Tim Burton

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Posted by kaori 02/26/2009 @ 01:18

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Batman – Blu-ray Review - Monsters and Critics.com
I'd imagine that director Tim Burton has more in common with the Joker than he does Batman. That's why I'd imagine that Jack Nicholson's mad turn as the clown prince of crime is given so much screen time. Burton's film certainly looks more like a comic...
Lady Titans' Burton wins West Regional title - McDowell News
For the Titans, Tim Velez took seventh place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.52. Velez, the NW4A champ, placed eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 41-1.5. Velez rounded out his busy day with a tenth-place finish in the long jump (19-6)....
Will Johnny Depp doobie-doobie-do Frank Sinatra in Scorsese's biopic? - Los Angeles Times
Besides, Scorsese and Depp have been strangers in the night for a long time and have never worked together. So it would be an interesting combo. This could be a nice change of pace — even for his fans — from Depp's frequent director, Tim Burton....
Portland's new chief loosens cop cap rule - The Associated Press
The hat rule was mandated by former Chief Tim Burton who felt that that officers exuded more professionalism and command presence when wearing their police hats. Craig says he's considering a number of other changes. Craig has been on the job two weeks...
Glossary of Terms For Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland - /FILM
Linda Woolverton's screenplay for Tim Burton's new Alice in Wonderland has very successfully been kept under lock and key. This has led to a certain amount of confusion or even misinformation springing up and circling reports of the film....
Like 'Terminator,' film franchises will be back - Newsday
The dark nature of Bruce Wayne's back story certainly helps, but directors like Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan also have made a huge difference. And some of those villains, particularly Heath Ledger's Joker, simply rock. DIE HARD Boosted by the 1988...
The Art of Tim Burton - /FILM
Subscribers to Tim Burton's official website have tonight received an e-mail announcing The Art of Tim Burton, a limited edition hard cover book that will feature over 1000 illustrations on over 400 pages. I've posted the announcement image at the head...
Original or familiar - take your pic - guardian.co.uk
Now I could have just written something familiar, re-imagined (to use that charming Tim Burton phrase) a historic old recipe as I sometimes do, but I thought I'd try a new combination of flavours. Now I'm sure some of you will tell me that I try too...
Coraline: animation by Neil Gaiman - Telegraph.co.uk
Tim Burton's next project is a full-length version of his early short, Frankenweenie, while the Australian claymation feature Mary and Max opened this year's Sundance Festival. Selick praises an "astonishing" young British animator, Suzie Templeton,...
Batman (20th Anniversary Edition) - IGN
The caped crusader gets his due in this standalone release of Tim Burton's original 1989 blockbuster. by Cindy White May 14, 2009 - Up until 1989, the character of Batman was most associated with the campy comic-book inspired television version (spun...

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Corpse bride.jpg

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (often abbreviated as Corpse Bride) is a 2005 stop-motion-animation fantasy film based loosely on a 19th century Russian-Jewish folktale version of an older Jewish story and set in a fictional Victorian era village. It was directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, and filmed at 3 Mills Studios in London. Johnny Depp led an all-star cast as the voice of Victor and Helena Bonham Carter (for whom the project was specially created) voiced Emily, the title character.

The movie exhibits Burton's trademark style and recurring themes (the complex interaction between light and darkness, and of being caught between two irreconcilable worlds). Life is portrayed as boring and dully gray tinted while death is more fun, as evidenced by the brighter colors and jaunty music. The movie can be particularly compared to The Nightmare Before Christmas, Burton's previous stop-motion feature project and Beetlejuice, especially in the scenes depicting the underworld and its deceased denizens.

The film was nominated in the 78th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature. It lost to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

The story is set in a cold, gloomy Victorian era town, a parody of aristocratic Europe. A nervous young man by the name of Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp), son of nouveau riche fishmongers Nell (Tracey Ullman) and William Van Dort (Paul Whitehouse), is due to be wed to beautiful young Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson), daughter of corrupt, bankrupt hereditary aristocrats Maudeline (Joanna Lumley) and Finis Everglot (Albert Finney). Victor isn't too keen on the idea of an arranged marriage with a woman he's never met before until he meets the charming Victoria face-to-face. The two hit it off from the start despite their earlier misgivings, falling in love with each other almost instantly. But after botching the wedding rehearsal (and accidentally setting Victoria's mother's skirt on fire in the process), Victor is banished by Pastor Galswells (Christopher Lee) and forbidden to return until he can memorize his wedding vows properly.

Victor wanders through the forest practicing his vows, consistently blundering them. At long last he gains confidence and successfully recites them, and upon spying a tree root that resembles a human hand, places his bride's wedding ring on it. No sooner has he done so, he realizes it really is a human hand as it comes to life and grabs him by the arm. Emerging from the frozen earth is the "Corpse Bride" Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), an undead girl in a moldy, flowing wedding dress, and she declares Victor her husband. Victor attempts to flee, but the Corpse Bride corners, says, "You may kiss the bride!", and kisses him, after which he blacks out.

Victor awakens in a pub with the dead. Although terrified, Victor demands an explanation for where he and who everyone is. He learns that he is in the Land of the Dead, and is told by a musical performing skeleton named Bonejangles (Danny Elfman) how Emily was jilted, murdered and robbed during her intended elopement, and has been waiting for her true love to come and claim her ever since. He shudders and flees the building, but Emily finds Victor and attempts to bond with him, giving him a wedding present of the live skeleton of his beloved and long-deceased puppy, Scraps. Dearly wishing to return to Victoria, Victor convinces the Bride and the elderly Elder Gutknecht (Michael Gough) to return them both temporarily to the Land of the Living via a Ukrainian Haunting Spell (the only way to return is if either says "hopscotch") under the pretense of introducing her to his parents. Once they arrive, Victor secretly abandons Emily and reunites with Victoria. As they prepare to kiss, they are discovered by Emily; realizing the deception, Emily angrily spirits Victor back to the Land of the Dead before a helpless and terrified Victoria's eyes.

Emily feels betrayed and heartbroken by Victor's deception, but begins to concede that maybe he and Victoria are meant for each other because they are both alive while Emily is not. Victoria, meanwhile tries to convince the pastor and her parents that Victor is in danger, but they express disbelief to her claims of a "corpse bride". Maudeline and Finis lock her in her room and plan a match with the presumably rich Lord Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant) instead; Victoria, completely absorbed and troubled by Victor's disappearance, is too despondent to object. Unknown to the others, Barkis intends to kill Victoria and make off with the fortune he believes she has.

Victor apologizes to Emily for his deception, and Emily's love for him is renewed as he starts falling in love with her as well. Suddenly, an old acquaintance of Victor's dies and arrives in the Land of the Dead, delivering the news of Victoria's engagement, leaving Victor distraught. Emily, meanwhile, learns that her marriage to Victor is not official: the marriage vows bind the couple until "death do they part" and as Emily is already dead, the marriage won't apply to them until Victor is dead as well. The only way to validate their matrimony is if they return to the Land of the Living where they must re-recite their vows, after which Victor must kill himself by drinking the "Wine of Ages", an extremely potent poison. Emily does not believe Victor would ever want to bring such a grisly fate to himself, but Victor, thinking that Victoria has moved on with her life without him, decides to make the best of his situation below and agrees to carry out the ceremony.

As Victoria and Barkis are married, the residents of the Land of the Dead busy themselves preparing for a wedding of their own, rising up to the Land of the Living, storming the town and having a chaotic marriage "celebration" on their way to the church. In the ensuing chaos, the newly-wed Lord Barkis finally realizes that Victoria is penniless and is enraged. Meanwhile, there the villagers panic when their town is invaded by the dead, until both sides suddenly recognize their loved ones and are overjoyed by the temporary reunion.

Victoria heads for the church, and arrives as Victor is in the midst of the ceremony that will kill him. Emily spots the heartbroken Victoria, and realizes that Victor's death, while making her happy, will cheat Victoria out of a happy life herself. Emily calls off the ceremony and gives Victor back to Victoria. The reunion is interrupted by Lord Barkis, who reminds the crowd that Victoria is still his wife, and moves to kidnap her at sword point. Emily is shocked and horrified as she recognizes Barkis as the man who not only jilted, but murdered and robbed her long ago. A sword fight ensues between Barkis and Victor (with Victor wielding a dinner fork tossed to him by a dead cook). Barkis corners Victor and is just about to jam his sword into Victor's stomach, when Emily rushes between them and blocks the blow with her chest, saving Victor's life while leaving herself completely unscathed.

A seething Emily orders Barkis to leave, which he smugly does. The rest of the dead, outraged at what he did to Emily, try to stop him, but they are unable to interfere since he is of the living and therefore not under their power. But before leaving, he proposes a mock-toast to Emily, "always the bridesmaid, never the bride", and drinks the wine intended for Victor. Of course, as he turns to leave, he realizes too late that the wine is poisoned and dies within seconds. Now that he is one of them, the other dead are able to avenge Emily by dragging him through a side-door to make his afterlife a "living" hell.

Emily explains to Victor and Victoria that they belong together. When Victor protests, saying that he had made a promise, she explains that he had already kept it by setting her free, and that now she shall do the same for him. She pauses as she leaves the church to toss her bouquet to Victoria, and continues outside. As she reaches the threshold of the church, Emily finds peace herself and her body transforms into hundreds of butterflies, which soar towards the moon. Victor and Victoria look on together at the sight, free to be married and live happily ever after together.

Corpse Bride is the first movie to be shot with still cameras. Previous stop-motion movies (such as Aardman Animations' Chicken Run) were shot on modified Mitchell film cameras, the same old cameras used to shoot King Kong. As confirmed by American Cinematographer (October 2005), the camera chosen for the production of Corpse Bride was Canon EOS-1D Mark II, a digital single-lens reflex camera, which also makes it the first stop-motion feature to be shot in digital. Additional work was required to develop systems to permit precise camera positioning, the mounting of Canon optical lenses, and previewing a scene in camera.

Corpse Bride was the first stop-motion animated film to use Apple's Final Cut Pro as well. To give the film the traditional look of movie film stock, each image was processed with a color profile based on a type of film used in feature length movies.

The film was the first stop-motion animated movie to use the new "gear and paddle" technique for the maquette's heads. This new system involved the maquettes being built with a complex gear system inside of the main character's heads. The various gears were attached to external paddles. A soft skin-like material, mainly made of silicone and foam, was placed over these paddles to create the head and then painted. By adjusting the gears, done by inserting an allen wrench into small holes located on the maquette's head and in the ears, the paddles would move, therefore adjusting the facial expression of the character. This allowed for a much more smooth system of emotion change and lip-sync than the old style of replacing heads. The soft "skin" also gave the characters a much more natural look.

The puppets were made in Altrincham, near Manchester, England, by the leading puppet manufacturers Mackinnon and Saunders. They were also responsible for a major contribution to another Tim Burton film (Mars Attacks!), as well as numerous British animated series like Bob the Builder (Hit Entertainment), Andy Pandy (Cosgrove Hall) and Pingu (Hit Entertainment).

A similar motif has also been used by Prosper Mérimée in his story La Vénus d'Ille. Instead of the corpse bride, the ancient statue of Venus figures in the story.

A similar narrative also occurs in early Islamic literature. The 10th century Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity contains an Arabic anecdote of a "prince who strays from his palace during his wedding feast and, drunk, spends the night in a cemetery, confusing a corpse with his bride. The story is used as a gnostic parable of the soul's pre-existence and return from its terrestrial sojourn".

The allegorical theme of the two brides, one living and one dead, occurs from ancient times in Christian (especially monastic) spirituality. The first evidence comes from the fourth century. It focuses on the differing meanings of the English word "love", which come out better in Latin. Christian love, or "caritas" (hence the English "charity"), is the willful seeking for the good of the other person in all ways. "Amor", which is the main meaning of the word in modern English, concerns the emotional and passionate attraction to the other person. In the allegory, "caritas" is the living, shy, quiet bride (i.e. "Victoria"), whereas "amor" is the dead, extrovert, flagrant bride (i.e. "Emily"). The lesson is that "amor" by itself is selfish and essentially dead, and can only be redeemed by making way for (and being incorporated into) "caritas", which is the true love for the other.

A recurring image through the movie is that of a blue butterfly, ranging from a drawing Victor makes at the beginning, using a live model, to the Corpse Bride herself dissolving into mass of butterflies. This resonates with a European folktale in which a brutally murdered woman would be reborn as a butterfly.

The film debuted at number 2 with $19.1 million, behind Flightplan. The film closed with a total of $53,400,000 domestically and an estimated $117,195,061 worldwide.

The soundtrack was written by Danny Elfman with the help of John Logan and released on September 20, 2005. It contains all of the music from the film including score music and four songs with lyrics sung by voice actors.

The DVD was released in the US on January 31, 2006. The film has also been released in the Blu-Ray and HD DVD formats. These releases include featurettes on the shooting and production of the film, as well as an isolated score. The image of Emily on the DVD cover and a poster with the same image is mirrored. Her skeletal features in the film (her left arm, right leg, exposed ribs, etc.) are opposite to those in the image.

The studio intentionally emphasized the links, as some commercials for Corpse Bride were accompanied by songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas (specifically, "What's This"); also, in an issue of Disney Adventures, Emily (the title character) was compared to The Nightmare Before Christmas's Sally, despite the stark contrasts in personality between the outspoken, free-spirited Emily and the quiet, timid Sally. Corpse Bride is also considered to be the spiritual successor of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Most of the characters in the film bear a strong resemblance to the original cast of the British period drama Upstairs, Downstairs. In the "Special Features" section of the DVD, Tim Burton states that the films' setting pays tribute to the series, with the Land of the Living being the "upstairs", and the Land of the Dead being the "downstairs".

The film is dedicated to the memory of Joe Ranft.

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Tim Burton

Tim burton.jpg

Timothy William "Tim" Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an American film director, screenwriter and film producer, notable for the quirky and often dark, gothic atmosphere pervading his high-profile films. The protagonists are usually misfits or outsiders, physically or emotionally different or scarred.

The director of two Batman films, Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), he has collaborated with actors Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in films such as Edward Scissorhands (1990), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Corpse Bride in 2005. His 2007 film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, also starring Depp and Bonham Carter in the leading roles, won the award for Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) and Best Actor (Comedy or Musical) at the 65th Golden Globe Awards. It was also nominated for Best Actor, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design at the 80th Academy Awards. He has also collaborated extensively with composer Danny Elfman, in all but two of his films.

Burton was born in Burbank, California, the first of two sons to Bill Burton and Jean Erickson. His year of birth is sometimes mistakenly given as 1960, most notably in his own books, and the picture book of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Burton described his childhood self as quirky, self-absorbed and highly imaginative. As a teen growing up in Burbank, he staged an axe murder with his brother to scare the neighbors, prompting one to call the police, and this is how he got a nickname, Axe Wound. As he grew older, he found home life and school somewhat difficult, often escaping the reality by watching horror and low budget films, to which he would later pay tribute in his biography of Ed Wood. Tim grew up on Evergreen Street, very near the Valhalla Cemetery in Burbank. Tim has spoken in interviews about the "weirdness" of growing up near a cemetery. He attended Providencia Elementary School in Burbank, Luther Burbank Jr. High, and later Burbank High School, which his father Bill had also attended. His father Bill worked for many years in the Recreation Department for the City of Burbank. Another film figure of importance in Burton's childhood is Vincent Price, whose films would deeply influence the upcoming director's career. He was inspired early on by Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion films. After high school, he won a Disney scholarship to attend the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. He studied at the Character Animation program for three years. Burton's first job in animation was working as a cell painter on Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings. Burton was then hired by the Walt Disney Studios as an animator apprentice. Burton's job was to draw for The Fox and the Hound but he was dissatisfied with the artistic direction of the movie. He later commented on the refusal of Disney to use his design for The Fox and the Hound because his designs made the characters, in opposition to Disney's desires, "look like roadkill." Burton was not happy during his Disney period, but it was then that he wrote and drew the poem and illustrations that would be the basis for his celebrated The Nightmare Before Christmas.

In 1982, Burton made his first short, Vincent, a 5:52 min. black and white stop-motion film based around a poem written by Burton, and depicting a young boy who fantasizes that he is his (and Burton's) screen idol Vincent Price, with Price himself providing narration. The film was produced by Burton's girlfriend at the time, who was an executive at Disney. During production, Burton maintained an office at The Disney Studios. The two also co-authored a screenplay titled "True Love." Once the film was shown at the Chicago Film Festival and released, alongside the teen drama Tex, for two weeks in one Los Angeles cinema, Burton abruptly ended his relationship with his producer-partner-girlfriend. This was followed by Burton's first live-action production Hansel and Gretel, a Japanese themed adaptation of Grimm's tale for The Disney Channel, which climaxes in a kung-fu fight between Hansel and Gretel and the witch. Having aired once at 10:30pm on Halloween 1983 and promptly shelved, it is next to impossible to locate, which contributes to the false rumor that this project does not exist. Next was the live-action short Frankenweenie, starring Barret Oliver, Daniel Stern and Shelley Duvall (an early supporter of Burton's work).

Although Burton's work had yet to see wide release, he began to attract the attention of the film industry. Actor/producer Griffin Dunne approached Burton to direct After Hours (1985), a comedy about a bored word processor who survives a crazy night in SoHo that had already been passed over by Martin Scorsese. However, when financing for The Last Temptation of Christ fell through, Burton bowed out of the project out of respect for Scorsese.

Not long after, actor Paul Reubens saw Frankenweenie and chose Burton to direct the cinematic spinoff of his popular character Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee Herman gained mainstream popularity with a successful stage show at the Roxy which was later turned into an HBO special. The film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), was made on a budget of $7 million and grossed more than $40 million at the box office. Burton, a fan of the eccentric musical group Oingo Boingo, asked vocalist/songwriter Danny Elfman to provide the music for the film. Since then, Elfman has provided the score for all but two Burton films (Ed Wood and Sweeney Todd).

After directing episodes for the revitalized TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre, Burton received his next big project: Beetle Juice (1988), a supernatural comedy horror about a young couple forced to cope with life after death, as well as a family of pretentious yuppies invading their treasured New England home including their teenage daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) whose obsession with death allows her to see them. Starring Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, and featuring Michael Keaton as the famously obnoxious bio-exorcist 'Beetlegeuse', the film grossed about $80 million on a relatively low budget and won a Best Makeup Design Oscar. It would later be converted into a cartoon of the same name, with Burton playing a role as executive producer, that would run for four seasons on ABC and later Fox.

Burton's ability to produce hits with low budgets impressed studio executives and he received his first big budget film Batman (1989). The mega-budget production, based in London, was plagued with problems. Burton repeatedly clashed with the film's producers, Jon Peters and Peter Guber, but the most notable debacle involved casting. Burton wanted to cast Michael Keaton from his previous role as Beetle Juice, despite Keaton's average physique, inexperience with action films, and reputation as a comic actor. Although Burton won out in the end, the furor over the casting provoked enormous fan animosity, to the extent that Warner Brothers' share price slumped. Burton had considered it ridiculous to cast a bulked-up he-man as Batman, insisting that the Caped Crusader should be an ordinary (albeit fabulously wealthy) man who dressed up in an elaborate bat costume to frighten criminals. Burton cast Jack Nicholson as the Joker (Tim Curry being his second choice) in a move that helped assuage fans' fears, as well as attracting older audiences not as interested in a superhero film.

When the film opened in June 1989, it was backed by the biggest marketing and merchandising campaign in film history at the time, and became one of the biggest box office hits of all time, grossing well over $400 million worldwide and $250 million in the U.S. alone (numbers not adjusted for inflation) and winning critical acclaim for both Keaton and Nicholson as well as the film's technical aspects. The film proved to be a huge influence on future superhero films, which eschewed the bright, all-American heroism of Superman for a grimmer, more realistic look and characters with more psychological depth. . The 1989 film Batman gave Burton critical acclaim, and allowed him to create his risky Nightmare before Christmas, a slightly less acclaimed movie than his 1989 blockbuster.

In 1990, Burton co-wrote (with Caroline Thompson) and directed Edward Scissorhands, re-uniting with Winona Ryder from Beetle Juice. Her friend, Johnny Depp, a teen idol at the end of the 1980s due primarily to his work on the hit TV series 21 Jump Street, was cast in the title role of Edward, who was the creation of an eccentric and old-fashioned inventor (played by Vincent Price, in one of his his last appearances on screen before his death). Edward looked human, but was left with scissors in the place of hands due to the untimely death of his creator. Set in suburbia (the film was shot in Lutz, Florida), the film is largely seen as Burton's autobiography of his own childhood in the suburb of Burbank. Price at one point is said to have remarked, "Tim is Edward." Johnny Depp wrote a similar comment in the foreword to Mark Salisbury's book, Burton on Burton, regarding his first meeting with Burton over the casting of the film. Edward is considered Burton's best movie by many fans and critics. Following this collaboration with Burton, Depp went on to star in Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. In 2004 Matthew Bourne came to Burton with the idea to turn the story of Edward into a ballet. In 2005, the ballet first aired. It has now toured the UK, the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe.

The day Warner Brothers had declined to make the more personal Scissorhands even after the success of Batman, Burton finally agreed to direct the sequel for Warner Brothers on the condition that he would be granted total control. The result was Batman Returns which featured Michael Keaton returning as the Dark Knight, and a new triad of villains: Danny DeVito (as the Penguin), Michelle Pfeiffer (as Catwoman) and Christopher Walken as Max Shreck, an evil corporate tycoon. Darker and considerably more personal than its predecessor, concerns were raised that the film was too scary for children. Audiences were even more uncomfortable at the film's overt sexuality, personified by the sleek, fetish-inspired styling of Catwoman's costume. One critic remarked, "too many villains spoiled the Batman", highlighting Burton's decision to focus the storyline more on the villains instead of Batman. The film also polarized the fanbase, with some loving the darkness and quirkiness, while others felt it was not true to the core aspects of the source material. Tim Burton made many changes to the Penguin which would be applied to the Penguin in both comics and television. While in the comics, he was an ordinary man, Burton created a freak of nature resembling a penguin with webbed, flipper-like fingers, a hooked, beak-like nose, and a penguin-like body. Batman Returns was made for $80 million, equivalent to over $119.8 million in 2007, and grossed $282.8 million world-wide, equivalent to over $423.6 million in 2007.

Burton then went on to do preliminary work on the third installment in the franchise, Batman Forever. Val Kilmer was cast as the title character (after Michael Keaton turned down the offer to reprise his previous role after Burton's departure from the project. Keaton reportedly turned down 35 million dollars to stay on board once Joel Schumacher was hired, which would have made him one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood), Chris O'Donnell was cast as Robin, Jim Carrey was cast as the Riddler (after Robin Williams turned down the part), Tommy Lee Jones was cast as Two-Face, and Nicole Kidman was hired to replace Renee Russo, who was cast when Burton and Keaton were still involved, as love interest Dr. Chase Meridian. Warner Brothers ultimately threw out Burton after they realized the tone of the film was to be similar to Batman Returns. Burton left the Batman franchise (he was credited as a producer in name only for the Joel Schumacher–directed Batman Forever (1995), a movie which he said had a title "like a tattoo you get when you're on drugs").

Next, Burton wrote and produced (but did not direct, due to schedule constraints on Batman Returns) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), originally meant to be a children's book in rhyme. The film was directed by Henry Selick and written by Michael McDowell and Caroline Thompson, based on Burton's original story, world and characters. The film received positive reviews for the film's stop motion animation, musical score and original storyline and was a box office success grossing $50 million. Burton collaborated with Selick again for James and the Giant Peach (1996), which Burton co-produced. The movie helped to generate a renewed interest in stop-motion animation. Today it is considered something of a cult classic.

A deleted scene from The Nightmare Before Christmas features a group of vampires playing hockey on the frozen pond with the decapitated head of producer Tim Burton. The head was later replaced with a Jack-o'-lantern.

His next film, Ed Wood (1994), was of a much smaller scale, depicting the life of Ed Wood Jr, a filmmaker sometimes called "the worst director of all time." Starring Johnny Depp in the title role, the film is a homage to the low-budget sci-fi and horror films of Burton's childhood, and handles its comical protagonist and his motley band of collaborators with surprising fondness and sensitivity. Due to creative squabbles during the making of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Danny Elfman declined to score Ed Wood, and the assignment went to Howard Shore. While a commercial failure at the time of its release, Ed Wood was well received by critics and has since gathered a considerable fanbase, as well as helped revive the public interest for the films of Ed Wood Jr. Martin Landau also received an Academy Award, in the Best Supporting Actor category, for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi.

Elfman and Burton reunited for Mars Attacks! (1996). Based on a popular science fiction trading card series, the film was a hybrid of 1950s sci-fi flicks and 1970s all-star disaster flicks—an anarchic cacophony of clever satire and goofy mayhem. Coincidence made it an inadvertent spoof of the blockbuster, Independence Day, made around the same time and released five months earlier. Although the film boasted an all-star cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Lukas Haas, Glenn Close, and Rod Steiger among others, the film received mixed reviews by American critics and was mostly ignored by American audiences. It was however more successful abroad, and later managed to gather an American fan base from its television airings and DVD release.

Sleepy Hollow, released in the autumn of 1999, was a return to vintage Burton, with a supernatural setting, unique sets and another offbeat performance by Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, now a detective with an interest in forensic science rather than the schoolteacher of Washington Irving's original tale. With Hollow, Burton paid homage to the old horror movies from English company Hammer Film Productions. Hammer veteran Christopher Lee is given a cameo role. A host of Burton regulars appeared in supporting roles (Michael Gough, Jeffrey Jones, and Christopher Walken, among others) and Christina Ricci was cast as Katrina van Tassel. Mostly well-received by critics, and with a special mention to Elfman's Gothic score, the film won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, as well as two BAFTAs for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. A box office success, Sleepy Hollow was also a turning point for Burton. Along with change in his personal life (separation from Lisa Marie), Burton changed radically in style for his next project, leaving the haunted forests and colorful outcasts behind to go on to directing Planet of the Apes which, as Burton had repeatedly noted, was "not a remake" of the earlier film.

Conceived as an original television series based on the immortal works of L. Frank Baum, "Tim Burton's Lost In Oz" was never aired. Though a pilot script was written by Trey Callaway with direct input from Burton as an executive producer and a number of key scenes were filmed by veteran television producer/director Michael Katleman, budgetary constraints ultimately prevented the project from being fully realized.

His book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories was published in 1996. The collection of verse is about misfit children such as Oyster Boy, Match Girl, Stainboy (which later became short animations), the Girl Who Turned into a Bed, and other such outcasts. The book was published by the publishing company Faber and Faber, which also published the original artwork of Sleepy Hollow in 1999.

Planet of the Apes was a commercial success, grossing $68 million in its opening weekend. It was however panned by critics and widely considered inferior to the first adaptation of the book. The main criticism was that the movie went for a more watered down "popcorn" feel than the dark, cerebral and nihilistic tone of the 1968 film. The film was a significant departure from Burton's usual style, and there was much subsequent debate about whether the film was really Burton's, or if he was just a "hired gun" who did what he was asked. Burton reportedly clashed with the studio during the whole making of the film, once going as far as abruptly leaving the set for the day. There were also many reports about last minute changes in the movie. Despite the commercial success of the movie and an ending that clearly suggested the possibility of a sequel, apparently there are no intentions from the studio or Burton to make another Apes movie. During the making of the film, Burton met actress Helena Bonham Carter, who would later become his partner.

In 2003, Burton went on to direct Big Fish, based loosely on the novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace. The film is about a father telling the story of his life to his son using exaggeration and color. Starring Ewan McGregor as young Edward Bloom and Albert Finney as an older Edward Bloom. The film also stars Jessica Lange, Danny Devito, and Alison Lohman. Big Fish received four Golden Globe nominations as well as an Academy Award nomination for the musical score by Danny Elfman. Big Fish was also the second collaboration with Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, who played Jenny and the Witch with the magic eye that shows Edward Bloom his death. Although it was not a box office success, the film was critically acclaimed and widely considered to be a return to form for Burton.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) is an adaptation of the book by Roald Dahl. Starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket, the film generally took a more faithful approach to the source material than the 1971 adaptation, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, although some liberties were taken, such as adding Wonka's issue with his father. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was later nominated for the Academy Award for Costume Design. Charlie was a huge box office success that made over $207 million domestically. It became one of Burton's most critically-praised movies in years.

Corpse Bride (2005) was Burton's second stop-motion film, featuring the voices of Johnny Depp as Victor and Helena Bonham Carter (for whom the project was specifically created) as Emily in the lead roles. In this movie, Burton was able to again use his familiar styles and trademarks, such as the complex interaction between light and darkness, and of being caught between two irreconcilable worlds. The film is often compared to Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Bride is often considered the spiritual successor of Nightmare. Bride received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. Along with Charlie, Bride was one of Burton's most critically-praised movies in years.

The Dreamworks/Warner Bros. production was released on December 21, 2007. Burton's work on Sweeney Todd won the National Board of Review Award for best director and received a Golden Globe nomination for best director and won an Oscar for best achievement in art direction. Helena Bonham Carter won an Evening Standard British Film Award for best actress for her portrayal of Mrs. Lovett, as well as a Golden Globe nomination. Actor Johnny Depp was also nominated for the best actor Oscar, for the role of Sweeney Todd. Depp also won the award for Best villain as Todd in the 2008 MTV awards.

Produced by Tim Burton and set to be released on September 9, 2009 (9/9/09), the story follows 9, a sapient rag doll, who joins and helps lead a group of his own kind to protect fallen humanity's legacy on Earth, from machines that roam the planet. The film is a feature length adaptation of a short film of the same name. The questing party includes One (Christopher Plummer), a war veteran; Two (Martin Landau), an inventor; Five (John C. Reilly), a mechanic; Six (Crispin Glover), an artist; and Seven (Jennifer Connelly), a warrior.

An Australian actress named Mia Wasikowska has been cast as Alice. The 18 year old has been featured in shows such as In Treatment and Defiance. The original start date was May 2008. Torpoint and Plymouth will be used for filming from September 1—October 14. These will be scenes set in the Victorian era. During this time, filming will take place in Antony House in Torpoint. 250 local extras were chosen in early-August. Other production work will reside in London. The film was originally to be released in 2009, but was pushed to March 5, 2010.

Also, Johnny Depp will be playing the Mad Hatter, Matt Lucas, leading star of Little Britain, has recently been cast as both Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Helena Bonham Carter will be playing the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway has been cast as The White Queen, Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar, and Crispin Glover as the Knave of Hearts.

Afterwards, he will remake Frankenweenie as a stop-motion film. Burton is also set to direct a film adaptation based on the television series Dark Shadows. Johnny Depp will portray Barnabas Collins with John August currently writing the script. However, Dark Shadows will be pushed back due to Depp and Burton's commitments to other projects.

Burton was married to a German-born artist for four years, whom he left for Lisa Marie, a model with whom he lived and was "engaged" to 1992 through 2001. Lisa Marie had parts in all of his films while they were a couple, most notably Ed Wood and Mars Attacks! Burton currently lives with Helena Bonham Carter, whom he met while filming Planet of the Apes - in which Lisa Marie had a small part, whereas Bonham Carter had a starring role. Burton abruptly left Lisa Marie for Bonham Carter and they now have a son, Billy Ray Burton, born October 4, 2003, and a daughter, Nell Burton, born December 15, 2007. Burton and Bonham Carter live in London.

In 2007 Time Magazine said that Tim Burton had attempted suicide, however his agent denies this.

Burton often casts certain actors more than once in his films. Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Jeffrey Jones and Michael Keaton are amongst his most frequent of collaborators.

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Tim Burton's Lost In Oz

Tim Burton's Lost In Oz was conceived as an original television series based on the immortal works of L. Frank Baum but never aired. Though a pilot script was written by Trey Callaway with direct input from Burton as an executive producer and a number of key scenes were filmed by veteran television producer/director Michael Katleman, budgetary constraints ultimately prevented the project from being fully realized.

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Batman

Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Cover art by Bob Kane.

Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy industrialist, playboy, and philanthropist. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child, Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and dons a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional American Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his sidekick Robin and his butler Alfred Pennyworth, and fights an assortment of villains influenced by the characters' roots in film and pulp magazines. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.

Batman became a popular character soon after his introduction, and gained his own comic book title, Batman, in 1940. As the decades wore on, differing takes on the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series utilized a camp aesthetic associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in the 1986 miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by writer-artist Frank Miller. The successes of director Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman and Christopher Nolan's 2005 reboot Batman Begins also helped to reignite popular interest in the character. A cultural icon, Batman has been licensed and adapted into a variety of media, from radio to television and film, and appears on a variety of merchandise sold all over the world.

Finger offered such suggestions as giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, and gloves, and removing the red sections from the original costume. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character's secret identity: "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock ... then I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne".

Various aspects of Batman's personality, character history, visual design and equipment were inspired by contemporary popular culture of the 1930s, including movies, pulp magazines, comic strips, newspaper headlines, and even aspects of Kane himself. Kane noted especially the influence of the films The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Bat Whispers (1930) in the creation of the iconography associated with the character, while Finger drew inspiration from literary characters Doc Savage, The Shadow, and Sherlock Holmes in his depiction of Batman as a master sleuth and scientist.

Kane signed away ownership in the character in exchange for, among other compensation, a mandatory byline on all Batman comics. This byline did not, originally, say "Batman created by Bob Kane"; his name was simply written on the title page of each story. The name disappeared from the comic book in the mid-1960s, replaced by credits for each story's actual writer and artists. In the late 1970s, when Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster began receiving a "created by" credit on the Superman titles, along with William Moulton Marston being given the byline for creating Wonder Woman, Batman stories began saying "Created by Bob Kane" in addition to the other credits.

Finger did not receive the same recognition. While he had received credit for other DC work since the 1940s, he began, in the 1960s, to receive limited acknowledgment for his Batman writing; in the letters page of Batman #169 (Feb. 1965) for example, editor Julius Schwartz names him as the creator of the Riddler, one of Batman's recurring villains. However, Finger's contract left him only with his writing page rate and no byline. Kane wrote, "Bill was disheartened by the lack of major accomplishments in his career. He felt that he had not used his creative potential to its fullest and that success had passed him by". At the time of Finger's death in 1974, DC had not officially credited Finger as Batman co-creator.

Although Kane initially rebutted Finger's claims at having created the character, writing in a 1965 open letter to fans that "it seemed to me that Bill Finger has given out the impression that he and not myself created the ''Batman, t' as well as Robin and all the other leading villains and characters. This statement is fraudulent and entirely untrue." Kane himself also commented on Finger's lack of credit. "The trouble with being a 'ghost' writer or artist is that you must remain rather anonymously without 'credit'. However, if one wants the 'credit', then one has to cease being a 'ghost' or follower and become a leader or innovator".

The first Batman story, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate," was published in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Finger said, "Batman was originally written in the style of the pulps", and this influence was evident with Batman showing little remorse over killing or maiming criminals and was not above using firearms. Batman proved a hit character, and he received his own solo title in 1940, while continuing to star in Detective Comics. By that time, National was the top-selling and most influential publisher in the industry; Batman and the company's other major hero, Superman, were the cornerstones of the company's success. The two characters were featured side-by-side as the stars of World's Finest Comics, which was originally titled World's Best Comics when it debuted in fall 1940. Creators including Jerry Robinson and Dick Sprang also worked on the strips during this period.

Over the course of the first few Batman strips elements were added to the character and the artistic depiction of Batman evolved. Kane noted that within six issues he drew the character's jawline more pronounced, and lengthened the ears on the costume. "About a year later he was almost the full figure, my mature Batman," Kane said. Batman's characteristic utility belt was introduced in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), followed by the boomerang-like batarang and the first bat-themed vehicle in #31 (Sept. 1939). The character's origin was revealed in #33 (Nov. 1939), unfolding in a two-page story that establishes the brooding persona of Batman, a character driven by the loss of his parents. Written by Finger, it depicts a young Bruce Wayne witnessing the death of his parents as part of a street robbery. Days later, at their grave, the child vows that "by the spirits of my parents avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals".

The early, pulp-inflected portrayal of Batman started to soften in Detective Comics #38 (April 1940) with the introduction of Robin, Batman's kid sidekick. Robin was introduced, based on Finger's suggestion Batman needed a "Watson" with whom Batman could talk. Sales nearly doubled, despite Kane's preference for a solo Batman, and it sparked a proliferation of "kid sidekicks". The first issue of the solo spin-off series Batman was notable not only for introducing two of his most persistent antagonists, the Joker and Catwoman, but for a story in which Batman shoots some monstrous giants to death. That story prompted editor Whitney Ellsworth to decree that the character could no longer kill or use a gun.

By 1942, the writers and artists behind the Batman comics had established most of the basic elements of the Batman mythos. In the years following World War II, DC Comics "adopted a postwar editorial direction that increasingly de-emphasized social commentary in favor of lighthearted juvenile fantasy." The impact of this editorial approach was evident in Batman comics of the postwar period; removed from the "bleak and menacing world" of the strips of the early 1940s, Batman was instead portrayed as a respectable citizen and paternal figure that inhabited a "bright and colorful" environment.

Batman was one of the few superhero characters to be continuously published as interest in the genre waned during the 1950s. In the story "The Mightiest Team in the World" in Superman #76 (June 1952), Batman teams up with Superman for the first time and the pair discovers each other's secret identity. Following the success of this story, World's Finest Comics was revamped so it featured stories starring both heroes together, instead of the separate Batman and Superman features that had been running before. The team-up of the characters was "a financial success in an era when those were few and far between;" this series of stories ran until the book's cancellation in 1986.

Batman comics were among those criticized when the comic book industry came under scrutiny with the publication of psychologist Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent in 1954. Wertham's thesis was that children imitated crimes committed in comic books, and that these works corrupt the morals of the youth. Wertham criticized Batman comics for their supposed homosexual overtones and argued that Batman and Robin were portrayed as lovers. Wertham's criticisms raised a public outcry during the 1950s, eventually leading to the establishment of the Comics Code Authority. The tendency towards a "sunnier Batman" in the postwar years intensified after the introduction of the Comics Code. It has also been suggested by scholars that the characters of Batwoman (in 1956) and Bat-Girl (in 1961) were introduced in part to refute the allegation that Batman and Robin were gay, and the stories took on a campier, lighter feel.

In the late 1950s Batman stories gradually become more science fiction-oriented, an attempt at mimicking the success of other DC characters that had dabbled in the genre. New characters such as Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite were introduced. Batman's adventures often involved odd transformations or bizarre space aliens. In 1960, Batman debuted as a member of the Justice League of America in The Brave and the Bold #28 (February 1960), and went on to appear in several Justice League comic series starting later that same year.

By 1964, sales on Batman titles had fallen drastically. Bob Kane noted that, as a result, DC was "planning to kill Batman off altogether." In response to this, editor Julius Schwartz was assigned to the Batman titles. He presided over drastic changes, beginning with 1964's Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), which was cover-billed as the "New Look". Schwartz introduced changes designed to make Batman more contemporary, and to return him to more detective-oriented stories. He brought in artist Carmine Infantino to help overhaul the character. The Batmobile was redesigned, and Batman's costume was modified to incorporate a yellow ellipse behind the bat-insignia. The space aliens and characters of the 1950s such as Batwoman, Ace, and Bat-Mite were retired. Batman's butler Alfred was killed off, and replaced with Aunt Harriet, who came to live with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.

Starting in 1969, writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams made a deliberate effort to distance Batman from the campy portrayal of the 1960s TV series and to return the character to his roots as a "grim avenger of the night". O'Neil said his idea was "simply to take it back to where it started. I went to the DC library and read some of the early stories. I tried to get a sense of what Kane and Finger were after".

O'Neil and Adams first collaborated on the story "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" (Detective Comics #395, Jan. 1970). Few stories were true collaborations between O'Neil, Adams, Schwartz, and inker Dick Giordano, and in actuality these men were mixed and matched with various other creators during the 1970s; nevertheless the influence of their work was "tremendous". Giordano said: "We went back to a grimmer, darker Batman, and I think that's why these stories did so well . . . Even today we're still using Neal's Batman with the long flowing cape and the pointy ears." While the work of O'Neil and Adams was popular with fans, the acclaim did little to help declining sales; the same held true with a similarly acclaimed run by writer Steve Englehart and penciler Marshall Rogers in Detective Comics #471-476 (Aug. 1977 - April 1978), which went on to influence the 1989 movie Batman and be adapted for Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted in 1992. Regardless, circulation continued to drop through the 1970s and 1980s, hitting an all-time low in 1985.

Frank Miller's 1986 limited series Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which tells the story of a 50 year old Batman coming out of retirement in a possible future, reinvigorated the character. The Dark Knight Returns was a financial success and has since become one of the medium's most noted touchstones. The series also sparked a major resurgence in the character's popularity.

That year Dennis O'Neil took over as editor of the Batman titles and set the template for the portrayal of Batman following DC's status quo-altering miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. O'Neil operated under the assumption that he was hired to revamp the character and as a result tried to instill a different tone in the books than had gone before. One outcome of this new approach was the "Year One" storyline in Batman #404-407 (Feb.-May 1987), in which Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli redefined the character's origins. Writer Alan Moore and artist Brian Bolland continued this dark trend with 1988's 48-page one-shot Batman: The Killing Joke, in which the Joker, attempting to drive Commissioner Gordon insane, cripples Gordon's daughter Barbara, and then kidnaps and tortures the commissioner, physically and psychologically.

The Batman comics garnered major attention in 1988 when DC Comics created a 900 number for readers to call to vote on whether Jason Todd, the second Robin, lived or died. Voters decided in favor of Jason's death by a narrow margin of 28 votes (see Batman: A Death in the Family). The following year saw the release of Tim Burton's Batman feature film, which firmly brought the character back to the public's attention, grossing millions of dollars at the box office, and millions more in merchandising. In the same year, the first issue of Legends of the Dark Knight, the first new solo Batman title in nearly fifty years, sold close to a million copies.

The 1993 "Knightfall" story arc introduced a new villain, Bane, who critically injures Bruce Wayne. Jean-Paul Valley, known as Azrael, is called upon to wear the Batsuit during Wayne's convalescence. Writers Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, and Alan Grant worked on the Batman titles during "Knightfall", and would also contribute to other Batman crossovers throughout the 1990s. 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline served as the precursor to 1999's "No Man's Land", a year-long storyline that ran through all the Batman-related titles dealing with the effects of an earthquake-ravaged Gotham City. At the conclusion of "No Man's Land", O'Neil stepped down as editor and was replaced by Bob Schreck.

In 2003, writer Jeph Loeb and artist Jim Lee began a "Batman: Hush", a 12-issue run on Batman that introduced a new villain, Hush, guest-starred every major supporting character and Batman villain, and laid the groundwork for the return of Jason Todd. Lee's first regular comic book work in nearly a decade, the series became #1 on the Diamond Comic Distributors sales chart for the first time since Batman #500 (Oct. 1993). Lee then teamed with Frank Miller on All-Star Batman and Robin, which debuted with the best-selling issue in 2005, as well as the highest sales in the industry since 2003. Starting in 2006, the regular writers on Batman and Detective Comics were Grant Morrison and Paul Dini, respectively.

The central fixed event in the Batman stories is the character's origin story. As a little boy, Bruce Wayne is horrified and traumatized to see his parents, the physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, being murdered by a mugger in front of his very eyes. This drives him to fight crime in Gotham City as Batman. Pearson and Uricchio also noted beyond the origin story and such events as the introduction of Robin, "Until recently, the fixed and accruing and hence, canonized, events have been few in number," a situation altered by an increased effort by later Batman editors such as Dennis O'Neil to ensure consistency and continuity between stories.

In Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27, he is already operating as a crime fighter. Batman's origin is first presented in Detective Comics #33 in November 1939, and is later fleshed out in Batman #47. As these comics state, Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, two very wealthy and charitable Gotham City socialites. Bruce is brought up in Wayne Manor, with its wealthy splendor, and leads a happy and privileged existence until the age of eight, when his parents are killed by a small-time criminal named Joe Chill while on their way home from a movie theater. Bruce Wayne swears an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training; however, he realizes that these skills alone would not be enough. "Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot", Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman.

In early strips, Batman's career as a vigilante earns him the ire of the police. During this period Wayne has a fiancée named Julie Madison. Wayne takes in an orphaned circus acrobat, Dick Grayson, who becomes his sidekick, Robin. Batman also becomes a founding member of the Justice Society of America, although he, like Superman, is an honorary member, and thus only participates occasionally. Batman's relationship with the law thaws quickly, and he is made an honorary member of Gotham City's police department. During this time, butler Alfred Pennyworth arrives at Wayne Manor, and after deducing the Dynamic Duo's secret identities joins their service.

The Silver Age of comic books in DC Comics is sometimes held to have begun in 1956 when the publisher introduced Barry Allen as a new, updated version of The Flash. Batman is not significantly changed by the late 1950s for the continuity which would be later referred to as Earth-One. The lighter tone Batman had taken in the period between the Golden and Silver Ages led to the stories of the late 1950s and early 1960s that often feature a large number of science-fiction elements, and Batman is not significantly updated in the manner of other characters until Detective Comics #327 (May 1964), in which Batman reverts to his detective roots, with most science-fiction elements jettisoned from the series.

After the introduction of DC Comics' multiverse in the 1960s, DC established that stories from the Golden Age star the Earth-Two Batman, a character from a parallel world. This version of Batman partners with and marries the reformed Earth-Two Catwoman, Selina Kyle (as shown in Superman Family #211) and fathers Helena Wayne, who, as the Huntress, becomes (along with the Earth-Two Robin) Gotham's protector once Wayne retires from the position to become police commissioner, a position he occupies until he is killed during one final adventure as Batman. Batman titles however often ignored that a distinction had been made between the pre-revamp and post-revamp Batmen (since unlike The Flash or Green Lantern, Batman comics had been published without interruption through the 1950s) and would on occasion make reference to stories from the Golden Age. Nevertheless, details of Batman's history were altered or expanded upon through the decades. Additions include meetings with a future Superman during his youth, his upbringing by his uncle Philip Wayne (introduced in Batman #208, Jan./Feb. 1969) after his parents' death, and appearances of his father and himself as prototypical versions of Batman and Robin, respectively. In 1980 then-editor Paul Levitz commissioned the Untold Legend of the Batman limited series to thoroughly chronicle Batman's origin and history.

Batman meets and regularly works with other heroes during the Silver Age, most notably Superman, whom he began regularly working alongside in a series of team-ups in World's Finest Comics, starting in 1954 and continuing through the series' cancellation in 1986. Batman and Superman are usually depicted as close friends. Batman becomes a founding member of the Justice League of America, appearing in its first story in 1960s Brave and the Bold #28. In the 1970s and 1980s, Brave and the Bold became a Batman title, in which Batman teams up with a different DC Universe superhero each month.

In 1969, Dick Grayson attends college as part of DC Comics' effort to revise the Batman comics. Additionally, Batman also moves from Wayne Manor into a penthouse apartment atop the Wayne Foundation building in downtown Gotham City, in order to be closer to Gotham City's crime. Batman spends the 1970s and early 1980s mainly working solo, with occasional team-ups with Robin and/or Batgirl. Batman's adventures also become somewhat darker and more grim during this period, depicting increasingly violent crimes, including the first appearance (since the early Golden Age) of the Joker as a homicidal psychopath, and the arrival of Ra's al Ghul, a centuries-old terrorist who knows Batman's secret identity. In the 1980s, Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing.

In the final issue of Brave and the Bold in 1983, Batman quits the Justice League and forms a new group called the Outsiders. He serves as the team's leader until Batman and the Outsiders #32 (1986) and the comic subsequently changed its title.

After the 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics rebooted the histories of some major characters in an attempt at updating them for contemporary audiences. Frank Miller retold Batman's origin in the storyline Year One from Batman #404-407, which emphasizes a grittier tone in the character. Though the Earth-Two Batman is erased from history, many stories of Batman's Silver Age/Earth-One career (along with an amount of Golden Age ones) remain canonical in the post-Crisis universe, with his origins remaining the same in essence, despite alteration. For example, Gotham's police are mostly corrupt, setting up further need for Batman's existence. While Dick Grayson's past remains much the same, the history of Jason Todd, the second Robin, is altered, turning the boy into the orphan son of a petty crook, who tries to steal the tires from the Batmobile. Also removed is the guardian Phillip Wayne, leaving young Bruce to be raised by Alfred. Additionally, Batman is no longer a founding member of the Justice League of America, although he becomes leader for a short time of a new incarnation of the team launched in 1987. To help fill in the revised backstory for Batman following Crisis, DC launched a new Batman title called Legends of the Dark Knight in 1989 and has published various miniseries and one-shot stories since then that largely take place during the "Year One" period. Various stories from Jeph Loeb and Matt Wagner also touch upon this era.

In 1988's "Batman: A Death in the Family" storyline from Batman #426-429 Jason Todd, the second Robin, is killed by the Joker. Subsequently Batman begins exhibiting an excessive, reckless approach to his crime fighting, a result of the pain of losing Jason Todd. Batman works solo until the decade's close, when Tim Drake becomes the new Robin. In 2005 writers resurrected the Jason Todd character and have pitted him against his former mentor.

Many of the major Batman storylines since the 1990s have been inter-title crossovers that run for a number of issues. In 1993, the same year that DC published the "Death of Superman" storyline, the publisher released the "Knightfall" storyline. In the storyline's first phase, the new villain Bane paralyzes Batman, leading Wayne to ask Azrael to take on the role. After the end of "Knightfall", the storylines split in two directions, following both the Azrael-Batman's adventures, and Bruce Wayne's quest to become Batman once more. The story arcs realign in "KnightsEnd", as Azrael becomes increasingly violent and is defeated by a healed Bruce Wayne. Wayne hands the Batman mantle to Dick Grayson (then Nightwing) for an interim period, while Wayne trains to return to his role as Batman.

The 1994 company-wide crossover Zero Hour changes aspects of DC continuity again, including those of Batman. Noteworthy among these changes is that the general populace and the criminal element now considers Batman an urban legend rather than a known force. Similarly, the Waynes' killer is never caught or identified, effectively removing Joe Chill from the new continuity, rendering stories such as "Year Two" non-canon.

Batman once again becomes a member of the Justice League during Grant Morrison's 1996 relaunch of the series, titled JLA. While Batman contributes greatly to many of the team's successes, the Justice League is largely uninvolved as Batman and Gotham City face catastrophe in the decade's closing crossover arc. In 1998's "Cataclysm" storyline, Gotham City is devastated by an earthquake. Deprived of many of his technological resources, Batman fights to reclaim the city from legions of gangs during 1999's "No Man's Land." While Lex Luthor rebuilds Gotham at the end of the "No Man's Land" storyline, he then frames Bruce Wayne for murder in the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" and "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" story arcs; Wayne is eventually acquitted.

DC's 2005 limited series Identity Crisis, reveals that JLA member Zatanna had edited Batman's memories, leading to his deep loss of trust in the rest of the superhero community. Batman later creates the Brother I satellite surveillance system to watch over the other heroes. Its eventual co-opting by Maxwell Lord is one of the main events that leads to the Infinite Crisis miniseries, which again restructures DC continuity. In Infinite Crisis #7, Alexander Luthor, Jr. mentions that in the newly rewritten history of the "New Earth", created in the previous issue, the murderer of Martha and Thomas Wayne – again, Joe Chill – was captured, thus undoing the retcon created after Zero Hour. Batman and a team of superheroes destroy Brother Eye and the OMACs.

Following Infinite Crisis, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake retrace the steps Bruce had taken when he originally left Gotham City, to "rebuild Batman". In the "Face the Face" storyline, Batman and Robin return to Gotham City after their year-long absence. Part of this absence is captured in during Week 30 of the 52 series, which shows Batman fighting his inner demons. Later on in 52, Batman is shown undergoing an intense meditation ritual in Nanda Parbat. This becomes an important part of the regular Batman title, which reveals that Batman was reborn as a more effective crime fighter while undergoing this ritual, having "hunted down and ate" the last traces of fear in his mind.

At the end of the "Face the Face" story arc, Bruce adopts Tim as his son. The follow-up story arc in Batman, "Batman & Son", introduces Damian Wayne, who is Batman's son with Talia al Ghul. Batman, along with Superman and Wonder Woman, reforms the Justice League in the new Justice League of America series, and is leading the newest incarnation of the Outsiders.

Grant Morrison's 2008 storyline, "Batman R.I.P.", featuring Batman being physically and mentally broken by the enigmatic "Black Glove", garnered much news coverage in advance of its highly-promoted conclusion, which would supposedly feature the death of Bruce Wayne. The intention was, in fact, not for Batman to die in the pages of "R.I.P." but for the story to continue with the current DC event Final Crisis, and have the death occur there. However, out of desire to give the storyline of "R.I.P." a suitable conclusion in an of itself, Batman appeared to die in the final chapter of the story, only to turn up alive in the very next issues as a prisoner of "Crisis" villain Darkseid. The death came a month later, in the limited series Final Crisis, during which Batman confronts the story's villain Darkseid. Making rare exception, Batman uses a gun, loaded with a Radion (which is poisonous to the New Gods) bullet, to shoot Darkseid's shoulder, just as Darkseid unleashes his Omega Sanction, the "life that is death", upon Batman and his charred corpse is recovered by Superman. However, the Omega Sanction does not kill its victims: instead, it sends their consciousness travelling through parallel worlds, and at the conclusion of Final Crisis, it is made clear that this is the fate that has befallen the still-living Batman, as he watches the passing of Anthro in the distant past.

Batman's primary character traits can be summarized as "wealth; physical prowess; deductive abilities and obsession". The details and tone of Batman's characterization have varied over the years due to different interpretations. Dennis O'Neil noted that character consistency was not a major concern during early editorial regimes: "Julie Schwartz did a Batman in Batman and Detective and Murray Boltinoff did a Batman in the Brave and the Bold and apart from the costume they bore very little resemblance to each other. Julie and Murray did not coordinate their efforts, did not pretend to, did not want to, were not asked to. Continuity was not important in those days".

A main component that defines Batman as a character is his origin story. Bob Kane said he and Bill Finger discussed the character's background and decided that "there's nothing more traumatic than having your parents murdered before your eyes." Batman is thus driven to fight crime, sometimes employing illegal and morally dubious tactics (like torture and intrusive surveillance), in order to avenge the death of his parents. While details of Batman's origin have varied from version to version, the "reiteration of the basic origin events holds together otherwise divergent expressions" of the character. The origin is the source of many of the character's traits and attributes, which play out in many of the character's adventures.

Batman is often treated as a vigilante by other characters in his stories. Frank Miller views the character as "a dionysian figure, a force for anarchy that imposes an individual order." Dressed as a bat, Batman deliberately cultivates a frightening persona in order to aid him in crime fighting.

In his secret identity, Batman is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy businessman who lives in Gotham City. To the world at large, Bruce Wayne is often seen as an irresponsible, superficial playboy who lives off his family's personal fortune (amassed when Bruce's family invested in Gotham real estate before the city was a bustling metropolis) and the profits of Wayne Enterprises, a major private technology firm that he inherits. However, Wayne is also known for his contributions to charity, notably through his Wayne Foundation. Bruce creates the playboy public persona to aid in throwing off suspicion of his secret identity, often acting dim-witted and self-absorbed to further the act.

Writers of both Batman and Superman stories have often compared the two within the context of various stories, to varying conclusions. Like Superman, the prominent persona of Batman's dual identities varies with time. Modern-age comics have tended to portray "Bruce Wayne" as the facade, with "Batman" as the truer representation of his personality (in counterpoint to the post-Crisis Superman, whose "Clark Kent" persona is the 'real' personality, and "Superman" is the 'mask').

Unlike many superheroes, Batman has no superpowers and instead relies on "his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic prowess." In the stories Batman is regarded as one of the world's greatest detectives. In Grant Morrison's first storyline in JLA, Superman describes Batman as "the most dangerous man on Earth," able to defeat a team of superpowered aliens all by himself in order to rescue his imprisoned teammates. He is also a master of disguise, often gathering information under the identity of Matches Malone.

Batman utilizes a large arsenal of specialized gadgets in his war against crime, the designs of which usually share a bat motif. Batman historian Les Daniels credits Gardner Fox with creating the concept of Batman's arsenal with the introduction of the utility belt in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939) and the first bat-themed weapons the batarang and the "Batgyro" in Detective Comics #31 and #32 (September; October, 1939). Batman's primary vehicle is the Batmobile, which is usually depicted as an imposing black car with large tailfins that suggest a bat's wings. Batman's other vehicles include the Batplane (aka the Batwing), Batboat, Bat-Sub, and Batcycle.

In proper practice, the "bat" prefix (as in batmobile or batarang) is rarely used by Batman himself when referring to his equipment, particularly after some portrayals (primarily the 1960s Batman live-action television show and the Super Friends animated series) stretched the practice to campy proportions. The 1960s television series Batman has an arsenal that includes such "bat-" names as the bat-computer, bat-scanner, bat-radar, bat-cuffs, bat-pontoons, bat-drinking water dispenser, bat-camera with polarized bat-filter, bat-shark repellent bat-spray, and bat-rope. The storyline "A Death in the Family" suggests that given Batman's grim nature, he is unlikely to have adopted the "bat" prefix on his own.

Batman keeps most of his field equipment in a utility belt. Over the years it is shown to contain a virtually limitless variety of crime fighting tools. Different versions of the belt have these items stored in either pouches or hard cylinders attached evenly around it.

When Batman is needed, the Gotham City police activate a searchlight with a bat-shaped insignia over the lens called the Bat-signal which shines into the night sky, creating a bat-symbol on a passing cloud which can be seen from any point in Gotham. The origin of the signal varies, depending on the continuity and medium.

In various incarnations, most notably the 1960s Batman TV series, Commissioner Gordon also has a dedicated phone line, dubbed the Bat-Phone, connected to a bright red telephone (in the TV series) which sits on a wooden base and has a transparent cake cover on top. The line connects directly to Batman's residence, Wayne Manor, specifically both to a similar phone sitting on the desk in Bruce Wayne's study and the extension phone in the Batcave.

The Batcave is Batman's secret headquarters, consisting of a series of subterranean caves beneath his Wayne Manor. It serves as his command center for both local and global surveillance, as well as housing his vehicles and equipment for his war on crime. It also is a storeroom for Batman's memorabilia. In both the comic Batman: Shadow of the Bat (issue #45) and the 2005 film Batman Begins, the cave is said to have been part of the Underground Railroad. Of the heroes and villains who see the Batcave, few know where it is located.

Batman's interactions with the characters around him, both heroes and villains, help to define the character. Commissioner James "Jim" Gordon, Batman's ally in the Gotham City police, debuted along with Batman in Detective Comics #27 and has been a consistent presence since then. Later on, Batman gained Alfred as his butler and Lucius Fox as his business manager and apparently unwitting armorer. However, the most important supporting role in the Batman mythos is filled by the hero's young sidekick Robin. The first Robin, Dick Grayson, eventually leaves his mentor and becomes the hero Nightwing. The second Robin, Jason Todd, is beaten to death by the Joker but later returns as an adversary. Tim Drake, the third Robin, first appears in 1989 and has gone on to star in his own comic series. Alfred, Bruce Wayne's loyal butler, father figure, and one of the few to know his secret identity, " a homey touch to Batman's environs and ever ready to provide a steadying and reassuring hand" to the hero and his sidekick.

Batman is at times a member of superhero teams such as the Justice League of America and the Outsiders. Batman has often been paired in adventure with his Justice League teammate Superman, notably as the co-stars of World's Finest and Superman/Batman series. In pre-Crisis continuity, the two are depicted as close friends; however, in current continuity, they have a mutually respectful but uneasy relationship, with an emphasis on their differing views on crime fighting and justice.

Batman is involved romantically with many women throughout his various incarnations. These range from society women such as Vicki Vale and Silver St. Cloud, to allies like Wonder Woman and Sasha Bordeaux, to even villainesses such as Catwoman and Talia al Ghul, the latter of whom he sired a son, Damien. While these relationships tend to be short, Batman's attraction to Catwoman is present in nearly every version and medium in which the characters appear. Authors have gone back and forth over the years as to how Batman manages the 'playboy' aspect of Bruce Wayne's personality; at different times he embraces or flees from the women interested in attracting "Gotham's most eligible bachelor".

Other supporting characters in Batman's world include former Batgirl Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's daughter who, now confined to a wheelchair due to a gunshot wound inflicted by the Joker, serves the superhero community at large as the computer hacker Oracle; Azrael, a would-be assassin who replaces Bruce Wayne as Batman for a time; Cassandra Cain, an assassin's daughter who became the new Batgirl, Huntress, the sole surviving member of a mob family turned Gotham vigilante who has worked with Batman on occasion, Ace the Bat-Hound, Batman's pet dog; and Bat-Mite, an extra-dimensional imp who idolizes Batman.

Batman faces a variety of foes ranging from common criminals to outlandish super-villains. Many Batman villains mirror aspects of the hero's character and development, often having tragic origin stories that lead them to a life of crime. Batman's "most implacable foe" is the Joker, a clown-like criminal who as a "personification of the irrational" represents "everything Batman ." Other recurring antagonists include Catwoman, the Penguin, the Riddler and Two-Face, among many others.

Batman has become a pop culture icon, recognized around the world. The character's presence has extended beyond his comic book origins; events such as the release of the 1989 Batman film and its accompanying merchandising "brought the Batman to the forefront of public consciousness." In an article commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the character, The Guardian wrote, "Batman is a figure blurred by the endless reinvention that is modern mass culture. He is at once an icon and a commodity: the perfect cultural artefact for the 21st century." In addition, media outlets have often used the character in trivial and comprehensive surveys- Forbes Magazine estimated Bruce Wayne to be the 7th-richest fictional character with his $6.8 billion fortune while BusinessWeek listed the character as one of the ten most intelligent superheroes appearing in American comics.

The character of Batman has appeared in various media aside from comic books. The character has been developed as a vehicle for newspaper syndicated comic strips, books, radio dramas, television and several theatrical feature films. The first adaptation of Batman was as a daily newspaper comic strip which premiered on October 25, 1943. That same year the character was adapted in the 13-part serial Batman, with Lewis Wilson becoming the first actor to portray Batman on screen. While Batman never had a radio series of his own, the character made occasional guest appearance in The Adventures of Superman starting in 1945 on occasions when Superman voice actor Bud Collyer needed time off. A second movie serial, Batman and Robin, followed in 1949, with Robert Lowery taking over the role of Batman. The exposure provided by these adaptations during the 1940s "helped make a household name for millions who never bought a comic book.".

In the 1964 publication of Donald Barthelme's collection of short stories "Come Back, Dr. Caligari" Barthelme wrote "The Joker's Greatest Triumph". Batman is portrayed as a pertentious french speaking rich man and subtle alcoholic.

The Batman television series, starring Adam West, premiered in January 1966 on the ABC television network. Inflected with a camp sense of humor, the show became a pop culture phenomenon. In his memoir, Back to the Batcave, West notes his dislike for the term 'camp' as it was applied to the 1960s series, opining that the show was instead a farce or lampoon, and a deliberate one, at that. The series ran for 120 episodes, ending in 1968. In between the first and second season of the Batman television series the cast and crew made the theatrical release Batman (1966). The popularity of the Batman TV series also resulted in the first animated adaptation of Batman in the series The Batman/Superman Hour; the Batman segments of the series were repackaged as Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder which produced thirty-three episodes between 1968 and 1977. From 1973 until 1984, Batman had a starring role in ABC's Super Friends series, which was animated by Hanna-Barbera. Olan Soule was the voice of Batman in all these series, but was eventually replaced during Super Friends by Adam West, who voiced the character in Filmation's 1977 series The New Adventures of Batman.

Batman returned to movie theaters in 1989, with director Tim Burton's Batman starring Michael Keaton. Burton's film was a huge success; not only was it the top-grossing film of the year, but at the time was the fifth highest-grossing film in history. The film spawned three sequels: Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997), the last two of which were directed by Joel Schumacher instead of Burton, and replaced Keaton with Val Kilmer and George Clooney, respectively.

In 1992 Batman returned to television in Batman: The Animated Series, which was produced by Warner Bros. and was broadcast on the Fox television network until 1997. After that point it moved to The WB Television Network and was reworked into The New Batman Adventures. The producers of Batman: The Animated Series would go to work on the animated feature film release Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), as well as the futuristic Batman Beyond and Justice League series. Like Batman: The Animated Series, these productions starred Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne. In 2004, a new animated series titled The Batman made its debut with Rino Romano as the title character. In 2008, this series was replaced by another animated show, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, with Diedrich Bader as Batman.

In 2005 Christopher Nolan directed Batman Begins, a reboot of the film franchise starring Christian Bale as Batman. Its sequel, The Dark Knight (2008), set the record for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time in the U.S., earning approximately $158.4 million, and became the fastest film to reach the $400 million mark in the history of American cinema (eighteenth day of release). As of November 2008, The Dark Knight has the second-highest domestic gross of all films. An animated anthology feature set between the Nolan films, Batman: Gotham Knight, was also released in 2008. The Dark Knight also pays homage to the comic Batman by making the characters eyes white during a minor scene in the movie.

Batman has several video games based on him and his crime fighting adventures.

There has been some controversy over various sexual interpretations made regarding the content of Batman comics. Homosexual interpretations have been part of the academic study of Batman since psychologist Fredric Wertham asserted in Seduction of the Innocent that "Batman stories are psychologically homosexual". He claimed, "The Batman type of story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies, of the nature of which they may be unconscious". Wertham wrote, "Only someone ignorant of the fundamentals of psychiatry and of the psychopathology of sex can fail to realize a subtle atmosphere of homoeroticism which pervades the adventures of the mature 'Batman' and his young friend 'Robin'".

Creators associated with the character have expressed their own opinions. Writer Alan Grant has stated, "The Batman I wrote for 13 years isn't gay. Denny O'Neil's Batman, Marv Wolfman's Batman, everybody's Batman all the way back to Bob Kane... none of them wrote him as a gay character. Only Joel Schumacher might have had an opposing view". Writer Devin Grayson has commented, "It depends who you ask, doesn't it? Since you're asking me, I'll say no, I don't think he is ... I certainly understand the gay readings, though". While Frank Miller has described the relationship between Batman and the Joker as a "homophobic nightmare", he views the character as sublimating his sexual urges into crime fighting, concluding, "He'd be much healthier if he were gay". Burt Ward, who portrayed Robin in the 1960s television show, has also remarked upon this interpretation in his autobiography Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights; He writes that the relationship could be interpreted as a sexual one, with the show's double entendres and lavish camp also possibly offering ambiguous interpretation.

Such homosexual interpretations continue to attract attention. One notable example occurred in 2000, when DC Comics refused to allow permission for the reprinting of four panels (from Batman #79, 92, 105 and 139) to illustrate Christopher York's paper All in the Family: Homophobia and Batman Comics in the 1950s. Another happened in the summer of 2005, when painter Mark Chamberlain displayed a number of watercolors depicting both Batman and Robin in suggestive and sexually explicit poses. DC threatened both artist and the Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts gallery with legal action if they did not cease selling the works and demanded all remaining art, as well as any profits derived from them.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

Henry Selick (left) and Tim Burton (right)

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 1993 stop motion fantasy film directed by Henry Selick and produced/co-written by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, a being from "Halloween Town" who opens a portal to "Christmas Town". Danny Elfman wrote the film score and provided the singing voice of Jack, as well as other minor characters. The remaining principal voice cast includes Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, and Glen Shadix.

The genesis of The Nightmare Before Christmas started with a poem by Burton as a Disney animator in the early-1980s. With the success of Vincent in 1982, Disney started to consider The Nightmare Before Christmas as either a short subject or 30-minute television special. Over the years, Burton's thoughts regularly returned to the project, and in 1990, Burton and Disney made a development deal. Production started in July 1991 in San Francisco. Walt Disney Pictures decided to release the film under their Touchstone Pictures banner because they thought Nightmare would be "too dark and scary for kids". The Nightmare Before Christmas has been viewed with critical and financial success. Disney has reissued the film under their Disney Digital 3-D format in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Jack's obsession with Christmas leads him to usurp the role of Santa Claus. Every resident is assigned a task, while Sally, a rag doll created by the town's mad scientist, who is enamoured of Jack, alone fears that his plans will become disastrous. Jack assigns Lock, Shock, and Barrel, a trio of mischievous children, to abduct Santa and bring him back to Halloween Town. Against Jack's wishes and largely for their amusement, the trio deliver Santa to Oogie Boogie, a gambling-addict bogeyman who plots to play a game with Santa's life as the stake.

Christmas Eve arrives and Sally attempts to stop Jack, but he embarks into the sky on a coffin-like sleigh pulled by skeletal reindeer, guided by the glowing nose of his ghost dog Zero. He begins to deliver presents to children around the world, but the gifts (shrunken heads, Christmas tree-eating snakes, etc.) only terrify the recipients. Jack is believed to be an imposter attempting to imitate Santa, and the military goes on alert to destroy him. The sleigh is shot down and Jack is presumed dead by Halloween Town's citizens, but has survived the crash. Although he is depressed by the failure of his plan, he quickly regains his enthusiasm, deciding to use his imagination to revitalize Halloween rather than invade Christmas. He then rushes to rescue Santa and compensate for the damage he (Jack) has caused.

Meanwhile, Sally attempts to free Santa but is captured by Oogie. Jack slips into the lair and frees them, confronts Oogie, and unravels the latter's outer covering to spill the insects whereof Oogie is composed. Having been freed, Santa reprimands Jack before setting off to deliver presents to the world's children. He makes snow fall over Halloween Town to make peace between himself and Jack; the townspeople are confused by the snow at first, but soon begin to play happily in it. Jack and Sally share a kiss under the full moon, while Zero watches. This concludes the film.

Paul Reubens, O'Hara and Elfman also supply the voices of Lock, Shock, and Barrel. Reubens previously worked with Burton as Pee-wee Herman in Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985). In addition Elfman also plays "Clown with the Tear-Away Face".

Burton wrote a three-page poem titled The Nightmare Before Christmas when he was a Disney animator in the early-1980s. Burton took inspiration from television specials of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas. With the success of Vincent in 1982, Disney started to consider The Nightmare Before Christmas as either a short subject or 30-minute Holiday television special. Rick Heinrichs and Burton created concept art and storyboards, with Heinrichs also sculpting character models. "Back then, I would have done anything to get the project off ground," Burton explained. "There was a lot of talk of either a short film, like Vincent or a TV special, but it went nowhere. I also wanted to have Vincent Price as narrator." Burton showed Henry Selick, who was also a Disney animator in the early-1980s, the material he and Heinrichs developed.

Over the years, Burton's thoughts regularly returned to the project. In 1990, Burton found out that Disney still owned the film rights, and the two committed to produce a full-length film with Selick as director. Disney was looking forward to Nightmare "to show capabilities of technical and storytelling achievements that were present in Who Framed Roger Rabbit." Nightmare marked Burton's third film in a row to have a Christmas setting. Burton could not direct because of his commitment to Batman Returns and he did not want to be involved with "the painstakingly slow process of stop-motion". To adapt his poem into a screenplay, Burton approached Michael McDowell, his collaborator on Beetlejuice. McDowell and Burton experienced creative differences, which convinced Burton to make the film as a musical with lyrics and compositions by frequent collaborator Danny Elfman. Elfman and Burton created a rough storyline and two-thirds of the film's songs, while Selick and his team of animators began production in July 1991 in San Francisco, California with a crew of 200 workers. Joe Ranft worked as a storyboard artist.

On the direction of the film, Selick reflected, "It's as though he laid the egg, and I sat on it and hatched it. He wasn't involved in a hands-on way, but his hand is in it. It was my job to make it look like "a Tim Burton film", which is not so different from my own films." When asked on Burton's involvement, Selick claimed, "I don't want to take away from Tim, but he was not in San Francisco when we made it. He came up five times over two years, and spent no more than eight or ten days in total." Walt Disney Animation Studios contributed with some use of second-layering traditional animation. Burton found production somewhat difficult because he was directing Batman Returns and in pre-production of Ed Wood.

The film's soundtrack album was released in 1993 on Walt Disney Records. For the film's 2006 re-release in Disney Digital 3-D, a special edition of the soundtrack was released, featuring a bonus disc which contained covers of several of the film's songs by Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, Marilyn Manson, Fiona Apple, and She Wants Revenge. Six original demo tracks by Elfman were also included. On September 30, 2008, Disney released the cover album Nightmare Revisited.

Around the release of the film, Touchstone president David Hoberman quoted, "I hope Nightmare goes out and makes a fortune. If it does, great. If it doesn't, that doesn't negate the validity of the process. The budget was less than any Disney blockbuster so it doesn't have to earn Aladdin-sized grosses to satisfy us." The film premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 9. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas was given a limited release on October 15, 1993, before being wide released on October 29. The film earned $50 million in the United States on its first theatrical run.

Danny Elfman was worried the characterization of Oogie Boogie would be considered racist by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Elfman's predictions came true; however, director Henry Selick stated the character was inspired from the Betty Boop cartoon The Old Man of the Mountain. "Cab Calloway would dance his inimitable jazz dance and sing "Minnie the Moocher" or "Old Man of the Mountain", and they would rotoscope him, trace him, turn him into a cartoon character, often transforming him into an animal, like a walrus," Selick continued. "I think those are some of the most inventive moments in cartoon history, in no way racist, even though he was sometimes a villain. We went with Ken Page, who is a black singer and he had no problem with it". The film was nominated for both the Academy Award for Visual Effects and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, but lost both categories to Jurassic Park. Nightmare won the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film, while Elfman won Best Music. Selick and the animators were also nominated for their work. Elfman lost the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score to Kitarō of Heaven & Earth.

With successful home video sales, Nightmare achieved the ranks of a cult film. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment first released the film on DVD in December 1997. It contained no special features. Nightmare was released a second time in October 2000 as a special edition. The release included audio commentary by Selick and cinematographer Pete Kozachik, a 28-minute making-of documentary, gallery of concept art, and storyboards, test footage and deleted scenes. Burton's Vincent and Frankenweenie were also included. On October 20, 2006, Disney reissued Nightmare (not under Touchstone Pictures) with conversion to Disney Digital 3-D. Industrial Light & Magic assisted in the process. It made a further $8.7 million in the box office. A more successful reissue under the Disney Digital 3-D format came on October 19, 2007. In its third run, Nightmare made a further $15.8 million, with the final gross under three releases at $74.88 million for the United States market.

These reissues have led to a reemergence of 3-D films and advances in Real D Cinema. Disney released the film again on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in August 2008 as a two-disc digitally remastered "collector's edition". Nightmare has also led to a brand name for Emo and Goth subcultures. In addition Nightmare has inspired video game spin-offs, including Oogie's Revenge, The Pumpkin King (on Game Boy Advance) and in the Kingdom Hearts series. A trading card game is also available. Since 2001, Disneyland has held a Nightmare Before Christmas theme for its Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction.

The film has gone on to receive critical acclaim. Based on 67 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, 97% of the critics enjoyed The Nightmare Before Christmas with the consensus of "a stunningly original and visually delightful work of stop-motion animation." With 15 reviewers in the "Top Critics" category, the film has a 100% approval rating. By comparison, Metacritic calculated an average score of 77, based on 16 reviews. Roger Ebert, who mainly was not enthusiastic over Burton's previous films, gave a highly positive review for Nightmare. Ebert believed the film's visual effects were as revolutionary as Star Wars, taking into account that Nightmare was "filled with imagination that carries us into a new world".

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it a restoration of "originality and daring to the Halloween genre. This dazzling mix of fun and fright also explodes the notion that animation is kid stuff. ... It's 74 minutes of timeless movie magic." James Berardinelli stated "The Nightmare Before Christmas has something to offer just about everyone. For the kids, it's a fantasy celebrating two holidays. For the adults, it's an opportunity to experience some light entertainment while marveling at how adept Hollywood has become at these techniques. There are songs, laughs, and a little romance. In short, The Nightmare Before Christmas does what it intends to: entertain." Desson Thomson of The Washington Post enjoyed homages to German Expressionism, the Brothers Grimm and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

More recently, the film ranked #1 on Rotten Tomatoes Top 25 Best Christmas Movies.

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Source : Wikipedia