Tim Burton’s Gothic Victorian Fairytales

Personally the title of this blog post is how I have always seen many of Tim Burton’s  masterful films!   From his own world vision films like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie to iconic characters he chooses to bring to life like Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow, and Dark Shadows.   I do realize that not all of these films are set in the Victorian age, but they show a gothic Victoriana that was popular in the period!

There is such a masterful imagination at work within the fictional realms of Tim Burton.    He is truly a genius, and he has an incredible innate ability to cast his films!   He regularly works with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, who are both impeccable in their portrayals of a myriad of Burton characters.

I cannot ever tire of delving into the worlds that Tim Burton creates for a few hours.    His films make it feel like it is Halloween every day.    I definitely believe in living like it is Halloween every day, especially given that Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday!   He is the master of using color, atmosphere, and costumes to portray his vision.    Each of his films feels like stepping into a storybook world!

The characters he chooses to work with and those that he creates resonate deeply with many people!    I personally always have felt a kinship with Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas and Emily from Corpse Bride.   In his non-original characters I feel a kinship with Katrina Van Tassel from Sleepy Hollow, Angelique from Dark Shadows, and Alice from the Alice movies.    Alice in Wonderland has long been a favorite children’s book of mine, so I adore the Burton version.

It is clear that I love the witchy characters best of all, and luckily there is no shortage of them in Tim Burton’s movies!   As far as male characters I love Jack Skellington, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, Ichabod Crane, Victor (from Corpse Bride), and Barnabus Collins.   I love the unique and rather morbid characters in Tim Burton’s films!

I highly recommend that anyone unfamiliar with Tim Burton take the time to become immersed in his unique and often nightmarish world.   He never disappoints, and it is always worth the time to live in his special films when you have the free time.    These fairytales of his are a perfect place to escape the mundane nature of living in the current time!   The world according to Tim Burton can be dark and dismal awash with muted tones, or it can be a technicolor cotton candy bonanza (ala Edward Scissorhands).   The tales Burton tells often tell the hero’s journey, or a coming of age saga.   

I hope this post has convinced you to give Tim Burton’s films a watch, or a rewatch.    I personally find his films infinitely rewatchable.   I watch The Nightmare Before Christmas at least twice a year (at Halloween and Christmas), and Corpse Bride at least once a year at Halloween!    Let me know your thoughts on the visionary worlds of Tim Burton in the comments section below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is a poster for The Nightmare Before Christmas.    I found it on MoviePosters2.com.

Further Watching

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  • Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  • Corpse Bride (2005)
  • Frankenweenie (2012)
  • Dark Shadows (2012)
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999)
  • Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)