #1) 1982



Ink and Marker on paper 12 x 14"

Untitled (Number Series, #10) 1982

Ink and Marker on paper 11 x 17"

Untitled (Number Series, #9) 1982

Ink and Marker on paper 10 x 16"

Untitled (Number Series, #8) 1982

Ink and Marker on paper 12 x 14"

Untitled (Number Series, #7) 1982



FILMS OCT 15 - DEC 10 2011


$15.00 US

745793 039164

The Strange Children  

This campaign for The Strange Children of Tim Burton presented at SFMOMA includes collateral such as a catalogue, posters and a website. All...

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