Tim Burton Essay

English Essay on Tim Burton
Tim Burton uses an extensive range of thematic and aesthetic features that express the individuality and differences that frame his protagonists as outsiders in society. These distinctive features are most commonly demonstrated in both of his films of ‘Edward Scissor Hands’ (1990) and ‘Beetle Juice’ (1988). This is shown through the various uses of the gothic trope of the haunted house, black humour, distinctive characterization and the theme of individuality verses conformity.
Burton uses the gothic trope of the typical haunted house to separate his protagonists from the rest of society. He does this by setting the protagonist’s house high up on a hill excluded from the rest of the town. This is further shown through the multiple uses of visual barriers to block them from society. For example, in ‘Edward Scissor Hands’, Edward’s home is surrounded by a thick, high wall. Another example was in ‘Beetle Juice’, where the Maitlands’ house was blocked off by the rest of the town by a bridge. Also, in this particular film, when the Maitlands became ghosts they were unable to be seen by “normal” living humans and had limited access to other ghosts, another difficult barrier to overcome. Another technique Burton uses in both of the films, is introducing the haunted house in a bird eye view shot. Burton’s use of this particular feature identifies him being an outsider during his childhood years.
Another common element used in Burton’s films is the use of characterizations to create distinctive characters. These characters don’t fit in society and tend to be frowned upon. Characters that are outside the norm. He tends to use unique make-up, costume designs and low key lighting to set these particular characters aside from the others. For example, in ‘Edward Scissor Hands’, Edward dresses up all in black and had a pale complexion making him stand out more in an odd way to the rest society, who are all dressed in bright summer colours. Burton...