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Tim Burton Films: Fantasy Combined with Horror

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

These motion pictures welcome us to Tim Burton’s world of fantasy linked with horror and darkness.  Allowing us to experience from joy to gloomy and mysterious to dismal.  Regarding the beauty of his works in the cinema, he shows us that there is light in darkness.

Like his most visually acclaimed stop-motion film of all time, The Nightmare before Christmas (1993):

Should we watch it during Halloween or Christmas? Better question, why not both? As the producer and writer, he portrayed both realms of Halloween and Christmas Town, their atmospheres intertwining perfectly.  It’s an all-time classic and an instant favorite for Tim Burton admirers. 


Corpse Bride (2005): Where the land of the dead seems more vibrant and alive than the land of the living. It’s characteristic of Burton to interpret the land of the dead much more vivid and exciting, showing us a world that does not just cease to exist when there is ingenuity to take you there. 


Frankenweenie (2012):

The idea of bringing your loving pet back to life sounds amazing and that’s what the main character Victor intends to do to resurrect his dog Sparky.  Of course, some things have to turn out the wrong way, resulting in mayhem, but this black and white stop-motion picture captures our attention until the end, giving us a heartfelt feeling and a deeper love for our beloved pets.

Fun Fact! It’s believed that The Nightmare before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie are allegorically related due to their chronological production and how each of the characters have a dog.  They look pretty similar, don’t you think?

Edward Scissorhands (1990):

A more realistic film with a touch of his spice, he puts an inventor who had isolated Edward, his creation,who happens to have scissors for hands, on a hill in a mansion.  He was later discovered by a suburban lady who welcomes him into her community. 

Beetlejuice (1998):

Where the world of the deceased reigns and a dead couple hires Betelguese (pronounced as Beetlejuice) to scare out some newlyweds who wish to keep their home to themselves. This film is also a classic from Burton with astounding visuals and a very conceptual movie for Halloween.


As unusual as these movies may seem to the mainstream public, they do portray our reality, epitomizing themes of love, understanding, morality, eccentricity, and many others that are relevant today. 

Tim Burton has accomplished to give us a heartwarming feeling with stories that grant his audience a different perspective of how we view life; inspiring us all to never underestimate how far our imagination can take us.  He opens the gates for possibilities of reaching a further depiction of reality.

As we travel deeper into the thoughts of these characters, with a possibility of foreseeing what the characters will face and how they react to these problems, there is an instant that we are able to connect with them in a humanely way.

His films guide us to his surrealistic world that is enraptured in fantasy yet with a dark ambience that intrigues us, wondering what will he come up with next.

“It’s good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.” -Tim Burton


Irene is currently fulfilling her dreams as a creative writer and journalist at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. This writer finds her inpiration within a well-brewed cup of coffee and introspecting thoughts about life. Her biggest aspiration is to impact others with her envisage of the world and the world that resides in her mind. She enjoys to discover new music and new concepts that ponder her thoughts. She tends to lose herself in Chopin Nocturnes and dance, identifying herself as idealistic with everlasting appetance of what the future holds for her.