Tim Burton is a director, producer, artist, writer, and animator known for movies that are dark and eccentric. From horror to fantasy, he creates worlds and characters that blend frightening and whimsical elements in the most amazing way.
And while each of his films is special in their own way, we have ranked the top 10 best ones from him. Not everyone may agree with our order on this list, but we can probably all agree that these 10 have been entertaining us for years - and will continue to do so - with their fascinating stories, plots, scenes, and people.
10 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
In 2007, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was released, telling the infamous story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd. Sweeney Todd had a barbershop in London, which is how/where he was able to get rid of his customers with a straight razor and turn them into meat pies. Tim Burton directed this adaptation of this 1979 musical of the same name, while Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman starred. The Victorian melodramatic film was even considered one of the top ten films of 2007, according to the National Board of Review.
There have been several Batman movies, and in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, Tim Burton gave the world Batman and Batman Returns. For this list, we are focusing on just Batman, which featured the Dark Knight going up against The Joker. Everyone seems to have their own opinions on who the best Batman has been over the years (Adam West, George Clooney, Christian Bale, maybe here, with Michael Keaton), but we can probably all agree that Jack Nicholson was a memorable Joker. That smile, that personality, that outfit... This film belongs on this list!
8 Sleepy Hollow
Washington Irving’s 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' was first published in 1820, and in 1999, the story was brought to life in a creepy-cool way with Tim Burton’s movie. Sleepy Hollow starred Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, who had to look into a case involving The Headless Horseman. This is another iconic tale, with images and scenes that stick out in the minds of many fans. Tim Burton is known for his genius way of mixing horror, fantasy, and comedy, and Sleepy Hollow is a great example of this.
7 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
One of the newer films on this list is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children from 2016. Based on the novel by Ransom Riggs, this film was all about Jacob discovering a mystery that stretched across time. Miss Peregrine, her Peculiar Children and the danger that these characters faced made this an exciting movie. Plus, the magical elements made it the perfect thing for Tim Burton to direct... and fans are hoping for more from him and for this series (though a sequel film has not been announced yet...but we can hope)!
6 Alice in Wonderland
Another newer and whimsical movie is Alice in Wonderland. This book and the Disney version of this tale are both classics, so Tim Burton decided to take a nineteen-year-old Alice back to Wonderland. Favorite characters were given updated looks, thanks to big names like Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, and they were loved so much they also appeared in the sequel (This film came out in 2010, and Alice Through the Looking Glass was released in 2016.). This is another one that just seemed to make sense when it came to adding a Tim Burton twist!
5 Big Fish
2003’s Big Fish is described as being about a frustrated son, trying to understand the truth (among the many stories) in his dying father's life. However, those who have seen this movie, which was directed by Tim Burton, know that it is so much more. Yes, a father’s exaggerated stories were retold and revisited, as a son tried to make sense of the stories and of his father. This movie was different than most of Tim Burton’s other films, but its fantastical elements were very true to him and were very alluring to fans.
4 Corpse Bride
When many people picture a Tim Burton piece, they picture dark and thin characters who sing songs in cemeteries - like the ones in Corpse Bride! This 2005 animated film featured a shy groom and a deceased young woman who thought the groom was there to marry her. There are three things that make this one really stand out: First off, the style is iconic, as we touched upon earlier. Secondly, it brought back Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. And lastly, it had a love story with really pretty vows!
3 Edward Scissorhands
One of the most beloved Tim Burton movies is Edward Scissorhands, from the year 1990. Its premise was unusual, with Johnny Depp and his scissors for hands, but it was more than just a wacky story. It had deeper lessons and romance, as well. Winona Ryder’s character, Kim, helped introduce Edward to a whole new world and treated him like no one had before. Plus, didn’t we all want him to come make some cool and some sort of creepy lawn hedges for us with his cool and sort of creepy hands?!
2 The Nightmare Before Christmas
Of course, we saved the best two for last...In 1993, a holiday film like no other was released: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Is it a Halloween movie? Is it a Christmas movie? Who cares... It is a winner! Jack Skellington was from Halloween Town, but he discovered Christmas Town, where he fell in love with all the wonder associated with that holiday. The songs from this one alone are known and loved by many, and tons of fans make sure to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas at least once a year.
Last but certainly not least, we have Beetlejuice... Beetlejuice... Beetlejuice! Believe it or not, this flick came out over 30 years ago, in 1988, but it has lived on, still being enjoyed by generation after generation. The story itself was about two spirits trying to get a family out of their house, all with the help of Beetlejuice. Of course, a younger Alec Baldwin and a younger Geena Davis starred as the spirits, Michael Keaton gave the performance of a lifetime as the title character, and Winona Ryder played Lydia. So...can we get Tim Burton’s sequel to this now?!