The iconic and eccentric mind behind Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride, and The Nightmare Before Christmas has officially walked away from the Walt Disney Company, claiming he is “unlikely to return” and that Dumbo was his last film for the studio.
Tim Burton is one of the most prolific directors of our time, and, like many iconic creators in his shoes, he has a long and complicated history with the Disney studio. Burton got his start in the art department in the late ’70s/early ’80s, and his contributions to the Walt Disney Company have resulted in some of their most visually distinct and memorable films. While Burton and the studio have had their share of creative differences, the two have shown that they can play exceptionally well together. Now that Burton has walked away, stating he will no longer work for the company, Disney might have lost a very valuable asset by losing Burton’s distinct style.
From Jon Favreau to Keneth Branagh, Disney has a long history of working with some of the industry’s greatest directors, Burton included. The Nightmare Before Christmas alone has supplied Disney with a healthy supply of revenue and fans for years to come, Burton outright calling out the company and stepping away is a tremendous blow. While it’s not like there will never be another Tim Burton production, especially with Wednesday premiering on Netflix in November, but Disney will definitely feel the hit when it comes to creating more strange and unusual projects.
Disney certainly has no shortage of eccentric fare, but no one handles the world of the weird better than Burton, and having him out of their collection of frequent collaborators is going to hurt them creatively. The MCU and Star Wars universe are certainly safe, but original content from the Disney name has just taken a shot to the groin by losing one of the most impressive imaginations in all of Hollywood. Now, who knows how many Burton projects will be unfulfilled thanks to this departure, especially since he’s admitted to not wanting to get involved with Marvel’s Multiverse.
To a point, Burton owes the start of his film career to Walt Disney Pictures, but things have changed since the ’80s, some not for the better. The studio does have its fingers in a lot of different pies, and its understandable why someone who’s been in the business as long as Burton would want to simply walk away. That all being said, it’s going to come back to bite the house of mouse sooner rather than later.
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