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Tim Burton

Tim Burton was born in Burbank in 1958. After studying at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), he worked as an animator at the Walt Disney Studios before breaking out on his own. Taking inspiration from popular culture, fairy tales and traditions of the gothic, Burton has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as an expression of a personal vision. As a young man, Burton would make short films in his backyard on Evergreen Street using crude stop motion animation techniques or shoot them on 8 mm film without sound. (One of his most famous juvenile films is The Island of Doctor Agor, that he made when he was 13 years old.) Burton studied at the Burbank High School, but he was not a particularly good student. He was a very introspective person, and found his pleasure in painting, drawing and watching movies. His future work would be heavily influenced by the works by Edgar Allan Poe he read, and the horror and science fiction films he watched, such as Godzilla, the films made by Hammer Film Productions, the works of Ray Harryhausen and Vincent Price. After graduating from Burbank High School, Burton attended the California Institute of the Arts to study character animation. Some of his classmates were John Lasseter, Brad Bird, John Musker and Henry Selick. (In the future, Selick and Burton would work together in The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach.) As a student in CalArts, Burton made the shorts Stalk of the Celery Monster and King and Octopus. They remain only in fragments today. Burton graduated from CalArts in 1979. The success of his short film Stalk of the Celery Monster attracted the attention of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, who offered young Burton an animator's apprenticeship at their studio. He worked as an animator, storyboard artist and conceptual artist in films such as The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron and Tron. However, Burton's personal style clashed with Disney's own standards, and he longed to work on solo projects. While at Disney in 1982, Burton made his first short, Vincent, a six minute black and white stop motion film based on a poem written by the filmmaker, and depicting a young boy who fantasizes that he is his (and Burton's) hero Vincent Price, with Price himself providing narration. The film was produced by Rick Heinrichs, whom Burton had befriended while working in the concept art department at Disney. The film was shown at the Chicago Film Festival and released, alongside the teen drama Tex, for two weeks in one Los Angeles cinema. This was followed by Burton's first live-action production Hansel and Gretel, a Japanese-themed adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale for the Disney Channel, which climaxes in a kung-fu fight between Hansel and Gretel and the witch. Having aired once at 10:30 pm on Halloween 1983 and promptly shelved, prints of the film are extremely difficult to locate, which contributes to the rumor that this project does not exist. (In 2009, the short went on display in the Museum of Modern Art.) Burton's next live-action short, Frankenweenie, was released in 1984. It tells the story of a young boy who tries to revive his dog after it is run over by a car. Filmed in black-and-white, it stars Barret Oliver, Shelley Duvall (with whom he would work again in 1986, directing an episode of her Faerie Tale Theatre) and Daniel Stern. After Frankenweenie was completed, Disney fired Burton, under the pretext of him spending the company's resources on doing a film that would be too dark and scary for children to see. Pursuing then an opportunity to make a full-length film, he was approached by Griffin Dunne to direct the black comedy film After Hours. However, after Martin Scorsese's project The Last Temptation of Christ was cancelled, he showed an interest on directing it, and Burton bowed out in respect for Scorsese. Burton was married to Lena Gieseke, a German-born artist, for two years, whom he left to live with model and actress Lisa Marie; she acted in the films he made during their relationship from 1992 to 2001, most notably in Ed Wood and Mars Attacks! After leaving her, Burton then developed a romantic liaison with Helena Bonham Carter, whom he met while filming Planet of the Apes. Lisa Marie responded in 2005 by holding an auction of personal belongings that Burton had left behind, much to his dismay. Burton and Bonham Carter have two children: Billy Ray, born October 4, 2003; and Nell, born December 15, 2007. Close friend Johnny Depp is a godfather of Burton's son. In Burton on Burton, Depp wrote the introduction, stating, "What more can I say about him? He is a brother, a friend, my godson's father. He is a unique and brave soul, someone that I would go to the ends of the earth for, and I know, full and well, he would do the same for me." Burton was the President of the Jury for the 63rd annual Cannes Film Festival, which was held from May 12 to May 24, 2010 in Cannes, France. KULT Studio is an authorized dealer of Tim Burton Fine Art. All artwork is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. We've assembled one of the coolest collections of Tim Burton prints, lithographs, animation art and fine art on the web.  We're adding new artwork daily, but if you can't find your favorite character or if there is something special on your wishlist, simply Contact Us. We work directly with the artists, publishers and studio art departments.

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