Tim Burton at the 2012 Comic-Con, in San Diego, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore.
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Tim Burton
Forecourt Ceremony held on Thursday, September 8, 2016
 
Born: August 25, 1958, in Burbank, California
Age at the time of the ceremony: 58
 
Tim Burton is one of the world's most popular directors. Idiosyncratic and interested in the macabre, Burton knows how to put on a show. His films are always interesting: sometimes great, sometimes appaling, Burton continues to amaze.

Burton grew up in Burbank, California. His mother Jean and father William watched as Tim made stop-motion films with his toys and the family super 8 camera. When he was 13, Burton got his friends together and wrote and directed an adaptation of H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau: The Island of Doctor Agor (which was shown in the exhibit "The World of Tim Burton").

While at Burbank High School, he was on the water polo team, but was not a good student. Pleased to spend time with himself, he spent a good deal of time painting and drawing. After high school, Burton went to Cal Arts to study character animation, making short films like Stalk of the Celery Monster (completed in August 1979). These films caught the attention of the Disney studio, who gave him a job as a concept artist, but that did not last long.

Teaming with a pal from Disney, Burton made a short stop-motion film about a child who imagines he is Vincent Price, called Vincent (released in October1982). Disney allowed Burton to direct a 45 minute live action / stop motion telling of Hansel and Gretel with Michael Yama, aired over The Disney Channel on October 31, 1983. His penultimate Disney film was the live action short, Frankenweenie (released in December 1984) with Shelly Duvall. Disney fired Burton for making the film "too scary."

Burton was selected to direct the feature film debut of Pee Wee Herman in the wonderful Pee Wee's Big Adventure (released in August 1985) with Paul Reubens. The wacky film made a pile o' money, so Burton followed this up with directing Beetlejuice (which played the Chinese in March 1988) with Michael Keaton. The $15 million production grossed over $74 million. Warner Bros. liked this a lot.

When it came time for a feature film to be made of Batman (which played the Chinese in June 1989), Burton chose Michaeal Keaton to play the title role; his entire take on the material was different and unusual. The film was promoted to the skies and brought in $400 million internationally. Burton could now do whatever he wished.

He co-wrote the story, directed and also co-produced Edward Scissorhands (released in December 1990) with Johnny Depp. Digging deeply into his own childhood, Burton's wonderfully winsome film is a treat you must see.

Warner Bros. gave Burton complete control and made him a co-producer on Batman Returns (which played the Chinese in June 1992) with Michael Keaton. The much darker film was a success, but Burton swore off the series. Working with animator Henry Selick for three years, Burton co-wrote the story and was co-producer on the instant classic The Nightmare Before Christmas (released in October 1993) with Danny Elfman doing the voice of Jack Skellington.

A long-standing personal project for Burton was realised in Ed Wood (released in October 1994) with Johnny Depp. The low-budget film didn't do especially well, but it might just be Burton's best movie.

Returning with Henry Selick, Burton co-produced a stop-motion film of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach (released in April 1996) with Paul Terry. For Warner Bros., Burton produced and directed the spoof film Mars Attacks! (released in December 1996) with Jack Nicholson.

Burton wrote and illustrated the poetry book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories published in 1997. For producer Scott Rudin, Burton directed Sleepy Hollow (which played the Chinese in November 1999) with Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane.

For producer Richard D. Zanuck, Burton directed, well, a new version of Planet of the Apes (released in July 2001) with Mark Wahlberg. The film did very well. Zanuck was co-producer on Burton's next film, Big Fish (released in December 2003) with Ewan McGregor. Zanuck was also on board for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which played the Chinese in July 2005) with Johnny Depp.

Burton and Carlos Grangel created the characters with Burton co-producing and co-directing the stop-motion film Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (which played the Chinese in September 2005) with Johnny Depp. A semi-autobiography, Burton on Burton, was published in 2006.

Burton was invited to make a film of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's stage musical Sweeney Tood: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (released in December 2007) with Johnny Depp. The grim and graphic film won over audiences — most of them, anyway.

A collection of Burton's artwork, The Art of Tim Burton was published in 2009. His version of Alice in Wonderland (released in March 2010) with Mia Wasikowska in the title role, has become — by far — Burton's biggest grossing hit film. This man is not in decline.

Dark Shadows (which played the Chinese in May 2012) with Johnny Depp, survived the critics and made a pile o' money. Disney got Burton to make a 3D stop-motion feature of his Frankenweenie (released in October 2012) with Winona Ryder; it got by. Burton directed and was co-producer on Big Eyes (released in December 2014) with Amy Adams as Margaret Keane and Christopher Waltz as her husband Walter Keane.

Burton's collection of drawings done on napkins in bars, The Napkin Art of Tim Burton: Things You Think About in a Bar, was published in 2015. Burton was a producer on Alice Through the Looking Glass (which played the Chinese in May 2016) again with Mia Wasikowska.

Just prior to the release of his next film, Burton was invited to come down to the Chinese to make his imprints in the cement. Three weeks later, Miss Peregrine's Home for Paculiar Children (released in September 2016) came out with Eva Green in the title role. Burton returned to Disney for a large-scale, live-action remake of Dumbo (which played the Chinese in March 2019) with Colin Farrell.
 
 
Caption TK
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®, Hollywood, California. Tim Burton Forecourt ceremony, Thursday, September 8, 2016. Tim Burton gives out his heartfelt thanks while standing atop his Forecourt block.
 
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