Moviegeek5: Tim Burton Solo


As we saw in yesterday’s Moviegeek5: Tim Burton & Johnny Depp much of the director’s career has involved the versatile actor, but Burton has made quite a few films without him.

Below we have selected 5 Tim Burton movies that do not feature Johnny Depp. Let us know in the comments what you think and give us your TOP 3 Tim Burton solo movies.


Beetlejuice (1988)

Burton’s second film and the first feature film to strike a truely Burtonesque tone, Beetlejuice is a comedy about the troubles of a newly-deceased couple. They find themselves trapped in their dream house, which is overtaken by obnoxious new owners. Against better judgement they seek the advice of Betelgeuse, one of Burton’s most memorable creations, thanks in part to Keaton’s great performance. It’s famous dinner scene remains one of Burton’s highlights.




Batman (1989)

When it was announced that Michael Keaton would play Batman in Tim Burton’s adaption there were few if any who anticipated a success. After all, he had just come off Beetlejuice (see above) and was mostly known for comedy. But Keaton impressed and remains high on the list of actors to play the Batman. Although colourful compared to today’s DC movies, this was a dark twist on the colour TV show of days gone by and had the great Jack Nicholson as arch-nemesis The Joker. A bona fide comic book movie with a lovely Burtonesque twist.




Mars Attacks! (1996)

Because Mars Attacks! was made after Ed Wood it seems almost a companion piece. While Ed Wood dealt with a maker of 1950s sci-fi horror, Mars Attacks is a 1990s version of such a film (B-movie style not Ed Wood level). The film relies heavily on cgi which, thankfully, holds up decently enough not to detract from the enjoyment. With nice throwbacks to 1950s sci-fi and an unusual twist on space aliens, this time around equipped with a wicked sense of humour.




Big Fish (2003)

One of Burton’s strongest movies without Johnny Depp, this drama is both a postmodern fable and a touching father and son story. The old Ed Bloom is dying and his estranged son returns to try and figure out who is father really is before it is too late. We see Ed Bloom’s own fantastical account of his life in flashes and along the way learn a thing or two about the value of stories and a sense of fun. However, true or untrue I know which version of Ed Bloom’s story I prefer!




Frankenweenie (2012)

Based on Tim Burton’s early live-action short of the same name, this stop-motion black & white movie is a twist on the classic story of Frankenstein. When Victor’s beloved dog Sparky is run over he decided to revive him but having a revived and stitched up dog does have its complications. A visually beautiful and touching film, especially for dog-lovers. This is the third stop-motion film Burton has had a hand in, after The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) which Burton produced and did character design for and Corpse Bride which starred Johnny Depp), and let us hope that he is not done with this quirky style of animation that so suits his distinct style.




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