By the beginning of the new millennium, Tim Burton continued his filmmaking feat with big budget, fantasy, and epic movies.
The film Sleepy Hollow was a turning point for Burton. After this project, many changes in his personal life came in. He also radically changed in style with his next project, leaving the haunted forests and colorful outcasts behind to direct Planet of the Apes.
Although his trademark elements were still there, his visual style matured and evolved. His personality was well-kept in his works, but in more explorative ways, as compared to the straightforwardly dark and expressionist elements of his earlier films. It was another turning point not only for his career, but also for his personal life, as he separated with his fiancée Lisa Marie and found new love with Helena Bonham Carter.
Tim Burton Biography: From His Early Years to His Early Career as a Filmmaker
Tim Burton Biography: From His Early Career to His Rise to Hollywood Fame as an A-list Director
Tim Burton Filmography: His Early Works as a Filmmaker (1971 to 1990)
Tim Burton Filmography: His Films from 1992 to 2010
Planet of the Apes (2001)
The dawn of the new century offered another commercial success for Burton with the film Planet of the Apes. Amidst the many clashes between him and the studio, the film grossed $68 million during its opening weekend. However, it received mixed reviews and it was widely considered inferior to the first adaptation made by Franklin J. Schaffner. Burton’s film was described as a more watered down, popcorn movie compared to the dark, cerebral, and cynical tone of the 1968 film.
Planet of the Apes was a significant departure from the trademark Burton style. During the making of the film, Burton met actress Helena Bonham Carter who soon became his partner and mother of his two kids.
Big Fish (2003)
Based on the Daniel Wallace novel entitled Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, Burton’s Big Fish, was Burton in his finest. This cinematic opus explored the life of a father telling the story of his life to his son using color and exaggeration. It received four Golden Globe nominations and an Academy Award nomination for the musical score of Danny Elfman. The film provided renowned performances from Ewan McGregor playing the role of the young Edward Bloom and Albert Finney playing the role of the older Edward Bloom. Other topnotch performers also starred in the film including: Helena Bonham Parker, Jessica Lange, Billy Crudup, Danny DeVito, Alison Lohman, and Marion Cotillard.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was another quality filmmaking feat for Burton. This adaptation of the Roald Dahl book starred Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket, and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Buckett. Aside from an impressive domestic gross of over $207 million, the film also received a nomination for Best Costume Design at the Academy Awards. Although creative license was used, the film took a more faithful approach to its source material, compared to the 1971 adaptation entitled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a film directed by Mel Stuart with Gene Wilder playing the title role.
Corpse Bride (2005)
Corpse Bride was the first full-length stop-motion animation film of Burton as a director. It featured the voices of his favorite performers Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. For this project, he was able to effectively utilize the familiar style and trademark he became famous for.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Another masterpiece from Burton, his venture into the musical genre led to a number of film awards and nominations. Some of which include: winner, Golden Globe Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy; winner, Academy Award for Best Achievement in Art Direction; winner, Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy; winner, MTV Awards for Best Villain; winner, Evening Standard British Film Award; nominee, Golden Globe Best Director – Motion Picture; nominee, Academy Award for Best Actor; and nominee, Golden Globe Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is one of Burton’s best films. Apart from having topnotch production values, it also kept a faithful adaptation of the book and the Broadway musical about the infamous story of Benjamin Barker, also known as Sweeney Todd.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Burton’s version of the classic fairytale Alice in Wonderland sets the story 13 years after the original Lewis Carroll tale. This movie was released at the height of the demand for 3D movies; prompting the production to shoot in 2D, then have the film undergo 3D post-conversion for its 3D theatrical release.
Alice in Wonderland features Mia Wasikowska as the teenage Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Alan Rickman as Absolem the Caterpillar, Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit, and Crispin Glover as the Knave of Hearts.
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