Tim Burton Poster

Quotes (34)

  • You don't know whether chimps are going to kill you or kiss you. They're very open on some levels and much more evil in a certain way.
  • [commenting on the demolition of the Landmark casino in Las Vegas for the film Mars Attacks! (1996)] "It was like watching something die."
  • [genres] "I had never really done something that was more of a horror film, and it's funny, because those are the kind of movies that I like probably more than any other genre. The script had images in it that I liked ."
  • [memories] "I remember when I was younger, I had these two windows in my room, nice windows that looked out onto the lawn, and for some reason my parents walled them up and gave me this little slit window that I had to climb up on a desk to see out of. To this day I never asked them why; I should ask them."
  • Anybody who knows me knows I would never read a comic book. And I certainly would never read anything written by Kevin Smith.
  • [suburbia] "I think the atmosphere that I grew up in, yes, there was a subtext of normalcy. I don't even know what the word means, but it's stuck in my brain. It's weird. I don't know if it's specifically American, or American in the time I grew up, but there's a very strong sense of categorization and conformity. I remember being forced to go to Sunday school for a number of years, even though my parents were not religious. No one was really religious; it was just the framework. There was no passion for it. No passion for anything. Just a quiet, kind of floaty, kind of semi-oppressive, blank palette that you're living in."
  • [the approach you have to take in movies] " . . . you always have to feel like it's gonna be the greatest, even if it's a . . . you know . . . piece of crap."
  • [Talking about the Batman characters]: "These are some of the wildest characters in comics and yet, they seem the most real to me."
  • [About working with Jack Nicholson on Batman (1989)] "By the time Jack walks onto the set, he feels very clear and strong about the character. So when you're shooting it's great, because that's when you toy around with the levels of how broad to go."
  • I'll always remember this image of being in line to see When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970), and all the younger kids were like, 'Dinosaurs are so cool!' and all the older kids were like, 'Oh, man, I hear there's this really hot babe in this movie!'
  • [on WB's lame suggestions for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)] "They thought the Charlie character should be more proactive and that Wonka should be more of a father figure, and I'm sitting there thinking, 'Willy Wonka is NOT a father figure! If that's your idea of a father figure, yikes. Willy Wonka's a weirdo.' "
  • [on the stress of delivering a summer movie in an era when release dates are often set by studios before a script is finished] It's like you're a runner and they beat the shit out of you and break your legs right before you're supposed to race, and then they say, 'Now go win the race.'
  • [on cult director Edward D. Wood Jr.] "Nobody had his style. That's something I try to do in my films. You have your own kind of cryptic messages in there - cryptic things that most people wouldn't understand but are important to you. Things that kind of keep you going through the process."
  • [on picking screenplays] I wouldn't know a good script if it bit me in the face.
  • [on style] I remember, I was at Cal Arts and I wasn't a good life-drawer; I struggled with that realistic style of drawing. And one day I was sitting in Farmer's Market sketching, and it was this weird, mind-blowing experience. I said, 'Goddamit, I don't care if I can't draw, I'm just gonna draw how I feel about it.' All of a sudden I had my own personal breakthrough, and then I could draw, and satisfied myself. I've had very few experiences like that, and I'll never forget it.
  • In Hollywood, they think drawn animation doesn't work anymore, computers are the way. They forget that the reason computers are the way is that Pixar makes good movies. So everybody tries to copy Pixar. They're relying too much on the technology and not enough on the artists. The fact that Disney closed down its cel animation division is frightening to me. Someday soon, somebody will come along and do a drawn-animated film, and it'll be beautiful and connect with people, and they'll all go, 'Oh, we've got to do that!' It's ridiculous.
  • [Becoming a movie director] "There was one moment, and it happened in school. I had a big final exam--we were supposed to write a 20-page report on this book about Houdini [Harry Houdini]. I probably would have loved reading it, but I didn't, so I just decided to make a little super-8 movie based on it. I tied myself to the railroad tracks and all that. I mean, this is kid stuff, but it impressed the teacher, and I got an A. And that was maybe my first turning point, when I said, 'Yeah, I wouldn't mind being a filmmaker.' "
  • It is unfortunate that Disney closed down its drawn-animation unit. I find it quite upsetting, because they made a few drawn movies that weren't successful and they went, `Well, that is dead, so we have to go to computers.' They forget that the reason that they have been successful is because Pixar [whose films Disney distributes] makes good movies. Success is the real reason people try to copy things in Hollywood. Someday someone will do a beautiful cell- animation film that connects with people and then someone will say, `We have to go and do that again.' The number-one priority should be that the story and the medium are compatible.
  • I've always been misrepresented. You know, I could dress in a clown costume and laugh with the happy people but they'd still say I'm a dark personality.
  • I grew up watching things like The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962) on Saturday afternoon television. There's a guy with his arm ripped off and blood smeared all over the wall. I never saw it as negative. I find that stuff, when it's not rooted in reality, to be cathartic.
  • I've always loved the idea of fairy tales, but somehow I never managed to completely connect with them. What interests me is taking those classic images and themes and trying to contemporize them a bit. I believe folk tales and fairy tales have some sort of psychological foundation that makes that possible.
  • I always liked strange characters.
  • [on Batman Begins (2005)] "I saw a tape of it. It was very touching. Very good."
  • If you've ever had that feeling of loneliness, of being an outsider, it never quite leaves you. You can be happy or successful or whatever, but that thing still stays within you.
  • All these kinds of stories, whether it be The Wizard of Oz (1939) or Alice in Wonderland (2010), are an internal journey. I think that's a fairly universal concept. These characters represent things inside the human psyche. I think that's what every child does. You try to work out problems as you go along. Same thing as an adult. Some people get therapy, some people get to make movies.
  • [on living in England] I love the weather more than in California. I am serious! You know, you can go for a walk in any kind of weather. In Los Angeles you immediately arouse suspicion when you're out without a car.
  • (on Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992)) I don't really go back and look at the movies but her performance in that was one of my favorite performances of anything by anyone in any movie that I've worked on. It was just the best. Really, I'll never forget her in that... I just have all these memories of her - letting a live bird fly out of her mouth and learning to use the whip and jumping around rooftop sets in high heels. The work and just the performance were very, very impressive.
  • (on Johnny Depp) Johnny's always wanting to sort of hide behind a character, become a character. I've always loved great character actors.
  • [After being asked what Batman Returns (1992) will be about.] Havent you heard? There is no plot.
  • [on Batman Returns (1992) and the changing film industry] At the time with the first Batman (1989), you'd never heard the word franchise. On the second one, you started to hear that word. On the second one, we started to get comments from McDonald's like, 'What's all that black stuff coming out of the Penguin's mouth?' So, people were just starting to think of these films in terms of marketing. That's the new world order. [2017]
  • (On Christopher Lee) Christopher has been an enormous inspiration to me my entire life. I had the honour and pleasure to work with him on five films. He was the last of his kind - a true legend - who I'm fortunate to have called a friend. He will continue to inspire me and I'm sure countless others for generations to come.
  • One person's craziness is another person's reality.
  • (On Johnny Depp) He didn't become an actor to be glamorous; he wanted to become characters. Those are the kinds of people I enjoy working with. They're not in it for the celebrity or the perks; they're doing it because they kind of want to hide. That's why I like him. He's more like Lon Chaney or Boris Karloff than he is Alan Ladd.
  • Big Fish is about what's real and what's fantastic, what's true and what's not true, what's partially true and how, in the end, it's all true.