transforming beastly blockbusters
into creepy animaction artbusters
in the twilit and allegorical film art
of Tim Burton
by Gary W. Wright
As with most film artists who emerged after 1982, the helicopter crash that killed illegally hired child extras Renee Chen and Myca Le and actor/writer/director Vic Morrow around 2:20 am in the morning of July 23, 1982 on the John Landis set of the twilit, allegorical, computer generated imagery (CGI) enhanced and Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall produced Landis, Joe Dante, George Miller and Steven Spielberg film TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983) was a major theme in the film art and telefilm art of Timothy Walter “Tim” Burton. Unlike other post-TZ disaster film and telefilm artists, however, Burton was already working for Walt Disney as a despondent and disaffected animator with a dark and gleefully gloomy drawing style. In addition, and also unlike most film artists, who were either bitterly opposed to the increasing commercialization of film art before and after the TZ disaster like David Cronenberg, or enthusiastic supporters of that commercialization like Spielberg, Burton initially supported that commercialization in such twilit and allegorical films as BATMAN (1989) and opposed it in such twilit and allegorical films like EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990) before reconciling these two opposing and contradictory philosophies of film art. Burton did this by creating his own unique and twilit take on the artbuster, a style of film that fused the crass, generic and beastly blockbuster commercialism of Old Hollywood with the quirky, idiosyncratic, imaginative, independent, innovative and anti-commercial film art for film art’s sake of New Hollywood that had been initially proposed and presented to the world by Stanley Kubrick in his allegorical docufeature artbuster 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968).
However, while Kubrick for the most part preferred seriously satirical films that addressed his life and times, Burton preferred lighthearted satirical films that took audiences away from the world and its troubles. Add an animaction approach to film art that resulted from fusing his Disney animation background with live action and a love of the creepy and gothic leavened with a gleefully warped sense of humour, and you had the quirky and gothy animaction artbuster style of film art that Burton contributed to the dread allegorical Zone Wars. A quirky, creepy, gothy and distinct Burton style of artbustin’ animaction film art that was perhaps best referred to as Hallowe’en Town, given that Burton’s oeuvre was not just openly fond of Hallowe’en but was also, for the most part, as light and enjoyably creepy as Hallowe’en. Of course, before he got to his first feature film, Burton had to develop and perfect his distinct, quirky and gothy Hallowe’en Town style with short films like the exuberantly gloomy and gothic short film VINCENT (1982), written, designed and directed by Burton, with animation and producer hats worn by Rick Heinrichs, stop motion animation by Stephen Chiodo, cinematography by Victory Abdalov and music by Ken Hilton and released by Disney on July 30, 1982.
“For a boy his age, he’s considerate and nice,
but he wants to be just like Vincent Price.”
Significantly, this black and white, creative, gothic, spooky and hand and stop motion animated tale related the dolorous story of the despondent and disaffected young suburban boy, Vincent Malloy, and the longing of the seven year old boy to escape from altogether too dull suburban reality-his suburban angst affirmed by the mall evoking “Mall” in Malloy-by transforming his suburban house with his mischievously fiendish imagination and living in its macabre and monster filled world. Young Malloy also wished he could become his two heroes, Edgar Allan Poe and Vincent Price, who fittingly narrated the piece in ghoulishly rhyming couplets. Alas, despite his best eerily imaginative efforts, Malloy’s macabre fantasies were easily defeated by his towering mother, who ordered him outside to play, leaving him victorious nevermore, in the end.
However, despite Malloy’s best efforts to shock and repulse audiences, VINCENT easily won them over to its creepy cause and showcased everything from quirky and original characters, creatures and sets to cheeky black humour, gothic angst, spooky shadows and a deep love for Poe and Price and Poe inspired New World films that starred Price, all of which would soon by synonymous with a Burton animaction artbuster. Thus, it was fitting that the bored, disaffected, lonely, imaginative and horror fiction and film loving Vincent pining away in stultifying suburbia not just resembled but implicitly symbolized Burton. A Tim Burton who would create film art full of endearingly grotesque and ugly, dispirited and despondent characters who would be the complete opposite of the endearingly cute and cuddly, quick witted and mischievous characters of the film art of Walt Disney.
Not surprisingly, the gloomy angst of VINCENT and Malloy’s concluding fear that he had lost a love that would never return also suited the despondent and righteously furious mood of young audiences that year, who were also left wondering if they had lost the magic of film art forevermore after the shocking and sobering deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow in the TZ disaster, making it all too fitting that Vincent Malloy had the same VM initials as Vic Morrow. Deaths that implicitly shocked and infuriated Burton as much as young audiences, as he implied when he teamed up with Chiodo and Heinrichs again and merged animation with live action for the first time to create the full colour twilit and allegorical animaction telefilm HANSEL AND GRETEL (1983), inspired by a fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, designed and directed by Burton and fittingly released on television by Disney on October 31, 1983, the perfect date for a man who would become synonymous with Hallowe’en Town.
“They can take almost everything,
they can’t take my dreams.”
For the story revolved around a Chen and Le evoking and implicitly linked American brother and sister of Southeast Asian descent-played by the fittingly surnamed Andy Lee and by Alison Hong, respectively-who lived with their kindly but weak, long suffering and implicitly Spielberg linked toymaker father-played by Jim Ishida-and their cruel, goo luvving, black dress clad, fourth wall breaking and Landis resembling and implicitly linked Wicked Stepmother-played by Michael Yama-in a poor and humble house. A Chen and Le evoking and implicitly linked brother and sister who were initially tormented by their cruel and Wicked Stepmother, but who eventually triumphed over her after they got lost in the gloomy woods and found themselves at a gingerbread house inhabited by their Wicked Stepmother, now transformed into a Wicked Witch-also played by Yama. Indeed, the two tenacious siblings killed their Wicked StepWitch before she could fatten them up on candy and gingerbread and eat them by tricking her into throwing herself into the furnace of her house with a flying martial arts kick, and then locking the furnace door and burning her up in the indomitable and triumphant end of the telefilm, a grimly satisfying and eucatastrophic ending that allowed the siblings and, implicitly, Chen and Le, to triumph over and exorcise the Wicked Landis and bring Good, life, health and harmony back to the universe, allowing the indomitable kids to reunite with their loving dad, in the end, perhaps Burton’s way of also hoping that Spielberg would triumph over Landis with his film art in the post-TZ disaster era.
A tenacious triumph that also implied a triumph for telefilm/film art for telefilm/film art’s sake, given that HANSEL AND GRETEL, like VINCENT, was done in the already distinct, quirky and gothy Burton style, this time fused with a colourful crazy clown theme that was perfect for a crazy clown like Landis. A distinct and quirky Burton style that continued when Burton returned to Hallowe’en Town with Heinrichs and Julie Hickson-writer and executive producer of HANSEL AND GRETEL-and the twilit and allegorical black and white short film FRANKENWEENIE (1984), which evoked the equally allegorical and implicitly Third Reich roasting James Whale film FRANKENSTEIN (1931) and which was released by Disney on December 14, 1984.
“The kid did it before,
and we can do it again!”
Significantly, FRANKENWEENIE started off with a short allegorical film called MONSTERS FROM LONG AGO by Barret Oliver’s young Vincent Malloy evoking young Victor Frankenstein in the Frankenstein family living room, linking young Frankenstein to film artists. As Sparky, the family dog-played, in an unusual bit of casting, by Sparky-had the starring role in this film as a Dogzilla-style character saving humanity from a pterosaur attack, Sparky literally symbolized allegorical film art. Thus, when Sparky was hit by a car and killed while racing across the street outside the suburban Frankenstein house-the stultifying suburbs again!-to fetch a ball, film art was symbolically killed as well as Sparky and consigned to the pet cemetery, with dog bone shaped crosses on its canine headstones, some of the latter in the shape of fire hydrants.
The implicit link of Sparky and Victor to film art was increased by Victor’s elementary school teacher, Mr. Walsh. For Mr. Walsh was played by film artist Paul Bartel, perhaps best known for his allegorical and implicitly New Hollywood film artist roasting film DEATH RACE 2000 (1975), but also linked to the year of the TZ disaster forever via his role as Paul Bland in the allegorical Bartel film EATING RAOUL (1982). Significantly, Mr. Walsh’s electrical experiments on a dead frog caused the frog’s legs to twitch, giving the despondent young Frankenstein the idea to bring Sparky back to life by zapping his dug up corpse with electricity, a ghoulish sight and sound that evoked the sight and sound of Vincent dreaming of experimenting on his long suffering dog, Abercrombie, and turning him into a zombie in VINCENT.
Curiously, given that this classroom science experiment scene also recalled another elementary school science class scene involving frogs in the allegorical and implicitly Terry Gilliam roasting Spielberg film E. T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL (1982), Burton implied that Victor Frankenstein was linked to Steven Spielberg. Indeed, Victor’s close relationship with Sparky evoked the close relationship of Elliot Thomas-played by Henry Thomas-to lonesome E. T. throughout E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. The allusions in FRANKENWEENIE to Hitchcock-including a background extra who resembled and was implicitly linked to Hitch-also implied that the film was implicitly sympathizing with Spielberg, for Hitchcock was an idol of Spielberg. Thus, young Frankenstein’s implicit link to Spielberg implicitly affirmed that Burton sympathized with Spielberg and hoped that Spielberg would revive his film art career in the post-TZ disaster era and re-establish good relations with audiences like young Frankenstein revived Sparky and re-established good relations with his parents, Ben and Susan Frankenstein, their Walt Disney evoking neighbour, Mr. Chambers, and his goldilocked daughter, Ann-played by Daniel Stern, Shelley Duval, Joseph Maher and Domino aka Sofia (SCC) Coppola, respectively. Significantly, this was a dangerous sympathy for Spielberg, given how angry audiences were with him at the time, as he was the man who came up with the idea to make TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE and hired Dante, Kennedy, Landis, Marshall and Miller to help him create the film.
But then again, the presence of Bartel reminded us that George Lucas was implicitly linked to the infamous Death Racer, Frankenstein-played by David Carradine-who triumphed at the end of DEATH RACE 2000, perhaps implicitly linking young Frankenstein to George Lucas. Indeed, the presence of SCC affirmed that possibility, given that she and the rest of the Coppola clan were friends of Lucas. The fact that Victor’s friend Frank Dale-played by Jason Hervey-resembled Spielberg more than young Frankenstein reaffirmed that implication. A snippet of the Michael Convertino and David Newman composed soundtrack that evoked the John Williams composed soundtrack for the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Spielberg roasting Lucas executive produced Irvin Kershner film, STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980), also affirmed the alternate implication that the film was actually gently roasting Lucas. In that case, Burton implicitly sympathized with Lucas in the film and implicitly hoped that he would return to creating hi-tech and CGI enhanced film art. At any rate, FRANKENWEENIE sparked Burton up enough to encourage him to quickly team up again with Heinrichs and Hervey and also with Warner Brothers-the studio that released TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE-on his first surprisingly sunny and upbeat and still least Hallowe’en Town linked allegorical animaction feature film PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, released on July 26, 1985.
Curiously, the film began with the main character, the unusually carefree, optimistic and sexually ambiguous child-man bachelor P. W. “Pee-Wee” Herman-played by Paul Reubens-dreaming that he won the Tour de France, implicitly linking him to a French film artist. As the film contained allusions to the film art of Jean-Luc Godard, the implication was that Herman symbolized Godard. Indeed, the sight and sound of Herman spending the entire ridiculous film frantically trying to find his beloved orangey/red and white bicycle after the bike was stolen by his arch-nemesis, the chubby, nefarious, loot luvving, vaguely homosexual and David Lynch resembling and implicitly linked Francis Buxton- a roast of Lynch no doubt brought on by the failure of his twilit and allegorical moving painting DUNE (1984) to ignite the box office the year before, and played by Mark Holton-affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Godard, reminding us that Godard had implicitly roasted Lynch and DUNE earlier that year in the twilit and allegorical film DETECTIVE (1985). Curiously, and contrarily, given the implicit support for Spielberg in HANSEL AND GRETEL and possible support for him in FRANKENWEENIE, on top of battling Buxton along the madcap way, Herman also struggled to evade the furious grip of the implicitly Spielberg linked human blockbuster beast, Andy-played by Jon Harris.
And in the end, after many madcap and moronic adventures, Herman did recover his beloved bicycle on the Warner Brothers lot, crashing the creation on one soundstage of a Godzilla film that evoked the Dogzilla film that kicked off FRANKENWEENIE and also crashing a future Burton collaboration anticipating Santa Claus film on another soundstage in the process. And so at last Herman was reunited with his beloved bicycle and with his life’s love, Elizabeth Daily’s dotty Dottie, inspiring the studio to make a film within the film about his big adventure, starring James Brolin as secret agent P. W. Herman and Morgan Fairchild as Dottie, implying the hope of Burton that Godard would rediscover the form that had made him famous as a young film artist. A hopeful ending to an irrepressibly and unabashedly childish, silly and strangely homoerotic film that was far removed from FRANKENWEENIE and VINCENT-with the exception of some creepy nightmare sequences and Herman’s run-in with the ghost of Alice Nunn‘s trucker, Large Marge, that brought glimpses of Hallowe’en Town to the film-and from the angry despair that prevailed in the post-TZ disaster years.
Burton then returned to telefilm with Convertino, Duval, Maher and Newman and an equally light and upbeat retelling of the Arabian Nights tale “Aladdin And His Wonderful Lamp” (1986) released on tv on July 14, 1986 that saw the implicitly Spielberg linked Aladdin-played by Robert Carradine-triumph over Leonard Nimoy’s evil and implicitly Landis linked Magician and capture the heart of Valerie Bertinelli’s pretty and implicitly film art linked Princess Sabrina with the help of James E. Jones’ gleefully macabre and implicitly magic of film art linked Genie in more implied and contrary support for Spielberg in episode 22 of the mid-Eighties telefilm series SHELLEY DUVAL’S FAERIE TALE THEATRE. Then it was no surprise that Burton and PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE were furiously and implicitly blasted the following year in two more serious and sombre works of film art, the allegorical and twilit Tim Hunter film RIVER’S EDGE (1986)-where Burton was implicitly linked to Josh Richman’s clueless Tony-released on August 27, 1986, and the equally twilit and allegorical Lynch moving painting BLUE VELVET (1986)-where Burton was implicitly linked to Kyle MacLachlan’s Jeffrey Beaumont, underlined by the fact that the surname “Burton” could be created from the letters composing the name of Jeffrey Beaumont and by the fact that the film’s setting of Lumberton looked and sounded like Tim Burton-released on August 30, 1986.
Dante also implicitly roasted Burton and the sexually ambiguous PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE in the implicit form of the exuberant and manipulative pornographer, Tony Sepulvula-a “Paul” hidden in his surname linking him to Paul Reubens and, hence, Burton, and played by Dante regular Robert Picardo-and his “porn star” wife, Sheena-implicitly linked to the film art of Burton, and played by Wendy Schaal-two artless and irritating interlopers who were chased out of their new home by Nelson and Evelyn Chumpsky, a more artistic, discerning and truly loving vaudeville ghost couple-played by Eddie Bracken and Evelyn Keyes, respectively-who lived in the attic in the allegorical Dante telefilm “Boo!”, an episode of the mid-Eighties telefilm series STEVEN SPIELBERG PRESENTS AMAZING STORIES (1985-87). Steve De Jarnatt also implicitly roasted Burton in the form of the shy, geeky, socially awkward and stuttering Skeet-played by Howard Swain-in his twilit and allegorical film, CHERRY 2000 (1987)-a film that was implicitly more interested in roasting Luc Besson in the implicit form of Tim Thomerson’s post-TZ apocalypse gang leader, Lester, given the film’s allusions to such twilit and allegorical Besson films as LE DERNIER COMBAT (1983) and SUBWAY (1985).
Burton implicitly got the messages, as he veered away from the light, kooky and carefree style of PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE and brought Hallowe’en Town for the first time to a feature film to perform a ghostly and “Boo!” evoking exorcism of his own when he teamed up again with Heinrichs, Warner Brothers, FRANKENWEENIE director of photography Thomas Ackerman and PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE composer Danny Elfman-with a little help from Harry Belafonte-for his next twilit and allegorical animaction film BEETLEJUICE (1988), released on March 29, 1988.
“Come back again…SOON”
Significantly, the film began with a CGI Geffen Company logo and a title proclaiming “…A Geffen Company Release”, then a title reading “…The Geffen Company presents” followed by a title reading “…A Tim Burton Film”, implying that creating PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE had increased the confidence of young Burton, despite generally baffled, bemused, dismissive, and horrified reviews for his first film. Then BEETLEJUICE saw the implicitly David and Carolyn Cronenberg linked Adam and Barbara Maitland-played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, respectively, the latter openly linking the film to the film art of Cronenberg via her role as intrepid reporter Veronica Quaife in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Spielberg roasting Cronenberg film, THE FLY (1986)-returned to their attic as ghosts like the Chumpskys in “Boo!” to haunt their lone house on the hill after drowning in the local river when their oh so safe Volvo station wagon ironically swerved off a covered bridge to avoid a dog while driving home from a trip to their own Maitland Hardware store through their small town of Winter River, Connecticut at the beginning of the film. And like the Chumpskys, the Maitlands were soon doing all that they could to scare new owners Charles and Delia Deetz-implicitly linked to Lynch and Mary Fisk given the film’s allusions to DUNE, and played by Jeffrey Jones and the fittingly red Harkonnen haired Catherine O’Hara, respectively-their goth and gloom loving, and Wicked Witch of the West evoking, and implicitly Jennifer Lynch linked daughter, Lydia-played by Winona Ryder-and their implicitly Lucas linked supernatural “expert” friend, Otho-played by Glenn Shadix-away from their home.
Tragicomically, and with the help of the anonymously written The Handbook for the Recently Deceased, the Maitlands also fought a desperate battle to defeat the exuberantly deranged, graveyard luvving and implicitly Dante linked Betelguese-played by Michael Keaton, linked to the fateful and fatal year of 1982 forever by way of his role as Billy “Blaze” Blazejowski in the allegorical Ron Howard film NIGHT SHIFT (1982)-the deliriously demented Bio-Exorcist they mistakenly called upon to help them scare off the Deetzes. Intriguingly, Barbara succeeded in defeating and exorcising Betelgeuse with the help of a reimagined sandworm straight out of Arrakis in DUNE, in the end. This eucatastrophic triumph brought peace and harmony back to the Maitlands, recalling the triumph over the Wicked StepWitch at the end of HANSEL AND GRETEL.
However, the Maitlands did not succeed in scaring away the Deetzes like the Chumpskys succeeded in scaring away Tony and Sheena in “Boo!”. Instead, the triumph over the bachelor Betelgeuse allowed the Maitlands to achieve a sympathetic symbiotic rapport with the Deetzes, allowing the film to end with them all living happily together forever after in the haunted house on the hill, with Lydia floating through the air to the sound of the allegorical Rafael De Leon, Gabriel Oller and Steve Samuel written Belafonte tune “Jump In The Line (Shake Senora)” (1961), evoking the sight and sound of the floating Baron Vladimir Harkonnen-played by Kenneth McMillan-in DUNE. Thus, this ending implied the hope of Burton that BEETLEJUICE would defeat the bachelor Dante and lead to a détente between Cronenberg and Lynch-a fellow artist and painter like Burton-and perhaps even himself. A détente that would see the three film artists defeat and exorcise the TZ disaster and schlockbuster “films” like the twilit and allegorical Dante disaster GREMLINS (1984) and work together to bring peace and harmony back to the Temple Theatre with their film art, given that Landis and his four co-defendants were found not guilty of manslaughter at the end of the TZ trial the year before.
As BEETLEJUICE was another Warner Brothers film like PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, the implication was that Warners also used another Burton film to soothe and reconnect with audiences outraged by the TZ disaster. If so, Warners got their wish, for BEETLEJUICE was a big hit, implying that audiences and reviewers were just as eager to embrace Hallowe’en Town as they were to leave behind the TZ disaster. Thus, after Dante teamed up again with Picardo and Schaal and implicitly responded to BEETLEJUICE and roasted Burton in the implicit form of creepy suburban neighbour Hans Klopek-played by Courtney Gains-in the twilit and allegorical film THE ‘BURBS (1989), a film released on February 17, 1989 whose implicit Burton roasting intent on one level was affirmed by the film’s allusions to BEETLEJUICE, FRANKENWEENIE and PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, it was no surprise that Warners returned to Hallowe’en Town again with Burton, Elfman-helped along by Prince-and Keaton to shamelessly celebrate and inaugurate the beginning of a new era of crassly commercial, movie tie-in merchandise and product placement filled blockbuster film “art” with the twilit and allegorical animaction filmmercial BATMAN, inspired by the character created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane for DC Comics, who was perhaps originally an implicit tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, given that the fictional town of Arkham that he created returned as Arkham Asylum in the Batman comics and released on June 19, 1989.
“Have you shipped
a million of those things?”
A crassly commercial era, indeed, for the triumph of the lonely, haunted, troubled, wealthy, technology obsessed and implicitly Lucas linked bachelor Bruce “Batman” Wayne-played by Keaton as an adult and Charles Roskilly as a boy, respectively- his implicit link to the equally lonely, haunted, wealthy and technology obsessed bachelor Lucas affirmed by Wayne’s love of collecting Jedi Knight evoking medieval suits of European and Japanese knightly armour and by the presence of Billy Dee Williams as Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent, and his faithful, attentive and implicitly John Ford linked butler, Alfred Pennyworth-played by Michael Gough-over the gleefully psychotic, product tampering and shopping preventing baddie, Jack “the Joker” Napier-played by Hugo E. Blick as a young man and Jack Nicholson as a middle aged man, respectively, and originally implicitly linked to DC Comics editor Harry Donenfeld by Finger and Kane but now implicitly linked to Alex Cox-and his gang-including the Joker’s right hand man, Bob, who was played by Tracey Walter, an actor who played a mystic human Yoda named Miller in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lucas roasting Cox film REPO MAN (1984)-did not just defeat the Joker or symbolically defeat the anti-commercial and film art for film art’s sake Cox-who had also implicitly roasted Lucas in the form of William Walker (played by Ed Harris) in the twilit and allegorical film WALKER (1987). Nor did the valourous victory save Hollywood film art, implicitly symbolized by Kim Basinger’s beautiful blonde and perhaps Kathryn Bigelow linked photojournalist, Vicky Vale, in the end.
Instead, the climatic eucatastrophic triumph over the Joker saved shopping in Gotham City-a fittingly dark, dirty, gloomy, gothic and metropolitan proto-Hallowe’en Town-due to the fact that random products tampered by the Joker caused people to laugh to death, discouraging Gothamites from shopping as they did not know which products would kill them. Thus, the ridiculous implication was that with Batman ending the “shopping nightmare” of Gothamites by defeating the Joker and his fiendish gang of human gremlins, audiences were now free to stop fretting over the TZ disaster and to go out and buy lots of the film’s openly placed products and movie tie-in merchandise. Both of which were easy to find at the local malls and stores, as BATMAN was accompanied by the largest movie tie-in merchandise and product promotion campaigns in film history, with the Batman logo stamped on anything it could be stamped on. Given that eager audiences packed theatres and bought much of the Bat gear, the public implicitly agreed that it was back to the profits for Hollywood.
However, despite this crass commercialism, BATMAN gave Burton his first big chance to attempt to merge his quirky and gothic film art for film art’s sake style with the beastly blockbuster to create a creepy Hallowe’en Town animaction artbuster, and one that was surprisingly free of CGI enhancement. Burton certainly implicitly hoped so, as the film was yet again called “…A Tim Burton Film” in the opening titles-noticeably after not only the Warner Brothers logo, but after the titles for Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger. Thus, it was fitting that Wayne, the haunted and brooding Gothamite, his frightening alter ego and the gloomy and gothic Gotham City he protected were all in tune with Burton’s equally haunted, brooding, gloomy and gothic sensibilities. How also fitting that the original Batman tales by Finger and Kane were clearly as much inspired by gothic tales
like the allegorical and implicitly Irish potatoe famine exorcising Bram Stoker novel Dracula (1897) and the Poe influenced and often implicitly Nazi bashing allegorical weird tales of Lovecraft as they were inspired by the pulp adventures of Doc Savage and the Shadow, the latter written by Walter Brown Gibson, whose full name intriguingly evoked Bruce Wayne.
However, despite using BATMAN to advance his animaction artbuster cause, the tension between the determined and implacable Batman and the “indolent” and wealthy Wayne implicitly evoked the tension inside Burton between the quirky, gothy and indie film artist for film art’s sake he preferred to be and the lookalike blockbuster beast director that he was being molded into by Warner Brothers. A molding into a crassly commercial director that implicitly bothered Burton, for he appeared to show up in a cameo amongst the foolish crowd of people dying as they reached for the money given away by the Joker at the deadly parade at the end of the film. Thus, it was not surprising that, emboldened by the success of BATMAN, Burton teamed up again with Elfman-whose alternately brooding and haunted and dynamic and pulse pounding soundtrack was the first for a Burton film that did not sound like it was composed for a crazy clown circus-Price, Ryder, and BEETLEJUICE co-producer Richard Hashimoto and production designer Bo Welch and implicitly replied to Lynch and BLUE VELVET when he turned confidently away from commercial film as he had after the success of PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE and finally fully arrived in Hallowe’en Town with his first original, quirky, idiosyncratic, gothic, creepy, macabre, twilit and allegorical animaction artbuster EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990), released on December 6, 1990.
“I’m your local Avon representative,
and I’m as harmless as cherry p--”
Indeed, the white and snowswept Twentieth Century Fox logo that preceded the film immediately made clear that Burton had taken over and was putting his creepy, gothy and idiosyncratic Hallowe’en Town imprint on the film. Indeed, the Fox logo was soon followed by “…A Tim Burton Film” title that preceded the title of the film and the names of the lead actors, affirming that Burton was taking over the film. A film that was a charming and gothic fairy tale that saw the incomplete, awkwardly scissorhanded and implicitly Lynch linked teen, Edward Scissorhands-played by Johnny Depp-struggle to deal with being a freakish outsider in a ridiculously idyllic and pastel coloured faux Seventies suburb in Florida like the implicitly David Cronenberg linked and “…terrible Elephant Man”, John Merrick-played by John Hurt-struggled with being a freakishly deformed outsider in Victorian London in the allegorical and implicitly Cronenberg and Sir Ridley Scott addressing Lynch moving painting THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980). Indeed, the sight and sound of Scissorhands using his scissorhands to succeed as an accomplished and creative hair stylist, topiary crafter and dog groomer, reminded us that Merrick was also a sensitive and talented artist, affirming the implicit link of Scissorhands to Lynch, an implication reaffirmed by the film’s allusions to BLUE VELVET, the allegorical Lynch moving painting ERASERHEAD (1977) and the twilit and allegorical Lynch moving painting WILD AT HEART (1990).
Not surprisingly, and despite his success, Scissorhands was worried that he would cut everyone around him with his scissorhands, a fear that no doubt evoked the fear of many post-TZ disaster directors that any film they directed and touched would lead to cast and crew members being scissored and rotored apart in another horrific and deadly accident as in the TZ disaster. A prescient fear, for Scissorhands used one of his scissor blades to spear and kill the loutish and implicitly James Cameron linked high school jock, Jim-played by Anthony M. Hall-boyfriend of his teen lady love, Kim Boggs-played by Ryder-in the end. Thus, the sight and sound of Scissorhands fleeing a baying suburban mob to a life alone and forgotten sculpting sadly away in his lonely castle or mansion on the hill, in the end, implied the belief of Burton that Lynch was too strange and idiosyncratic to truly connect with audiences and succeed with his film art like Cameron.
A fate that did not plague Burton, given the enormous popularity of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. A reassuring support of an arbuster about more than saving shopping that ironically and unfortunately gave Burton the confidence to persuade Warner Brothers to allow him to truly merge the Dark Knight with Hallowe’en Town when he collaborated again with DiNovi, Elfman, Gough, Keaton, Reubens, Welch, costume designer Coleen Atwood, co-producers Peter Guber, Benjamin Melniker, Jon Peters and Michael Uslan and story idea man Sam Hamm-all from BATMAN-Pat Hingle-who played Commissioner James “Jim” Gordon in BATMAN-and Diane Salinger-who played the wistful and possibly Amy Irving linked Simone in PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE-on the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster BATMAN RETURNS (1992), released on June 16, 1992.
“You got kind of a Dark Side, don’t you?”
Indeed, the image of snow falling on a Warners logo that began the film evoked the snow falling on sad suburbia that was created by lonesome Scissorhands as he worked on his sculptures at the end of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, implicitly affirming from the outset that the success of that film had given Burton the confidence to turn Gotham City into a massive, creepy and quirky Hallowe’en Town in BATMAN RETURNS. This macabre implication continued when the Warners logo disappeared to reveal the same snow falling on the Cobblepot mansion in Gotham City. Inside the mansion, the despondent Mr. and Mrs. Tucker and Esther Cobblepot-played by Reubens and Salinger, respectively-struggled to deal with their unusual newborn son. A son that was first locked away from the world in a caged wooden box that evoked the sight and sound of Gizmo the Mogwai locked in a cage at the beginning of the twilit, allegorical and Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg executive produced Dante film GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH (1990).
However, despite this similarity to GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH, the implication was that the son of the Cobblepots, the short, rotund, despondently demented and graveyard haunting Oswald “the Penguin” Cobblepot-created by Finger and Kane for DC Comics and resembling and perhaps originally linked to Fritz Lang, and played by Danny DeVito-was actually linked to the equally short, rotund and gleefully demented New Zealand newcomer Sir Peter Jackson rather than Dante. Indeed, there were all sorts of allusions to Sir Jackson’s first two nasty twilit and allegorical “films” BAD TASTE (1987) and MEET THE FEEBLES (1989) in BATMAN RETURNS to support that implication. Thus, the triumph of Keaton’s again implicitly Lucas linked Bruce “Batman” Wayne and Hough’s ever loyal and implicitly Ford linked Alfred over the pernicious Penguin, his loyal antipodean penguin posse and the possibly “Mad” Miller linked organ grinder-played by Vincent Schiavelli-and the rest of the crazy clown circus evoking and human gremlin mayhem loving Red Triangle Gang implied a triumph over Sir Jackson, his film crews and his film art, in the end.
But not before Michelle Pfeiffer’s implicitly Jane Campion linked Selena “Catwoman” Kyle-created by Finger and Kane for DC Comics-triumphed over the Evil, Donald Trump evoking and murderous capitalist Maximilian “Max” Schreck-who also resembled New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, and was played by Christopher Walken-who had pushed her out of a board room window of the Schreck tower to her doom at the beginning of the film. A triumph over Schreck that also implied a triumph over Disney, as the name of Maximilian Schreck evoked Maximilian Schell’s implicitly Lucas linked Doctor Hans Reinhardt in the allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Lucas and STAR WARS roasting Disney and Gary Nelson film THE BLACK HOLE (1979). Indeed, the fact that the round faced and grinning cat that was the Schreck company logo evoked Mickey Mouse throughout the film reaffirmed the implication that Schreck also symbolized Disney. Making the twin triumph over Cobblepot and Schreck not only the opposite of the silly triumph over the Joker that saved shopping in BATMAN, but a way for Burton to implicitly reaffirm to Dis, Sir Jackson and everyone else that he wanted his quirky artbusters like BATMAN RETURNS to be about more than box office profits, promoting products and selling movie tie-in merchandise. Indeed, Burton’s insistence that there was still artistic life in the art of film was reaffirmed by the Catwoman, who always returned to feisty and independent life no matter how often she was killed by the blockbuster loot lusting Schreck, the demented Penguin or even Batman over the course of BATMAN RETURNS.
Thus, Burton made it implicitly clear in BATMAN RETURNS that he was now using his directorial success and clout to leave behind the crass commercialism of BATMAN and to create his own unique and quirky allegorical animaction artbusters. Indeed, Hallowe’en Town had arrived, a triumph of his own creepy and unique style of artbusters that he openly celebrated when he ironically teamed up again as designer and producer with DiNovi, Disney, Elfman-who not only provided music and lyrics and sang but was also associate producer-Heinrichs, Jones, O’Hara, Reubens and Shadix to literally visit Hallowe’en Town on the set of Henry Selick’s macabre and musical twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced stop-motion animaction artbuster TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993), an animated Xmas film based on a three page poem written, and characters created, by Burton that came across as a fusion of the allegorical Jules Bass stop-motion telefilm MAD MONSTER PARTY (1967) and the Bass and Arthur Rankin jr. Christmas stop-motion telefilm THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS (1974), with its singing and dancing Miser brothers, the implicitly President Gerald Ford linked Heat Miser and the implicitly Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau linked Snow Miser-played by George S. Irving and Dick Shawn, respectively-their implicit links to Ford and Trudeau implicitly affirmed by the fact that they were watched over and ordered about by the implicitly Queen Elizabeth II linked Mother Nature-played by Rhoda Mann-that was released on October 9, 1993.
“It’s our town, everybody scream
in this town of Hallowe’en.”
Curiously, this film saw the cutesy graveyard rollicking creatures of Hallowe’en Town, led by the Elfman sung and Chris Sarandon voiced Jack Skellington and his faithful, jack-o’ghost dog, Zero, fail in their creepy quest to take over Christmas Town, led by the Ed Ivory voiced Santa Claus. This amusing assault on Christmas Town recalled the similar assault of the Penguin and his Red Triangle Gang on Christmas celebrations in Gotham City in BATMAN RETURNS, a link affirmed by the fact that both assaults ended in failure. However, while failing to force dark, nightmarish, wild and anarchic Hallowe’en on light, sweet, orderly and virtuous Christmas, Skellington and the rest of Hallowe’en Town did defeat the buggy, blockbuster and gambling loot mad ghost, Oogie Boogie-voiced by Ken Page.
Curiously, given that the stiff and awkward Mayor of Hallowe’en Town, with his two expressions-played by Shadix-evoked the equally stiff and awkward newly elected Democratic Vice President Al Gore, the implication was that Skellington’s failure to turn Christmas Town into Hallowe’en Town was an allegorical message to newly elected Democratic President Bill Clinton-implicitly symbolized by Skellington-and his cabinet that their attempt to turn the sometimes dark and nasty United States-symbolized by Hallowe’en Town-into a clean, polite and safe, but dull, stodgy and torpid place like left leaning Canada-symbolized by Christmas Town-with all sorts of well meant but stifling left leaning legislation was doomed to fail due to the two radically different spirits of Canada and the United States. In addition, Burton and Selick also implied that the triumph over Evil ghost Oogie Boogie was a symbolic celebration of Clinton’s victory over the colourless and uninspiring ex-CIA spook Bush sr. Thus, Burton and Selick followed in the footsteps of THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS and with Disney in implicitly using animated film art for politically satirical purposes, a Disney tradition that went back at least to the allegorical Burt Gillett silly symphony “Three Little Pigs” (1933), which implicitly roasted Nazi Germany in the form of the Evil, duplicitous and blustering wolf who was defeated by the implicitly U.S. linked pig and his implicitly England and France linked pig buddies, in the prescient end-who’s afraid of the big bad Reich, indeed.
Of course, TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS evoked not just VINCENT, but the stop-motion tyrannosaurus rex in PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE and the stop-motion sandworms of BEETLEJUICE. Stop-motion blockbuster beasts that had clearly not been forgotten by Spielberg and Michael Crichton, as that same year they fittingly menaced the implicitly Burton linked Tim-played by Joseph Mazzello-with animatronic and CGI dinosaurs in their twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed film JURASSIC PARK (1993), a film released on June 11, 1993 which implicitly cautioned film artists-particularly those at Disney-and audiences to be careful with CGI enhanced film art. Sir Jackson also implicitly roasted Burton and Elfman in the febrile Fifties female forms of two art, film and music loving, exuberantly imaginative, madcap and murderous New Zealand schoolgirls, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme aka Charles and Deborah-played by Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet, respectively-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced docufeature film HEAVENLY CREATURES (1994), a film released on September 8, 1994 whose implicit allegorical intent was affirmed by allusions to BATMAN, BATMAN RETURNS, BEETLEJUICE, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, and PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE.
Fittingly, the spooky spectre of Orson Welles-played by Jean Guerin-haunted HEAVENLY CREATURES, preparing audiences for the return of Welles-played by Vincent D’Onofrio-when Burton, after joining Selick in re-commiting himself to idiosyncratic and macabrely humourous but shallow and goth-lite artbusters like TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, than surprised everyone by collaborating again with Atwood, Depp, DiNovi, Dis-via Touchstone Pictures-Jones, BATMAN RETURNS editor Chris Lebenzon and director of photography Stefan Czapsky but with composer Howard Shore this time rather than Elfman to finally put some rotting meat on those cutsey spindly bones when he transformed Los Angeles into Hallowe’en Town in the more serious and thoughtful but animated twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced docufeature artbuster ED WOOD (1994), released on September 24, 1994.
“You’re wasting your life making shit!
these movies are terrible!”
Curiously, after a Burtonized black and white and lightning streaked Touchstone Pictures logo and a CGI enhanced trip through a graveyard filled with gravestones proclaiming the names of the most prominent cast and crew that immediately affirmed that the film was another Burton artbuster, ED WOOD opened with an introduction from a coffin by the “psychic” Criswell-played by Jones, evoking his performance as the implicitly Lynch linked Charles Deetz in BEETLEJUICE. An intriguing reminder of Lynch, as shortly thereafter Sarah J. Parker’s beautiful blonde Dolores Fuller descended on wires from a theatre ceiling as an angel bringing peace to embittered American G.I.s on a Pacific Island battlefield in World War II with a hilariously heartfelt cry of “…I offer you mortals the bird of peace, so that you may change your ways and end this destruction” in a “play” within the film by her enthusiastic but untalented boyfriend, Edward D. Wood jr.-memorably played by Depp, a sight that reminded us that such twilit and allegorical Lynch moving paintings as WILD AT HEART and TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (1992)-and even THE ELEPHANT MAN-ended with beautiful angels descending on wires to bring peace to the main characters of those films.
Thus, Burton implied in the opening moments of ED WOOD that he was blasting Lynch again as in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, no doubt for the critical and popular thrashing he had received for TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME two years before the release of ED WOOD. Indeed, the black and white film’s many allusions to the equally black and white and allegorical Lynch moving paintings ERASERHEAD and THE ELEPHANT MAN reaffirmed the implicit allegorical intent of ED WOOD. The fact that the title of ED WOOD also evoked the mighty WOOD, the radio station in Tim Burton linked Lumberton in BLUE VELVET, also reaffirmed the implicit Lynch roasting intent of ED WOOD. In addition, Burton also implied that he was roasting Lynch nemesis Bigelow in the symbolic form of Wood’s film wrecking associate, Maila “Vampira” Nurmi-a fitting symbolic link, given the gleefully violent vampire gang in the cautionary twilit and allegorical Bigelow film NEAR DARK (1987), and played by Lisa Marie. Curiously, the sight and sound of Nurmi and Wood transforming into the graveyard terrorizing Vampira and an angora sweater wearing transvestite, respectively, also evoked Kyle and Wayne transforming into Catwoman and Batman in BATMAN RETURNS, implying that Burton was also roasting that film on one level in ED WOOD.
Curiously, Burton also implied that he was roasting Dante and Hitchcock again in the symbolic forms of two other Wood associates, Paul Marco and Tor Johnson-played by Max Casella and George “the Animal” Steele, respectively. In addition, Burton implied that he was also roasting Bartel and himself in the form of Wood’s other film wrecking associates, Bunny Breckinridge and Conrad Brooks, played by Bill Murray and Brent Hinkley, respectively. However, while ED WOOD was an excellent and hilarious roast of some real life film art characters on both the literal and implicit levels-with a moving and memorable Academy Award winning performance by Martin Landau as despondent and drug addicted Bela Lugosi (who loved dogs so much he called them his “children of the night” and who lived in a L.A. suburb similar to the ones seen in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and FRANKENWEENIE), a performance helped along by an Academy Award winning hair and makeup transformation by Rick Baker-implicitly likening Lynch to Wood was not credible. Lynch was a far better film artist than Wood, and also showed no interest in wearing women’s clothing, whether fashionable dresses with flats or heels in season in public or more alluring and sensual two-piece teddies with panties, garters and stockings for more intimate occasions in private for that special someone. In fact, despite the implication that Brooks symbolized Burton, Wood evoked Burton more than he did Lynch.
Indeed, the giddy, irrepressible, eternally optimistic and transvestite child-man Wood always recalled Herman in PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, who also dressed up as a woman to evade the law early into his big adventure. Wood’s love of horror films and novels was shared by Burton, and his harebrained and shoestring approach to film art also evoked young Frankenstein’s freshman effort MONSTERS OF LONG AGO in FRANKENWEENIE. Wood’s irrepressibly upbeat and sunny outlook on life also no doubt summed up Burton’s giddy and irrepressible artbusting mood with the success of BATMAN RETURNS, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and TIM BURTON’S NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Wood also loved Hallowe’en Town as much as Burton, hanging out with Lugosi one Hallowe’en night watching Vampira and the allegorical Victor Halperin film, WHITE ZOMBIE (1932)-fittingly starring Lugosi as Haitian voodoo zombie master, “Murder” Legendre, perhaps linked to even creepier real life German zombie master, Adolf Hitler-on television and scaring trick or treaters with the Count.
Indeed, there were so many similarities between Burton and Wood, one wondered if Burton was admitting to a private penchant for wearing women’s clothing that he was too shy and coy to openly acknowledge in public. This coyness was not shared by fearless Eddie, who not only openly wore women’s clothing in public and on film in his allegorical classic GLEN OR GLENDA (1953)-the title evoking the sight of Sheryl Lee’s Glinda the Good falling gently from the sky on wires at the end of WILD AT HEART in another nod to Lynch-but also boasted that he had fought his way through the bloody beaches and steamy jungles of the Pacific War wearing women’s undergarments. Way to go, Eddie! And way to go, Timmy! For the real world depth that was missing in Burton’s film art prior to ED WOOD had finally arrived, implying bigger and fuller Hallowe’en Towns to come for Burton.
Curiously, Alex Proyas implicitly disagreed, having Brandon Lee’s haunted and implicitly Bigelow linked undead avenger, Eric “the Crow” Draven, hunt down and kill Michael Wincott’s implicitly Burton linked Top Dollar-and David P. Kelly’s implicitly Cameron linked T-Bird and Angel David’s implicitly Spielberg linked Skank-for murdering pure film art for film art’s sake-symbolized by Sofia Sania’s SCC resembling Shelly Webster-with blockbuster beasts like BATMAN in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film THE CROW (1994), a film released on May 10, 1994 whose implicit Burton addressing intent on one level was affirmed by the film’s allusions to BATMAN, BATMAN RETURNS, BEETLEJUICE and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. As for Disney, the Mouse House repaid Burton for helping their cause with ED WOOD and TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS by implicitly roasting him in the form of the blockbuster gold lusting Governor Ratcliffe-voiced by David O. Stiers-the scourge of the brave New World of CGI enhanced film art in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg hand-animated film POCAHONTAS (1995), released on June 23, 1995.
As for Bigelow, she implicitly roasted Burton in the form of a brooding bodyguard named Duncan-played by David Carrera-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film STRANGE DAYS (1995), released on September 3, 1995. Implicit roasts that did not stop Dis from persuading Burton and DiNovi to work together with them-and with Randy Newman, who provided notes and words-on Selick’s twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (1996), a film released on April 12, 1996 which was inspired by the allegorical Roald Dahl novel James And The Giant Peach (1961) and which was another implicit and rare political allegory from Burton and Selick that recalled their collaboration on TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
“Now get these stupid dreams out of your head!”
For, despite its Cameron evoking title, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH was more likely a surprisingly gentle and sympathetic nod of support to George W. Bush jr. and some Canadian political and artistic figures, given the resemblance of Paul Terry’s James H. Trotter to Dubya, of the scrappy and Richard Dreyfuss played Centipede to then Prime Minister Jean “the Scrapper” Chretien of Canada, of the Susan Sarandon played Miss Spider to Aline Chretien, of the Jane Leeves played Madam Ladybug to Queen Elizabeth II, of the Simon Callow played Grasshopper to ex-PM Trudeau, and of the cowardly and David Thewlis played Earthworm to Paul Shaffer These links also implied that the voyage across the Atlantic from England to New York in the giant pumpkin evoking giant peach-with a valiant victory over a Skellington evoking and, hence, implicitly Clinton linked pirate along the way and a rousing rout of a dreaded CGI enhanced blockbuster rhinocerous beast-and the final triumph of James and his friends over the fiendishly Wicked Aunts Spiker and Sponge-perhaps linked to Sir Jackson and his HEAVENLY CREATURES co-screenwriter, Fran Walsh, and played by Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes, respectively-that allowed them all to go on to happier lives, symbolized Dubya triumphing over the two administrations of President Clinton and over the crazy Canucklehead commies in Canada by being elected President of the United States in an upcoming election.
Curiously, that same year Disney also implicitly linked Burton to the Paul Kundel voiced gypsy narrator/magician/puppeteer Clopin and had Clopin help the implicitly Landis linked and Tom Hulce voiced hunchback, Quasimodo, triumph over the implicitly Lynch linked and Tony Jay voiced evildoer Justice Frollo in the allegorical Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise film THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1996), released on June 19, 1996 and inspired by the allegorical Victor Hugo novel, Notre-Dame De Paris, which was perhaps a satirical meditation on Edgar A. Poe. Indeed, Disney underlined their implicit interest in Burton and Lynch by all of the film’s allusions to BATMAN RETURNS, BEETLEJUICE, FRANKENWEENIE, THE ELEPHANT MAN and TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. The presence of the implicitly Bigelow linked, Demi Moore played and Heidi Mollenhauer sung Esmeralda reaffirmed Disney’s implicit intent, for the character evoked the appearance of O-Lan Jones as the possibly Bigelow linked Esmeralda in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS.
Curiously, Burton ignored Dis and Proyas and looked to Wood to take a step backwards to the gleefully manic and goth-lite films that had preceded ED WOOD when he rejoined Atwood, DeVito, Elfman, Lebenzon, Marie, Nicholson, Parker, Jones-Tom Jones-who was heard on the soundtrack of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS-and Sylvia Sidney-who played the smart and snappy afterlife caseworker, Juno, in BEETLEJUICE-to literally merge live action with CGI animation for the first time in the Wood-like twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster MARS ATTACKS! (1996), inspired by the “Mars Attacks!” Topps Company cards and released on December 12, 1996.
“Don’t run. We are your friends.”
Indeed, after a hokey and stereotypical flying saucer UFO buzzed through the blue sky behind the Warners Brother logo, the film began with the sight and sound of a burning herd of CGI enhanced cows tearing down a country road in Lockjaw, Kentucky on Tuesday, May 9th, evoking a rampaging herd of buffalo seen in GLEN OR GLENDA, immediately returning audiences to Eddiewood. Then the sight and Elfman supported sound of a CGI armada of the hokey and stereotypical flying saucer spaceships leaving their secret underground Martian bases and converging on the brave new CGI enhanced world of Earth appeared, reaffirming the film’s interest in Eddiewood-indeed, the CGI flying saucer armada evoked the CGI flying saucers flying to Saturn during the opening titles of ED WOOD. Then after welcoming the madcap Martians to Earth, the implicitly Spielberg linked U.S. President Dale-played by Nicholson-and his chief military advisor, the furiously militant and implicitly Hitchcock linked General Decker-played by Rod Steiger-then led a determined and desperate U.S. battle against the CGI invaders. Significantly, while the CGI flying saucers and the equally CGI and mayhem loving Martian crew members-who evoked the Joker and his equally irrepressible and rampaging gang in BATMAN and the Penguin and the Red Triangle Gang in BATMAN RETURNS-were ridiculous, humanity’s tragicomically desperate battle against the CGI Martian invasion evoked the equally tragicomic and desperate battle against all CGI enhanced film art that had recently broken out after Pixar released the all CGI twilit and allegorical John Lasseter film TOY STORY (1995). For with the dire prospect of films with human actors being phased out and replaced with films with all CGI characters like TOY STORY, clearly there was cause to worry about CGI.
Indeed, in their spacesuits the gremlin Martians resembled the Dark Side of Buzz Lightyear-played by Tim Allen-of TOY STORY, one of several allusions to that film in MARS ATTACKS!, implicitly affirming the cautionary and TOY STORY battling allegorical intent of MARS ATTACKS! The fact that TOY STORY was also an exuberantly shameless filmmercial for all of the toys featured in the film no doubt also offended the artbusting Burton. Thus, with humans fighting, and eventually winning, the desperately tragicomic battle against the CGI Martians, a victory that literally led to the triumph of humanity and the real world, in the end, Burton implied that he was warning film artists not to destroy the vital humanity of film art with too much CGI.
Humorously, on top of the Elfman soundtrack that evoked Louis Barron’s soundtrack for the allegorical Fred M. Wilcox film FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956), MARS ATTACKS! also featured an eerie, allegorical and Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein written Slim Whitman yodelling song beloved by Grandma Norris-played by Sidney-called “Indian Love Call” (1952) that was broadcast over radio stations to kill all of the Martians, in the end, implicitly reiterating Burton’s hope that quirky film art like his own oeuvre would kill off soulless CGI enhanced blockbuster beasts and replace them with more artistic, creative, and original CGI enhanced artbusters. Burton also implied his hope that Lucas would emerge from retirement and lead the way in this regard, given all of the nods to Lucas and the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy in the film. Indeed, the film appeared to have ended on May 14th-the birthday of Lucas-with Natalie Portman’s Taffy Dale draping a medal over the head of the Lucas resembling and implicitly linked Richard “Richie” Norris-played by the fittingly named Lukas Haas-as a reward for discovering that “Indian Love Call” killed the Martians, evoking the medal ceremony at the end of the allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Spielberg roasting Lucas film STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE (1977) to implicitly affirm Burton’s renewed hope in Lucas.
Unfortunately, while a wry artbuster roast of blockbuster film, MARS ATTACKS! was also disappointingly light weight and a significant step down from ED WOOD. MARS ATTACKS! was also such a big film with a large and talented cast-which saw Nicholson also play the implicitly Smilin’ Stan Lee linked Las Vegas developer, Art Land; Annette Bening play the implicitly Joan Lee linked Barbara Land; Pierce Brosnan play the implicitly Landis linked Martianologist, Doctor Donald Kessler; Glenn Close play the implicitly Kate Capshaw Spielberg linked Mrs. Marsha Dale; Brian Haley play the implicitly Lynch linked and indomitable White House Secret Service Agent, Mitch; and Martin Short play the goofy, stressed out and implicitly Dante linked White House Press Secretary, Jerry Ross-and several different shooting locations that it inadvertently approached CGI enhanced blockbuster beast status. A CGI enhanced blockbuster beast that Burton fled for a smaller film again when he teamed up with Atwood, Depp, Elfman, Gough, Heinrichs, Jones, Landau, Lebenzon, Marie and executive producer Francis Coppola to reassure his fans-the children of the twilight-and himself that he had not sold out by returning to Hallowe’en Town-albeit a far more dark and violent town than that seen in TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS-in his next twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999), inspired by the allegorical Washington Irving story “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow” (1820) and released on November 17, 1999.
“It is truth, but truth
is not aIways appearance.”
Indeed, the film began one fateful late and jack o’lantern glowering night October night in 1799 with an unidentified coachman-played by Mark Spalding-and his passenger-played by Landau-runned down and decapitated by the scything sword of an eerie and implacably pursuing headless horseman-played variously by Rob Inch and Ray Park, respectively-immediately returning audiences to Hallowe’en Town. Remorseless murders that led to the science based forensics obsessed and implicitly Cronenberg linked Constable Ichabod Crane being sent from New York to the small, sleepy upstate town of Sleepy Hollow along the Canadian border to investigate the two remorseless decapitations and that of another victim for a twilit trio of victims. This twilit investigation led to Crane freeing Sleepy Hollow from the rotoring blade of the headless and ironically graveyard wary Hessian Horseman-played by Walken, who fittingly and ironically linked the film to the film art of Cronenberg and the year of the release of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE by way of his lead role as the tormented and implicitly Lynch linked psychic John Smith in the twilit and allegorical Cronenberg docufeature film THE DEAD ZONE (1983)-thus implicitly freeing the nightmare haunted town of Hollowood from the rotoring TZ disaster in time for the new millennia, as well.
Indeed, exorcising the relentlessly decapitating Horseman also saved the pretty, blonde and implicitly film art linked Katrina Van Tassell-played by Christina Ricci-implicitly affirming that Burton was also attempting to free the sleepy town of Hollowood from the grip of the decapitating TZ disaster in time for the new millennia in SLEEPY HOLLOW. The callous and greedy Dark Side that lead to the TZ disaster was also implicitly vanquished in the film, for Katrina’s Evil, Hollywood blonde, money mad, murderous and witchy step-mother, Lady Van Tassel-played by Miranda Richardson-who controlled the Horseman with her black magic and his stolen head was taken by the whole and harmonious Horseman when he was given back his head and disappeared forever into the Tree of Death at the end of the film. But not before the implicitly Lucas, Marshall and Spielberg linked Magistrate Samuel Phillipse and Baltus Van Tassel-played by Richard Griffiths and Michael Gambon, respectively-fell prey to Lady Van Tassel’s blockbuster loot lusting machinations and were killed by the implacable and remorseless horseman and the implicitly Spielberg linked Doctor Thomas Lancaster-played by Ian McDiarmid-was also caught up in and killed by the lucre lusting lunacy.
Curiously, given his lack of a head and his furious and violent determination to get it back, one would think that the Headless Horseman was linked to Morrow. However, the violent Horseman evoked such violent twilit and allegorical Paul Verhoeven films as FLESH + BLOOD (1985), ROBOCOP (1987), BASIC INSTINCT (1992) and STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997) throughout the film, implicitly linking the Horseman to Verhoeven and the blonde and equally violent Lady Van Tassel to Sharon Stone. The appearance of Casper Van Dien as Brom reaffirmed that implication, as Van Dien had played the implicitly Lucas linked super trooper Jonathan “Johnny” Rico in the equally ultraviolent, twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Lynch and DUNE roasting and Lucas toasting STARSHIP TROOPERS. The appearance of Katrina Van Tassel had also been anticipated by a supporting character named Katrina-played by Blake Lindsley-in STARSHIP TROOPERS, reaffirming the implicit allegorical intent of SLEEPY HOLLOW. The predominance of citizens of Dutch descent in Sleepy Hollow reaffirmed the implicit interest in the Dutch film artist in the film. Thus, the disappearance of Lady Van Tassel and the Headless Horseman, in the end, also implied that Burton and Coppola were trying to exorcise Verhoeven and his violent film art in SLEEPY HOLLOW.
Curiously, Guillerrmo Del Toro implicitly linked Burton to the Evil, murderous and gold lusting Jacinto, the ex-Disney Prince without a Magic Kingdom-played by Eduardo Noriega-in the twilit and allegorical film THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE (2001), released on April 20, 2001. As for Lynch, he implicitly roasted Burton in the implicit form of film artist, Adam Kesher-played by Justin Theroux-on one level of the twilit and allegorical moving painting, MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001), a film released on May 16, 2001. At any rate, Burton did not follow up with a more idiosyncratic and thoughtful artbuster like ED WOOD or EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, and instead collaborated with Atwood, Baker, Elfman, Heinrichs, Lebenzon, Marie and executive producer Derek Frey again on the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster PLANET OF THE APES (2001), inspired by the allegorical Pierre Boule novel Planet Of The Apes (1963) and released on July 26, 2001.
“Here they come!”
Curiously, the film began in orbit around Saturn at the USAF Space Research satellite, evoking the beginning of the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Cameron and Spielberg roasting Lucas film STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999), linking the film to Lucas. Soon Mark Wahlberg’s Captain Leo Davidson found himself being pulled through a worm hole after an electromagnetic storm (EMS) while outside the station involved in precarious jackanapes in his Delta pod. Surviving the trip through the worm hole, Davidson crash landed on a strange and fecund planet like Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker crash landed on the equally fecund Dagobah in STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, implicitly linking Davidson to Lucas. Here on the forbidding planet, Davidson was soon captured by the planet’s intelligent simians and enslaved with other renegade humans like Estella Warren’s Daena. Breaking free from captivity, Davidson led a human revolt against the simians and their implicitly Kubrick linked leader, General Thade-his name fittingly an anagram of death, given that Kubrick died in 1999 around the time of the release of his last and implicitly Besson addressing twilit and allegorical film EYES WIDE SHUT (1999), and played by Tim Roth-his link to Kubrick reaffirmed by the film’s allusions to such allegorical Kubrick films as 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY-particularly the opening “The Dawn Of Man” sequence-and SPARTACUS (1960).
Curiously, the revolt led by Davidus was successful, and led not only to the defeat of Thade, but a commitment to peaceful relations between human and simian that implicitly symbolized peaceful relations between audiences and film artists. However, it was noticeable that when Davidson left the forbidding planet and returned via EMS worm hole to Earth, anti-human simians who looked up to the dead Thade as a hero and who had taken over Earth promptly arrested Davidson. Thus, Burton implied that despite the epic scale of the new CGI enhanced STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy, the film legacy and legend of the recently deceased Kubrick would still overshadow and defeat Lucas, in the end, like EYES WIDE SHUT had defeated STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE in 1999-an implication that most observers would agree with.
While a fine film and one that Burton successfully put his quirky and idiosyncratic artbuster stamp on, PLANET OF THE APES veered as dangerously close to blockbuster status as MARS ATTACKS! Burton implicitly agreed, for he abandoned the CGI enhanced blockbuster beast and implicitly replied to Lynch and MULHOLLAND DRIVE when he reoined Atwood, DeVito, Elfman, Frey, Lebenzon, Helena B. Carter-who played Ari in PLANET OF THE APES-and directorial/production assistant Katterli Frauenfelder-from PLANET OF THE APES-on the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE evoking animaction artbuster BIG FISH (2003), released on December 4, 2003.
“Now tell me if that isn’t
the best pie you ever ate?”
Curiously, the indomitable, creative, tale telling, idiosyncratic and ultimately successful quest of the implicitly Lynch linked Edward Bloom-played by Perry Walston as a ten year old boy, Ewan MacGregor as a youth, and Albert Finney as an old man, respectively-to impress, woo and finally marry Sandra Templeton-played as a youth by Alison Lohman, and as an adult by Jessica Lange, respectively-by wrestling her away from David Denham’s Don Price implicitly symbolized the quest of Lynch to defeat crass commercial film with highly personal, quirky, imaginative and idiosyncratic moving painting film art. Indeed, the film’s allusions to BLUE VELVET, ED WOOD, PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, THE ELEPHANT MAN, WILD AT HEART and such other allegorical Lynch moving paintings as THE STRAIGHT STORY (1999) and MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001), reaffirmed the wry and gently satirical but implicitly Lynch supporting intent of the film, as in SLEEPY HOLLOW. Thus, the sight of Bloom and his tall tales achieving immortality in death, in the end, implied that Burton now believed that Lynch had also achieved an immortality of sorts with his quirky and dreamy moving paintings.
And how fitting that Bloom’s quest also summed up Burton’s own indomitable, creative, tale telling, idiosyncratic, romantic, creepy, horror loving and ultimately successful quest to woo Hollywood and its Temple Theatres away from obsessions with “Price” and, hence, money, with his own unique allegorical animaction artbuster style, a commitment to Hallowe’en Town that was reaffirmed by Spectre, a literal ghost town that Bloom saved in BIG FISH. A commitment that implicitly did not impress John Fawcett, for he implicitly roasted BIG FISH in the twilit and allegorical film THE DARK (2005), released in May 2005.
“The dead don’t get second chances.”
In fact, Fawcett implied in THE DARK that Burton’s implicit attempt to win over audiences to the film art of Lynch with BIG FISH would be as unsuccessful as the ill fated attempt of the implicitly Burton linked and sinister Welsh Shepherd of souls-played by the fittingly surnamed Richard Elfyn-to save his dead daughter, Ebrill-implicitly linked to the film art of Lynch, and played by Abigail Stone-by persuading his small and devout Welsh flock to trade their lives for Ebrill by leaping off a cliff on the rugged coast of Wales-actually, the Isle of Man-to their doom in the rocky surf below. For the return of Ebrill from Annwyn, the land of the dead, caused all of the Shepherd’s real sheep to die as if to balance out the deaths of all of his human flock, leading the Shepherd to try to drain the Dark power from Ebrill by drilling holes in her head.
As Ebrill also ended up killing her father by pushing the Shepherd off the same cliff that his followers had leapt off, Fawcett also implicitly warned Burton that his implicit sympathy for Lynch in BIG FISH would be the death of him and his film art. Indeed, Fawcett affirmed his implicit Burton and Lynch addressing intent by alluding to DUNE, FRANKENWEENIE, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE ELEPHANT MAN and TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME-that is, when THE DARK was not alluding to the allegorical Paul Stewart telefilm “Little Girl Lost” (1962), from the third season of the TWILIGHT ZONE television series, and the “Little Girl Lost” inspired, Spielberg co-written and co-produced, and twilit and allegorical Tobe Hooper film POLTERGEIST (1982).
Fawcett also implicitly warned Cameron not to imitate Burton and sympathize with Lynch lest he and his film art also die, a warning implied when Sean Bean’s Cameron evoking James and his ex-wife and daughter, Adele and Sarah-played by Maria Bello and Sophie Stuckey, respectively-were caught up in the haunting tale of Ebrill and the Shepherd decades later when the unknowing trio moved into their abandoned house in Wales. For THE DARK not only ended with the hot tempered and physically aggressive Adele, implicitly linked to the film art of Cameron, trapped in the land of the dead forever with the Shepherd after freeing the Burton resembling Sarah from Annwyn. The film also ended with Sarah trapped in the undead grip of Lynch, for her body was actually occupied by the soul of Ebrill, in the end.
For his part, Christopher Nolan implicitly and fittingly linked Burton to the nightmare loving and Headless Horseman evoking but tragicomic psychiatrist supervillain Doctor Jonathan “Scarecrow” Crane-inspired by a character created by Finger, Kane and Jerry Robinson for DC Comics, and played by Cillian Murphy-and had him act as an advance man who prepared the way for a CGI enhanced fear inducing hallucinogenic gas attack on Gotham City by the implicitly Lucas linked Ra’s Al Ghul-inspired by a character created by Neal Adams, Denny O’Neil and Julius Schwartz for DC Comics, and played by Liam Neeson-and his Evil Jedi evoking League Of Shadows that could only be stopped by the implicitly Cameron linked Bruce “Batman” Wayne-played by Christian Bale-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical docufeature film BATMAN BEGINS (2005), released on May 31, 2005 and fittingly beginning with a gothic and Burton evoking black and white Warner Brothers logo. Significantly, given that Batman stopped the CGI enhanced gas attack, in the end, Nolan implied his hope that Cameron would return to the Temple Theatre with another hi-tech but lightly CGI enhanced film that would triumph over the CGI enhanced film art of Burton and Lucas. As for Burton, he reaffirmed his commitment to his own idiosyncratic film art when he returned with Carter, Depp, Elfman-who provided music, with lyrics mostly by Dahl-Frauenfelder, Frey, Lebenzon, John August-screenwriter of BIG FISH-Christopher Lee-who played a New York judge in SLEEPY HOLLOW-and Missi Pyle and Deep Roy-who played Mildred and Mr. Soggybottom the circus clown, respectively, in BIG FISH-in his next twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (2005), inspired by Dahl’s allegorical and perennially popular children of all age’s novel Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (1964) and released on July 10, 2005.
“Only a dummy would give this up
for something as common as money.”
Indeed, the sight of another snowswept Warner Brothers logo-as gleaming gold as a Wonka Golden Ticket-immediately reassured fans that Burton was yet again taking over and putting his creepy and idiosyncratic Hallowe’en Town stamp on Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. The imaginative and CGI enhanced automated Wonka Chocolate Factory chocolate bar making sequence that followed the snowswept Golden Warners logo reaffirmed that point, recalling a similar and entirely live action automated cookie making sequence in a flashback in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. As for the film itself, further experiencings and reflections were needed to fully understand and unravel the story of the implicitly Lucas and Spielberg linked Charlie Bucket and Uncle Joe-played by Freddie Highmore and David Kelly, respectively-and their adventures inside the legendary chocolate factory of the mysterious and perhaps Sir Jackson linked chocolatier, Willy Wonka-played by Depp as an adult, and Blair Dunlop as a boy-after he unwrapped the last of the five magical Golden Tickets, an adventure involving a poor English lad who grew up just down the street from the Wonka chocolate factory that reminded us that Burton grew up in Burbank, CA not far from the Disney studio, got inside the studio for a while as an animator, mastered the Disney secrets, and then went on to succeed as his own quirky and gothy animaction artbuster film artist. What is implicitly certain is that the well behaved Bucket won the tour and triumphed over the other four Golden Ticket winning kids, including the implicitly Cronenberg linked Mike Teevee-played by Jordan Fry.
Curiously, however, and unlike the Dahl novel, the film ended not only with Charlie and Grandpa Joe beating the other children and their parental chaperone and being bequeathed the Wonka Chocolate Factory by a grateful Wonka, but with Wonka and his estranged and implicitly Landis linked father, Dr. Wilbur Wonka, DDS-played by Lee-embracing each other again. An implicit interest in Landis that returned when Burton returned to another colourful and musical stop-motion Hallowe’en Town-complete with another undead dog, this one named Scraps-along with August, Carter, Depp, Elfman-who created both music and songs as in TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS-Finney, Frey, Gough, Lebenzon, Lee, Lumley, Roy, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY music editor Mike Higham and production designer Alex McDowell, and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS screenwriter Caroline Thompson in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE (2005), a film co-directed by Michael “Mike” Johnson that was released on September 7, 2005.
“This is wrong.
I was a bride.
My dreams were taken from me.
Now-now I’ve stolen them from someone else.”
Indeed, the film saw and heard the implicitly Landis linked, piano playing and graveyard traversing Victor Van Dort-played by Depp-the son of the implicitly Ron and Cheryl Howard linked “nouveau riche” fish cannery owners, Mr. and Mrs. Van Dort-played by Paul Whitehouse and Tracey Ullman, respectively-about to be wedded to the implicitly Deborah Landis linked Victoria Everglot-played by Emily Watson-the daughter of the implicitly Alfred and Alma Hitchcock linked Mr. and Mrs. Everglot-played by Finney and Lumley, respectively. Unexpectedly, however, Victor and Victoria were prevented from being married by the shock arrival of the implicitly Bigelow linked Emily, the Corpse Bride-played by Carter-who Victor mistakenly married before the real wedding day. However, in the end Emily realized that it was best to let Victor and Victoria marry each other, in the end, a happy conclusion ironically helped along by the implicitly Kubrick linked Elder Gutknecht, ruler of the underworld-played by Gough-and his undead droogs that also allowed Victor and Victoria to triumph over the dastardly and implicitly Morrow linked Barkis Bittern-played by Richard E. Grant-killer of Emily, implying the hope of Burton and Johnson that Bigelow and John and Deborah Landis would finally free themselves from the deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow and find love, peace and harmony in the new millennium. Indeed, the fact that Victor and Victoria evoked the two characters Victor and Victoria played by Julie Andrews in the allegorical Blake Edwards film VICTOR/VICTORIA (1982), affirmed the film’s implicit interest in the twilit and disastrous year of 1982.
Despite this, an embrace of England and twilit and macabre musicals returned with an unusually dark and violent Hallowe’en Town when Burton rejoined Atwood, Carter, Depp, Frauenfelder, Frey, Higham-back as music composer and music producer as well as music editor-Lebenzon and Richard D. Zanuck-producer of PLANET OF THE APES-and put the “gory” in allegory with THE CROW and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME evoking twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster SWEENEY TODD (2007), inspired by the allegorical Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler musical SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (1979) and released on December 3, 2007.
“I feel shattered…cursed.”
Significantly, the creepy CGI animated Dreamworks SKG logo that preceded SWEENEY TODD immediately linked the film to the TZ disaster. For the sight of a boy fishing on a waxing crescent sliver of moon in a dark and cloudy sky reminded us that a waxing crescent sliver of moon hung in a dark and cloudy early morning sky when the TZ disaster occurred at 2:20 am on July 23, 1982. Thus, this eerie prelude immediately implied that the latest Burton offering was again part of the dread allegorical Zone Wars that had been raging on film and in fiction since 1982, an implication affirmed when the Warner Brothers logo followed the Dreamworks SKG prelude. SWEENEY TODD then revolved around a righteously furious and vengeful disaffected barber-Depp’s Sweeney Todd-returning to London from imprisoned banishment and then destroying himself as he exacted revenge on his banisher, Allan Rickman’s Judge Turpin.
As only two years before, Lucas had finished destroying his reputation trying to wreak revenge on the implicitly Cameron linked Anakin Skywalker-played by Hayden Christensen-with the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed and implicitly Cameron and Spielberg roasting film STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005), the trimax of his despairing Tragic Trilogy, the implication was that Todd symbolized Lucas and Turpin symbolized Cameron-a perfect year to address the later, given that SWEENEY TODD was released in the tenth anniversary year of the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Cameron film TITANIC (1997). And that Burton felt that the new Tragic Trilogy revealed that Lucas had killed his film art with his obsession with revenge, just as Todd inadvertently killed his life’s love and wife, Lucy-played by Laura M. Kelly. Leaving him sadly weeping blood over her body from a slit throat after being cut down by the street urchin, Tobias Ragg-played by Edward Sanders, in the end.
How fitting that Ragg was a boy, given how disappointed young fans were with the Tragic Trilogy and how disappointed young fans of an earlier age had also been with the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced, Ozian themed, implicitly Spielberg roasting and Lucas executive produced Richard Marquand film STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983), the trimax of the Classic Trilogy. Indeed, the resemblance of Todd’s accomplice, Mrs. Lovett-tossed into a furnace in the end like the Wicked StepWitch in HANSEL AND GRETEL, her surname fittingly evoking that of Paxton’s Brock Lovett in TITANIC, and played by Carter-to Aurra Sing, a female bounty hunter played by Michonne Bourriague in STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE reaffirmed the implicit intent of SWEENEY TODD. Alas, the film also all too presciently anticipated the arrival soon on the cyberscene of Sweeney Gar, devil “scholar” of Mill Street.
Curiously, after also symbolically hacking down Disney in the implicit form of Sacha B. Cohen’s rival barber, Pirelli, in SWEENEY TODD-and acting as co-producer of the twilit, allegorical and all CGI Shane Acker film, 9 (2009), released on August 19, 2009-Burton triumphantly returned to Disney and again flirted dangerously with beastly blockbuster film by collaborating with Atwood, Carter, Depp, Elfman, Frauenfelder, Frey, Higham, Lebenzon-now co-executive producer as well as editor-Lee, Rickman, Zanuck and Dariusz Wolski-director of photography of SWEENEY TODD-on the quirky and unusual twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010), inspired by the allegorical Lewis Carroll novel, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (1865) and released on February 25, 2010.
“I’d know him anywhere!”
A curiouser and curiouser film indeed, and one that required more experiencing and pondering to unravel given that it was an imaginative reworking of the traditional adventures of Alice in Wonderland that saw and heard Mia Wasikowska’s Alice Kingsleigh interacting with CGI creatures and environments in a familiar but new Underland throughout most of the film and leading the Good forces of this brave new CGI world, which included Anne Hathaway’s Ann Chambers evoking and implicitly SCC linked White Queen, to a triumph over Carter’s rude, imperious and implicitly Kennedy linked Red Queen and her right hand man, Crispin Glover’s implicitly Spielberg linked Ilosovic Stayne aka the Red Knight, and their Evil forces. Unfortunately, what was too clear was that the film was more Disney blockbuster than Burton artbuster. It also ridiculously ended back in England with Alice and Tim Piggot-Smith’s implicitly Cameron linked Lord Ascot deciding to join forces to expand their company into China, a country that the Mouse House was eager to expand into in real life. This improbable and implicit union with Cameron and brash expansion into China underlined that ALICE IN WONDERLAND was more of a blockbuster filmmercial for Disney than it was a Burton film.
As for James McTeigue, he implicitly and fittingly linked the Poe luvving Burton to Poe-played by John Cusack-in his twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film THE RAVEN (2012), a film released on March 9, 2012 which saw Poe destroy his literary art and himself saving his beautiful and wealthy young blonde love, Emily Hamilton-played by Alice Eve-from a serial killer named Ivan Reynolds-played by Sam Hazeldine-whose murders were inspired by similar murders in the literary art of Poe. Thus, McTeigue implied that Burton had sold out and killed his film art and himself saving the equally young and blonde Alice in the hyper-commercial ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Indeed, the fact that a “Disney” was hidden in the name of Ivan Reynolds affirmed the implicit intent of THE RAVEN. An implication that Burton implicitly worried about on one level, for he returned to Hallowe’en Town again with Atwood, August, Carter, Depp-now a co-producer-Elfman, Frauenfelder, Frey, Heinrichs, Higham, Lebenzon, Pfeiffer, Zanuck and Warner Brothers to reassure his fans-those children of the twilight!-yet again that he had not sold out and abandoned the quirky and creepy artbuster path and also implicitly replied to THE DARK in his fittingly entitled and twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster DARK SHADOWS (2012), a film that evoked SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE DARK and the allegorical Lewis Allen film THE UNINVITED (1944), and was released on May 9, 2012.
“But remember, Barnabus,
family is the only real wealth.”
Curiously, the film began with Mr. and Mrs. Joshua and Naomi Collins-played by Ivan Kaye and Susanna Capellaro, respectively-sailing from England to the New World in 1760 on a British sailing ship whose Red Ensign flag linked the vessel and its captain, crew and passengers to the northern English colonies that became Canada as much as the southern Thirteen Colonies that became the United States. Upon arrival in North America, Mr. and Mrs. Collins first established the thriving fish cannery town of Collinsport on the coast of Maine-evoking the rugged coast of the Isle of Man which stood in for Wales in THE DARK and the Van Dort fish cannery in TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE-before spending fifteen years building Collinwood, their palatial and lonely mansion on a hill that evoked the Scissorhands mansion in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. As the names of both Collinsport and Collinwood evoked Hollywood, albeit in a northern location, the implication was that the town symbolized Hollywood North, otherwise known as Canada. Indeed, Burton soon introduced a wicked Angel into the mix that linked Collinsport to Los Angeles, and evoked the rivalry that Hollywood South had with Hollywood North.
For jealous of the success and wealth of Mr. and Mrs. Collins, their jealous, passionate, tempestuous and Ebrill resembling French maid, Angelique Bouchard-played by Raffey Cassidy as a girl and Eva Green as an adult, respectively-used her Wicked Witch spells to kill the founders of both Collinsport and Collinwood one unexpected night. Later, outraged that the only son and heir of the Collins fortune, Barnabas Collins-played by Justin Tracy as a boy and Depp as an adult, respectively-fell in love with Bella Heathcote’s sweet Josette DuPres, Evil Angelique put a spell on Josette that caused her to leap off Widow’s Hill behind Collinwood to her doom on the wave wracked rocks below, evoking the devout parishioners of the Shepherd who leaped off a cliff to their doom to return Ebrill to life in THE DARK. Evil Angelique also put a curse on Collins that turned him into a vampire, before burying him in a coffin undead in the dark…forevermore-good thing Depp got all those free vampire lessons from Landau’s Lugosi in ED WOOD! As the twilit trio of deaths of Joshua, Josette and Naomi evoked the deaths of Myca, Renee and Vic in the TZ disaster, and the undead banishment of Barnabas evoked the banishment of Landis by society after the TZ disaster, the implication was that Burton was symbolically meditating on Evil Los Angeles, Landis and his miserable plight and the impact of both on Hollywood North in DARK SHADOWS in the thirtieth anniversary year of the TZ disaster. Indeed, the many instances of characters breaking the fourth wall as in the film art of Landis suggested as much in DARK SHADOWS.
Significantly, the film’s possible interest in Landis was soon reaffirmed. For no sooner did the tumultuous and gothic prologue end than the reincarnation of Josette in the form of the equally sweet and Josette guided Margaret “Maggie” Evans-played by Alexia Osborne as a girl and Heathcote as a young adult, respectively-arrived on the scene two centuries later in October of 1972 to apply for a position as a governess at Collinwood. Curiously, on the train to Collinsport, Evans spied an odd and incongruous poster on the wall promoting skiing-?-a continent away in Victoria, B.C., not far from where I grew up as a youth in Delta, B.C. Inspired by this strange poster for skiing in a city with no mountains or large enough hills that receives more rain than snow each year, Evans decided on the spur of the moment to use the name Victoria “Vicky” Winters when she applied at Collinwood for the governess position. A significant decision, for the “Victoria Winters” pseudonym implicitly linked Evans to the film art of Landis via Victoria in TIM BURTON’S CORPSE BRIDE, and to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 via VICTOR/VICTORIA.
However, the pseudonym also linked Evans to British Columbia and to Canada, evoking the implicit link of Collinsport to Hollywood North and Canada. Just as intriguingly, the pseudonym chosen by Evans also linked her to Barnabas Collins via his B.C. initials, a cursed character who was also linked to Canada via the Red Ensign flag that flew from the British ship that brought the Collins family to Maine in 1760, as the Red Ensign was the flag of Canada until it was finally replaced by the red, white and true Maple Leaf flag in 1965. This link to Canada and the Maple Leaf flag was soon implicitly reaffirmed when hippies in a doubly fitting red and white VW van-license FI 467, evoking my birthday on July 4th, 1967, a fateful groovedelic year reaffirmed by the sound of the allegorical and Justin Hayward written Moody Blues tune “Nights In White Satin” (1967) accompanying the journey of Vicky-picked up Evans outside the train station and drove her into Collinsport and then up to Collinwood.
Fittingly, after opening the rusty gate and walking up a winding driveway, Evans was soon walking past the Collins family pumpkin patch in the front yard of Collinwood, officially linking the mansion and fishing port to Hallowe’en Town. The knock of Evans led to the door being opened by a lost and confused family servant, Willy-evoking my middle name, William, and played by Jackie E. Haley. Evans was then welcomed to Collinwood by Pfeiffer’s family matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, her first name evoking Queen Elizabeth II in another implicit nod to Canada that reaffirmed that Collinsport symbolized Hollywood North. Pfeiffer was an inspired choice, as she linked the film to 1992 via BATMAN RETURNS, the tenth anniversary year of the TZ disaster that was also the year of the release of the vampire battling twilit and allegorical Landis film INNOCENT BLOOD (1992), reaffirming the film’s implicit interest in Landis.
However, soon after arriving at Collinwood, “Winters” experienced a ghostly visitation by Josette that evoked the librarian ghost-played by Ruth Oliver-experienced at the beginning of the twilit and allegorical Ivan Reitman film GHOSTBUSTERS (1984). The allusion reminded us that while the elder Reitman had faded into obscurity, his confident, shrewd, talented and able film artist son, Jason Reitman, had arrived on the scene to restore the family name by 2012. Thus, it was fitting that soon after “Winters” experienced the ghost of Josette, Collins returned from the undead, implicitly linking the vampiric Collins to young Reitman. For he was liberated from his coffin prison by a group of construction workers digging up the ground for a foundation for a McDonald’s restaurant, popping up out of nowhere like my Zone War website and myself the year or so before on the winternet. After slaking his vampiric thirst on the workers-one of whom resembled Cameron in another link of Collins and the film to Canada-Collins returned to Collinwood and promptly fell in love with “Winters”, who he recognized as his reincarnated love, Josette. At the huge family manse Collins also met his distant relative Carolyn Collins-played by Chloe G. Moretz-whose name reminded us that young Reitman had a sister named Caroline, reaffirming the implication that Collins symbolized Reitman.
Curiously, Collins-whose short hair, fondness for suits and odd behaviour and speech made him come across as a vampiric Pee Wee Herman-and Evans soon banded together with the rest of the Collins family to defeat diabolical Angelique, still alive and unwell via witchcraft and now very implicitly linked to the Dark Side of Los Angeles and Hollywood South as the Evil, successful, statuesque and Hollywood evoking blonde head of Angel Bay, the rival cannery that had taken over the fishing and cannery businesses in Collinsport after the banishment of Collins and the bankruptcy of the Collins Cannery Company, for Angel Bay evoked Anchor Bay Entertainment, a Hollywood film production company, a victory that freed the implicit Hollywood North of Collinsport from the Wicked grip of Angelique and ended the curse placed on DuPres/Evans. However, given that after defeating Wicked Angelique and walking away from her, Collins then threw himself after Evans and bit her neck as she fell from Widow’s Hill in another allusion to THE DARK at the end of the film, transforming her into Josette and giving him an undead life to love at last, Burton implied that the difficult and bittersweet undead triumph of Collins and Evans over Angelique was a sympathetic warning from fellow indie outsider Burton that the triumph of the smart, brash, edgy, confident and able Reitman and his indie film art-with the help of his favourite screenwriter, Diablo Cody-over the factory-like and beastly blockbuster loot lusting Dark Side of Hollywood so as to reestablish the Reitman family name was going to be not only just as difficult but so draining and exhausting that it would leave Reitman and Cody worn out living dead like Lugosi, in the end. In fact, given that the Wicked blonde Angelique evoked the equally Wicked and implicitly Gary W. Wright linked Mavis Gary-played by Charlize Theron-in the twilit, allegorical and Cody scripted Reitman film YOUNG ADULT (2011), which was alluded to in DARK SHADOWS, the eucatastrophic triumph of Collins and Evans over Angelique might have actually symbolized an equally eucatastrophic triumph of Reitman and Cody over the poor ol’ Gardevil, in the end.
As for Nolan, he again implicitly linked Burton to Dr. Jonathan “Scarecrow” Crane-played again by Murphy-in another brawl with the implicitly Cameron linked Bruce “Batman” Wayne-played again by Bale-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical docufeature film THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012), released on July 16, 2012. Then an implicit interest in Cody and Reitman returned when Burton returned to Hallowe’en Town with August, Disney, Elfman, Frey, Heinrichs, Higham, Landau, Lebenzon, Lee, O’Hara, Ryder and Short and the reanimated, stop-motion and CGI enhanced twilit and allegorical animaction artbuster FRANKENWEENIE (2012), released on September 20, 2012.
“I just wanted my dog back.”
Significantly, the new CGI enhanced stop-motion FRANKENWEENIE began with the animated and colourful Walt Disney intro with its familiar castle and magical theme suddenly waylaid near the end by a crack of thunder and burst of lightning that brought with them a gothic, spooky and black and white dark and stormy night with a full moon brooding in the cloudy sky, accompanied by appropriately gothic and spooky organ music from Meister Elfman, immediately affirming that audiences had returned to Hallowe’en Town. Thus, and as with DARK SHADOWS, Burton reassured his fans that he had not only not sold out with ALICE IN WONDERLAND, but had actually taken over Disney with that film rather than vice versa, as he was doing again with FRANKENWEENIE.
Curiously, after making this reassuring assertion, Burton also soon renewed the possible interest in Cody and Reitman seen in DARK SHADOWS. For the implicitly Reitman linked boy suburbanite Victor Frankenstein-played by Charlie Tahan-his implicitly Cody linked girlfriend Elsa Van Helsing-played by Ryder-and the reanimated Sparky triumphed over the equally reanimated monsters-gremlin sea monkies, a wererat, a mouse, Turtlezilla and a flying batcat, respectively-of five of their classmates-the implicitly Dante linked Bob, the implicitly Edgar Wright linked Edgar “E” Gore, Nassor, Toshiaki and Weird Girl, played by Robert Capron, Atticus Shaffer, Short, James H. Liao and O’Hara, respectively-that plagued the New Hollywood evoking suburb of New Holland on the night of its annual Dutch Day, in the end. Indeed, the implicit link of Victor to a Canadian film artist was implied by the fact that his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein, were played by Short and O’Hara. At any rate, Burton soon teamed up again with Atwood, Elfman, Frauenfelder, Frey, Heinrichs, Higham and Lebenzon on his most real and deep film since ED WOOD, the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and animated artbuster BIG EYES (2014), “…based on true events” and released on November 13, 2014.
“You are…very talented at being charming.
And you are a genius at sales and promotion.”
How fitting that the tragicomic film began with frustrated painter and wife Margaret Doris “Maggie” Ulbrich nee Peggy Doris Hawkins-played by Amy Adams-tossing two copies of an English weekly comic called JACK AND JILL into a suitcase for her daughter, Jane aka Janie-played by Delaney Raye as a child and Madeleine Arthur as a teen, respectively-before fleeing with Janie from their San Fran suburban home and her unhappy marriage in the family car. For narrative artwork facetiously known by some as “comics” implicitly figured prominently in BIG EYES, given that the fine film saw the charming, smiling, talentless and Lee evoking and implicitly linked San Fran based “Sunday painter” Walter Stanley Keane-played by Christoph Waltz-persuade Maggie, his second wife, to fade into the background and become as invisible as Susan “the Invisible Girl” Storm who the blonde indie painter resembled and allow him to pass off her quirky and popular paintings of children with big eyes and the many reproductions of those paintings as his own so he could be rich and famous in the rebel Sixties. However, after initially going along with Walter, Maggie eventually summoned up the courage to defy and separate from him and go public with the truth that she was the real painter of the “Big Eyes” paintings, a truth that she conclusively proved in the subsequent trial that gave her ownership of her paintings and the lucrative revenues generated by reproductions of the paintings.
Thus, given the implication that Smilin’ Walt was linked to Smilin’ Stan, Burton implied his belief that Lee was an equally charming but talentless self-promoter who lived off the many lucrative narrative art reproductions of the work of real artists like Jolly Jack Kirby, Sturdy Steve Ditko, Beamin’ Bill Everett, and Jovial John Buscema. Burton also implied that Disney was mistaken for buying up Marvel Comics in 2009 and cranking out unoriginal twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical films featuring the superheroes and superheroines of Marvel Comics rather than creating original indie film art that Disney was justly famous for, an implication affirmed when he eventually returned to the Temple Theatre with Atwood, DeVito, Elfman, Frey, Heinrichs, Keaton and Lebenzon and the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster DUMBO (2019)-an ironic implication, indeed, given that Burton had inspired the deluge of CGI enhanced super satirical films with BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS. Indeed, the fact that San Fran reporter Richard “Dick” Nolan-played by Danny Huston-resembled and was implicitly linked to Kirby affirmed the implicit link of Keane to Lee and the implicit meaning of the film. The sight and sound of a young couple who looked like a young Stan and Joan Lee-played by Vincent Gale and Desiree Zurowski, respectively-making the first purchase of a Big Eyes painting from Walter in the hallway to the bathroom of the club owned by Enrico Banducci-played by Jon Polito-early in the film also affirmed the implicitly Lee roasting intent of BIG EYES.
Intriguingly, the “Big Eyes” paintings were dismissed as “kitsch” at the swinging Sixties time by prominent NEW YORK TIMES Senior Art Critic John Canaday-played by Terence Stamp-implicitly linked to Canada by his surname and perhaps to me by his critical essays which evoked the equally critical “essays” that I wrote for my website. Indeed, a waiter named Gary was even hailed in passing in a bar at one point in BIG EYES, affirming the implication that Canaday was linked to Gardevil on one level. On another level, the Jekyll and Hyde battle between artbuster and blockbuster that was literally waged throughout the film between sincere, virtuous and artbuster promoting Maggie and insincere, greedy and blockbuster profit lusting Walter over the “Big Eyes” paintings, vaguely gothic and idiosyncratic indie portraits which were as distinctive and quirky as the indie gothic drawings, paintings and artbusters of Burton and which evoked the equally big eyed fantasy wife of young Malloy in VINCENT implied that Burton was also addressing the contrast between the film art for film art’s sake artist who created EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and the film art for blockbuster profit’s sake film artist who created BATMAN within him on another level in BIG EYES. Thus, the triumph of the artbusting Maggie over the blockbuster loot lusting Walter also implicitly symbolized the triumph of Burton’s artbusters over his beastly blockbusters, making it implicitly clear to audiences and this Canadian “scholar” that Burton was confident that he had indeed broken as free from the control of beastly blockbuster loot lusting studios like Disney and Warners and established himself as a truly sincere and independent film artist as Ulbrich had broken free from Keane to establish herself as a truly sincere and independent painter-despite her ironic resemblance to Marilyn Monroe as well as Sue Storm!
For his part, Paul Feig implicitly linked Burton to paranormal investigator, Doctor Jillian Holtzmann-played by Kate McKinnon-and teamed her up with the implicitly Disney linked himbo secretary Kevin, the implicitly Kennedy linked Dr. Erin Gilbert, the implicitly Lucas linked Dr. Abigail “Abby” L. Yates and the implicitly Francis Coppola linked Patty Tolan-played by Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Lesley Jones, respectively-to exorcise the ghost of the implicitly Stephen King linked Rowan North-played by Neil Casey-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film GHOSTBUSTERS: ANSWER THE CALL (2016), released on July 9, 2016. As for Burton, he reaffirmed that he was implicitly addressing the MCU on one level as well as reaffirming his commitment to the creepy artbuster in BIG EYES when he reunited with Atwood, Frauenfelder, Frey, Green, Higham, Jones, Lebenzon, Stamp and Phil Philmar-who played secret stealing bubble gummer Slugworth in CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY-and, inspired by music composed by Higham and Matthew Margeson instead of Elfman, returned to Hallowe’en Town to implicitly roast the deluge of CGI enhanced super satirical films battling their way through the Temple Theatre in the DARK SHADOWS and THE DARK evoking twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced animaction artbuster MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (2016), inspired by the twilit and allegorical Ransom Riggs novel Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2011) and released on September 25, 2016.
“An Ymbryne’s main skill
is the manipulation of time.
We choose a safe place, a safe day
and create a loop.”
Indeed, the peculiar young charges with their unique super powers trapped forever in time in 1943 like the superheroes they parodied and watched over protectively by Green’s implicitly Milla Jovovich linked Miss Alma Peregrine at The Children’s Home at LLangarsydd on Cairnholm Island off the rugged coast of Wales-evoking the supposedly Welsh location of THE DARK-evoked the equally peculiar young mutants mentored by Patrick Stewart’s Charles “Professor X” Xavier in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced X-MEN super satirical films that were inspired by characters created by Smilin’ Stan and Jolly Jack for Marvel Comics, affirming the implicit super satire roasting intent of the film. The peculiar children reaffirmed that implication, for some were implicitly linked to film artists who had created superheroic film art, like the Nolan resembling and implicitly linked human dream projector, Horace Somnusson-played by Hayden Keeler-Stone. Other peculiar children reaffirmed that implication by being implicitly linked to film artists who were implicitly linked to CGI enhanced superheroes, like the implicitly SCC linked botanist, Fiona Frauenfeld-played by Georgia Pemberton-who reminded us that SCC was implicitly linked to Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff-played by Scarlett Johansson-in the MCU films and Diana “Wonder Woman” Prince-played by Gal Gadot-in the DC super satirical films, and the implicitly Sarah Polley linked Emma Bloom-played by Ella Purnell-who reminded us that Polley was possibly linked to Kara “Supergirl” Danvers-played by Melissa Benoist-in the DC super satirical telefilm series.
Curiously, Miss Peregrine, Fiona, Horace and the rest of the peculiar children were joined by the implicitly Richard Kelly linked male lead and film narrator, Jacob “Jake” Portman-played by Asa Butterfield-who reaffirmed the film’s implicit allegorical intent, as he reminded us that Kelly was implicitly linked to Scott “Ant Man” Lang-played by Paul Rudd-in the MCU films. And so Jake helped Miss Peregrine and the peculiar kids face down and desperately defeat the implicitly Cronenberg linked head Hollowgast baddie, Barron-played by Samuel L. Jackson-who, curiously, also manifested as Allison Janney’s Bigelow resembling and implicitly linked psychiatrist, Dr. Golan, and his fellow Evil Hollowgasts. Indeed, the climatic final showdown in the English port city of Blackpool affirmed the implicit link of Barron to Cronenberg, for Blackpool’s waterfront and its Tower evoked the waterfront and the CN Tower of Toronto, reminding us that most of the first X-Men film and bits of the second were created in Toronto. The red brick base of the Blackpool Tower also evoked the red brick of the St. Lawrence Market just down Front Street from the CN Tower, reaffirming the implicit link of Blackpool to Toronto. Thus, the triumph over Barron and his Hollow colleagues, in the end, implicitly symbolized a victory for young CGI enhancement embracing artbuster film artists like Burton, Kelly and Nolan over older CGI eschewing film artists like Cronenberg-as long as you ignored the presence of the implicitly SCC linked Fiona, given that SCC also eschewed CGI in her film art.
Alas, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN was as disturbingly blockbusterish as MARS ATTACKS!, PLANET OF THE APES and the CGI enhanced super satirical films it was implicitly roasting. Just as insidious, the X-Men-like film was possibly the first in a dreaded franchise of money sucking films. A dreaded franchise that SCC implicitly feared would arrive, for she implicitly roasted Burton in the form of wounded Union Corporal John McBurney-played by Colin Farrell-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI free docufeature film THE BEGUILED (2017), making a truly idiosyncratic and independent artbuster yet again a necessary follow-up for Burton. One that reaffirm it would the quirky, idiosyncratic, imaginative and gothic oeuvre of Burton, and yet again take audiences, reviewers and scholars away from the economic, historical, military, political and technological upheavals of the last four decades to a definitely twilit place but one as lighthearted and exuberantly creepy as Hallowe’en itself, the kind of creepy and macabre animaction artbusters that expected you did to experience in an out of the way, jack-o’-lantern guarded and sometimes dark and nasty but freedom, life and creativity loving place nestled deep in a spooky hollow called Hallowe’en Town.
Gallo, Leah. The Art Of Miss Peregrine’s Home For
Peculiar Children. Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2016.
Salisbury, Mark, ed. Burton On Burton: revised edition.
London: Faber and Faber Limited, 2006.