Timothy Walter "Tim" Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an American film director, film producer, writer and artist. He is famous for dark, quirky-themed movies such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and for blockbusters such as Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Batman, Batman Returns, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland, his most recent film, that was the second highest-grossing film of 2010 as well as the sixth highest-grossing film of all time. Among Burton's many collaborators are Johnny Depp, who became a close friend since their first film together, musician Danny Elfman (who has composed for all but five of the films Burton has directed and/or produced) and domestic partner Helena Bonham Carter. He also wrote and illustrated the poetry book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, published in 1997, and a compilation of his drawings, entitled The Art of Tim Burton, was released in 2009.
Burton has directed 14 films as of 2010, and has produced 10 as of 2009. His next films are an adaptation of the soap opera Dark Shadows, scheduled to be released on May 11, 2012, and a remake of his 1984 short, Frankenweenie, scheduled to be released on October 5, 2012.
Burton was born in 1958, in the city of Burbank, California, to Jean Burton (née Erickson), the owner of a cat-themed gift shop, and Bill Burton, a former minor league baseball player who would later work for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. As a young man, Burton would make short films in his backyard on Evergreen Street using crude stop motion animation techniques or shoot them on 8 mm film without sound. (One of his most famous juvenile films is The Island of Doctor Agor, that he made when he was 13 years old.) Burton studied at the Burbank High School, but he was not a particularly good student. He was a very introspective person, and found his pleasure in painting, drawing and watching movies. His future work would be heavily influenced by the works by Edgar Allan Poe he read, and the horror and science fiction films he watched, such as Godzilla, the films made by Hammer Film Productions, the works of Ray Harryhausen and Vincent Price.