Everyone has a list of their favorite movies. There are ones you watch when you need a pick me up, ones that make you feel like a kid again, and others that are just so good, you watch them every time they’re on no matter what. It’s likely that a Tim Burton movie falls into at least one of those categories. So to celebrate his 55th birthday, I decided to count down the top 10 Tim Burton films, and give a little of my two cents on the why aspect.
10. Mars Attacks
This is one of those movies that when asked why you love it, you can’t really explain. At least that’s how it is for me. I was an easily spooked kid. Chucky caused me to put heavy objects on my toy box for years, and I was certain those aliens would scare the crap out of me. That wasn’t the case; it was just this hilarious film that I really need to own on DVD. Think it’s in that $5 bin at Walmart?
9. Big Fish
The imagery and story of this movie are beautiful. Like many of Burton’s films, you’re transported to these places that could never exist in your reality but, thanks to his mind, you’re able to see life through a sort of dream scope with this one.
8. Batman Returns
Batman was never my favorite (if you’d like to argue, I’m going Captain Planet all the way). The animated series was muted before Power Rangers, that other one was only cool because of that Seal song, but this always stuck out to me because it was very campy and looked like actual comic book characters brought to life.
7. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
It’s cute, it’s got adventure, and stars a man child. Why not love this movie? Plus there’s a scene that was shot in my hometown and that’s basically the only point of reference I have when explaining where I’m from. Hint: the dinosaur scene.
You have to respect when someone stays true to their roots. This was Burton’s baby and once you reach the point he’s at, you can say — I do what I want and create what I want. I was glad that his kid didn’t disappoint though in the end.
5. Alice in Wonderland
This Alice had way, way more action than the one we all grew up with. In the end it packed the same amount of eerie as the animated one, but also added a lot of layers to all the characters that we didn’t get with that one.
4. James and the Giant Peach
Anytime you can take on the world of Roald Dahl, you’re going to have a piece of amazingness. This one had paired a runaway with a gang of bugs who, although creepy at first, turned out to be better friends than most humans could be.
The idea of dying didn’t seem to be as daunting after this movie presented the other side the way it did. There’s no scene in this movie that is a bore. The comedy is on point and each character, from major to minor, is priceless with lines that will be mimicked forever and a day. Plus, I have wanted a miniature town from the second I saw Adam’s.
2. Edward Scissorhands
There’s the whole odd man out appeal of Edward, but the one thing I took from this was that conformity wasn’t the best way to live. The manicured lawns, the pampered houses of the neighborhood, and the closed minds of the inhabitants… I’m pretty sure this movie is the reason I’m never comfortable in the suburbs.
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
It fused two of the best holidays (as far as kids are concerned) and paired that with a world that was the polar opposite of anything we’d seen from Disney before. There was still singing, good and bad guys, and a moral, but this world wasn’t Cinderella’s happily ever after. Disney finally took a chance and broke from their usual mold, and we’re glad they did.