Burton on Burton by Tim Burton

If there’s one thing I’ve learned to appreciate over the years, it’s the opportunity to crawl inside the mind of an artist, the chance to get their ideas on the creative process, to learn how and why things developed as they did.  Apparently there’s a whole series of these books, but this is the only one I’ve found so far.  I’m going to track down more.

Burton on Burton is a collection of essays wherein (who else?) Tim Burton talks about his early days as a Disney animator, his various film projects, and some of the successes and regrets he’s had over the years, as well as a number of his influences including Hammer horror films and Vincent Price.  As someone who’s been enamored with much of Burton’s work, this book was a pleasant surprise.  It’s probably the closest thing I’ll come to a conversation with the man, and that’s really what this feels like in places.  The peek behind the curtain at the Great and Powerful Oz reveals a man who is probably not who most people think he is.  As opposed to the ghoulish, twisted fiend that some people seem to think (I’ve overheard this in casual conversation so many times!), Burton comes across as a shy introvert who looks for the flawed humanity in each of his creations so as to connect them back to something relatable within himself.

I found this book to be intimate, easy to understand (even on the technical level), and so incredibly insightful.  No doubt I’ll look at all of Burton’s works with new eyes, which was the exact goal I had when I first opened this book.

4 stars

burton-on-burton