Happy Friday, y’all! And what a terrifying Friday it certainly is!
That’s because in this new #FridayDelight post, we will introduce you to a wonderfully dark animator. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Tim Burton!
Actually, you surely already know him from widespread Hollywood blockbusters such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, Batman and many, many more. This is one movie director that certainly knows how to add a mood to any piece of fiction.
But did you know that he worked for Disney Animated Studios and he also made some great animated shorts as well? Watch them below and have fun!
Stalk of The Celery Monster
In this 1979 film, the first short Burton ever made, we can already see the influence of his childhood heroes, mainly Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl and Vincent Price. The film was a hundred percent directed and animated in pencil by himself.
Although only excerpts of it remain, they are enough to appreciate Burton’s early style and technique. We particularly love the “frankensteinesque” look of this family dentist and the surreal monster that accompanies him. The mood is extremely somber, which is exactly what makes everything so funny! Much more so taking into account how it contrasts with the colored and calm waiting room.
“Stalk of the Celery Monster” caused an uproar on Burton’s fellow students and attracted the attention of Walt Disney Productions' animation department, which offered young Burton an animator's apprenticeship at the studio.
In 1982 and still at Disney, Burton made his first short there, named Vincent.
As you can see, it depicts the story of a seven year old boy who imagines he is his hero, Vincent Price. The story is narrated by Vincent Price himself and is based upon a poem written by Burton. The animation is delightful and was made entirely using the stop-motion technique.
As early as this work is, it is obscure as Burton can get! Two recurring elements of his style appear already: the gothic atmosphere and the visuals that resemble those of German expressionism. In similarity with the art movement, we can see in Burton’s work how the darkness of somebody’s inner world, their fantasies and turmoil are very much externalized. As it has been said, Burton “uses effectively the themes and the mise-en-scene that was developed by German filmmakers in the 1920s.”
In contrast to the other shorts, this one stars live-action. Nonetheless, much in Burton’s style, it is completely shot in black and white.
Frankenweenie was released in 1984 and parodies the 1931 film Frankenstein, based on the famous Mary Shelley novel. How is this? Well, watch for yourself! For starters, it involves a dog being hit by a car and revived by his young owner using electrical impulses and complex machinery. Rings a bell?
Yummy fact: Disney and Tim Burton produced a full-length remake of Frankenweenie using stop motion animation. It was released in 2012 in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D.
We sure had some fun watching those short movies! It is undeniable that Tim Burton is one of Hollywood’s most original and distinctive directors. What do you think about his films and style? Do they appeal to you or rather horrify you? Let us know in the comments below!
We wish you a bloody wicked weekend, our dear readers. Have fun and remember to watch dozens of animated films… and recommend them to us later so we can enjoy them as well!