That’s right, it’s the last week of September and the first weekend of October. That means if you weren’t ready to get in the Halloween mood before, now is your time to shine. In honor of the new month, I am focusing on a paragon of the weird and endearingly creepy. Hold on to your shorts, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.
This week’s theme: Tim Burton
Let’s just start by saying that Tim Burton has been so prolific in his life that there is no way to cover his influence in this diminutive blog post. So, I will be doing two things. First, I am separating his work into two blog posts, one focused on Tim’s animation and the second on his live action films. Second, my main movie recommendation from each will be a work that I think deserves more credit than it’s received.
Tim Burton’s artistic style is distinct and immediately transports you to another world. Nowhere is that more obvious than in his animated works. The Nightmare Before Christmas continues to win over the hearts and minds of the geek-inclined and is a staple for every Halloween store and Hot Topic. And though no house should be without a shrine to the skeleton king, you can expand your library of the cute and off-putting with Corpse Bride, James and the Giant Peach, Frankenweenie (1984/2012), and Coraline. I suggest popping in that last one when you need to scare your kids into mistrusting people who promise to give them everything they want.
For the bookish geek, you can always pick up The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories. This Edward Gory-esq collection of poems is delightfully accented by Tim Burton’s own drawings. I have had people mistake my copy for a well-bound children’s book. Try not to cackle as you watch unwitting faces shift from expressions of “that’s cute” to “WTF!”
Now that I have the bibliophile’s attention, it’s time to move to my movie suggestion.
For those who don’t know, Vincent is a stop-animation short made in 1982. It is the brief tale of a boy who is obsessed with Vincent Price, a consummate actor most famous for his multiple roles playing Edgar Allen Poe characters. This short film is a treasure! It’s written in verse, animated in black and white, references several works of Edgar Allen Poe, and voiced by Vincent Price himself! It is a beautiful homage to the macabre child in all of us.
You can watch and re-watch Vincent on YouTube. Go. Do it now! You won’t regret it.