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Classic Tim Burton Halloween movies

Tuesday, October 30, 2012    

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AS it is the season to be scary, this week’s TEEN Club feature brings you one of the most prominent figures from your scarier childhood memories, Tim Burton.

The man behind such films as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas and blockbusters like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland, Burton has been tied to the creepier films that make you laugh, cry and shiver for as long as any one of us can remember.

Director, producer, writer, and artist, 54-year-old Timothy Walter Burton has been making films from as early as 13 years old, when he produced his very first short, stopmotion film The Island of Doctor Agor. Since then Tim Burton has directed 16 films and produced another 12.

Stop-motion, a technique frequently used by Burton, uses clay dolls with physically manipulated parts that appear to move on its own. The parts are moved in small increments and each frame is photographed. It creates the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played in continuous sequence. This technique is called ‘claymation’.

Known in film circles as the stop-motion King’, Burton has used this animation technique to create legendary full-length stop-motion films like Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie (now in theatres), while incorporating it into his other films like Beetlejuice and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which not only keeps production costs down, but also keeps the magic of animation alive, not just for children, but for TEENs and adults alike.

As Tim Burton’s creativity has inspired us over the years, while the films he produced scare us silly, we decided that the best way to thank him for a frightening job well done was to give you some of our favourite Tim Burton films this Hallow’s eve, straight from the crypt.

Edward Scissorhands

1990

TIM Burton produces a dark, mysterious, gothic yet child-friendly movie and Edward Scissorhands is no exception. The movie tells the tale of a machine-produced human who has scissors as hands.

He, Edward, is a huge outcast to society, which is somewhat relatable -- we all have been, at least once, socially awkward.

Unbelievably, Edward finds hope, love and trust in Peg, the local Avon sales representative, who takes the time out to get to know Edward for who he is and not cast him in a stereotype.

It is because of her acceptance and compassion that Edward becomes more confident and discovers hidden talents.

Edward goes from being socially awkward to the community favourite.

His name, however, soon gets tarnished by unscrupulous individuals and that causes them to be fearful of Edward.

Again, this could be compared to modern-day society and how easily influenced individuals are. It leaves Edward lonely and only finding peace by himself.

Edward Scissorhands is a great movie showing commiseration, acceptance and a look at the fickle society some of us live in today.

James and the Giant Peach

1996

TIM Burton produced the Henry Selick-directed James and the Giant Peach into a wonderful adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic book.

The story follows a young boy, who lives an idyllic life with his parents before they are killed by a charging rhinoceros.

After their death he is forced to work as a slave for his cruel aunts, Sponge and Spike. After rescuing a spider from certain death he meets a strange old man who gives him a bag filled with magical crocodile tongues.

As fate would have it James accidentally spills them on a dying peach tree and thus the giant peach was created. The Giant Peach and the insects that reside inside it quickly put a positive twist on James' life.

Inside that peach with his new friends and with the help of seagulls, James flies across the ocean to New York City, the place his parent's had promised to take him before they died.

This movie/musical mash-up has just the right touch of Tim Burton weirdness and is suitable for most age groups.

Although the animation leaves much to be desired and some of the musical numbers only make the movie seem a tiny bit drawn out; James And The Giant Peach is definitely a film that the whole family can enjoy this Halloween.

Beetlejuice

1988

TIM Burton’s classic Beetlejuice, remains a childhood favourite for many people all over the world. Starting out from a cosy and simple beginning, the film escalated into a creepy climax.

However, it ended on a fun note, with Harry Belafonte’s hit tune Jump In The Line (Shake Senora). This was the story of a kind pair of ghosts, who haunted their former home, and an unruly bioexorcist named Betelgeuse, who all attempted to chase away the house’s new inhabitants.

During the course of the film, some said that Michael Keaton (Betelgeuse) lived up to the title and had stolen the show. Some people were thoroughly entertained and even did a bit of dancing. On the other hand, some also said that Beetlejuice was a total waste of film. Also, it was an expression of Burton’s perverted view of comedy among other descriptions.

What are your feelings TEENs? Make sure that you watch Beetlejuice and develop your own opinion.

Nightmare Before Christmas

1993

THE Nightmare Before Christmas was created for Halloween. This movie speaks of Jack Skellington, ‘The Pumpkin King’ of Halloween Town, leads his fellows citizens of monsters, goblins, et al, in a parade of celebration.

But Jack grows tired of the same routine every year; and wanders off into the woods. Once there, Jack stumbles upon a set of trees leading to different worlds; and wildly chooses, the Christmas tree, which sucks him to place called ‘Christmas Town’.

After seeing this new world and its celebrations, Jack returns to Halloween Town to share the news he had learnt.

But Jack’s attempt to make his own Christmas — to imitate Santa Clause and do his job for him — go bust before Jack realises that Christmas means more that giving gifts.

In a plan to replicate Christmas, Jack kidnaps Santa from Christmas Town and more hijinx ensue.

In the end Jack realises his true purpose, but you have to watch to see what really happens to the ‘The Pumpkin King’.

Corpse Bride

2005

THE Corpse Bride might not be as old as some other movies in this feature, but surely it can be considered as a Tim Burton classic.

Something about the new animations, fanciful melodies and skilful voice actors of the day intertwined an old love story and just a smattering of history made this movie mysteriously alluring.

The Corpse Bride tells the story of Victor and Victoria, who are arranged to be married each other and then fall in love.

However, Victor is stolen away by the beautiful Emily, who had her 'happily ever after' stolen away from her. The audience falls in love with all three characters despite their star-crossed fates.

The contrast between Emily's netherworld enamourment with Victor, and Victoria's pure untested love showed an airy, whimsical love story juxtaposed with the dark and bizarre yet sometimes comedic features of a Tim Burton film.

All in all, the fairytale reuniting of Victor and Victoria and Emily finally finding peace made for a good childhood scare or two before the happy ending.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

2005

THE film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory follows the wonderful tale of little Charlie Bucket who has won a Golden Ticket to tour the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world.

Based on Roald Dahl's 1964 book of the same name, the story follows poverty-ridden Charlie Bucket, whose only wish is to finally see inside the majestic Wonka Factory in his neighbourhood and receive an unnamed grand prize, by finding one of the five Golden Ticket's hidden in Wonka Bars which have been distributed around the world.

After the impoverished Charlie is disappointed by the two ticket-less Wonka Bars he receives as gifts — one as a birthday present and the other given to him by his Grandpa Joe, he later finds a $10 bill, which he uses to buy the Wonka Bar with the last, remaining ticket.

During his tour of the factory with Grandpa Joe, Charlie meets some interesting characters, including the eccentric and distant Mr Willy Wonka himself, his little-people sized, musical staff, Oompa-Loompas, and the four other contestants, the gluttonous Augustus Gloop, the spoiled rotten Veruca Salt, the competitive Violet Beauregarde, and the obnoxious Mike Teavee.

This band of unusual characters explore the enchanting factory, as Charlie's notorious competitors gets picked off one by one.

In the end, he's declared winner of the competition, and receives a gift greater than anything beyond his wildest dreams, bigger even than the pitiful lifetime supply of chocolate doled out to his sorry competitiors.

Frankenweenie

2012

FRANKENWEENIE is one of many Halloween options available this year for all the trick-or-treating, Tim Burton fanatics.

Burton manages to twist mystery and fun to make this film one that provided 87 minutes of distraction from the 'real world'.

When Victor Frankenstein's dog Sparky dies, he is left devastated until his science teacher plants the idea in his head that there are means to bringing the dead back to life, which he does to Sparky.

Victor is now faced with dealing with Sparky wreaking havoc in the town and his classmates who are adamant in outdoing him in their science projects.

Tim Burton's handiwork can be seen in this film with the sounds used, the lighting and effects and artwork. The distinct characteristics of the town people bear familiarity to those seen in animated films such as Corpse Bride and the Nightmare Before Christmas; movies both produced and directed by Burton.

You are taken on a roller coaster of emotions throughout the entirety of the film Late trade shocker shakes the league from grief to fear to sheer delight Late trade shocker shakes the league viewers will be drawn into the storyline of Victor and his beloved pet.

Adults, kids and pre-TEENs can all come together to watch this movie for there is much to learn about family values, friendship and even love.

Alice in Wonderland

2010

IN Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton, added his own gothic and unconventional twists to the adaptation of the book written in the 1800s by Lewis Carroll.

It follows young Alice, who, in her attempt to escape a planned engagement party, gets 'distracted' by the White Rabbit running by. She follows him, falls into his borrow and ends up in a fantasy world known as Underland.

In this mysterious place she is greeted by various comical characters such as the Cheshire cat and the Mad Hatter. Alice is overwhelmed by the numerous obstacles she has to overcome on her journey through Underland. She becomes increasingly frustrated with the fact that she cannot wake up.

In one of the scenes in the movie she cleverly managed to outsmart the Red Queen and weasel her way into the palace so as to find the Vorpal Sword.

Inside she not only finds the sword but her captured friends from the tea party. She manages to snatch the sword and carry it to the White Queen. The infuriated Red Queen then sends her Jabberwocky after Alice and the other fairytale creatures that have escaped.

It is when she is faced with the task of slaying the Jabberwocky that Alice realises Underland is no dream and that she has to do the unthinkable to return home. What could possibly be so bad? Watch and see.

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