Few other filmmakers have managed to make the kind of impact through such a wide breadth of work as Tim Burton. From lighthearted and child-like movies such as Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, to darker and more sinister films like Sleepy Hollow, Tim Burton always maintains a hint of humor along with the horror to make the viewing experience more relatable. With each film in the Burton collection, we always seem to find a common ground. His sense of wonder and curiosity conveyed so playfully to the audience is both haunting and heartwarming, unlike any other filmmaker before. This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tim Burton’s best.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
If you had the unfortunate misconception that murder and melody didn’t mix, Burton’s masterpiece, Sweeney Todd dispels all doubt. The 2007 film gives viewers a terrifying glimpse into the depths of a maniacal, homicidal barber’s dark methods of madness. With the tried and true successful partnership of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, Burton brings out stellar performances that will leave audiences reeling. While the movie is dreadfully gruesome and rich with sickening gore, it’s happily balanced with some of the most upbeat and catchy musical numbers.
There are few people who can’t relate to a strained relationship with a parent. However, Tim Burton beautifully managed to transform a dysfunctional relationship between an offbeat father and his uptight son into a world brimming with magic. Journeying through the rather ordinary life of Edward Bloom becomes an extraordinary tale simply by seeing the world through the eyes of a fantastic story teller. While the masterful Burton lures audiences into Bloom’s fantasy world, he still manages to address serious and relatable life obstacles such as death, isolation and infidelity. As the film draws to a close, viewers find themselves believing in the magic that can exist in the everyday events of our own lives.
This 1988 classic helped to set the tone for Burton’s extensive repertoire of work that followed. With an incredibly zany and talented cast, audiences everywhere were able to gain a darker perspective on a family cohabitating with the supernatural while still remaining quirky and outright laughable. The spastic main character, Michael Keaton gives an intense performance that’s simply impossible to forget. Considering this iconic flick was only Burton’s second film, he merged the gothic theme with the familiarity of suburban life effortlessly.
Tim Burton has famously dubbed the 1990 film as his most personal piece. Edward Scissorhands is an enduring film and a cult classic that has reached generations of fans and is certain to continue doing so. With the fascinating performance from the innately talented Johnny Depp and elaborate costume, makeup and set designs, Edward Scissorhands is arguably the defining film of Tim Burton’s illustrious career which continues to march on to the beat of a very unique drum.