February 17, 2013
The Hollywood Reporter
By Scott Feinberg
Last week, I sat down in a suite at the Chateau Marmont across from the writer-director-producer-animator Tim Burton, who made many of the most memorable movies of my childhood, including the first film that I ever saw in a movie theater. (My dad thought that Edward Scissorhands was a movie for kids. We quickly figured out that he was wrong.)
The 54-year-old looked like a character in a Tim Burton film -- endearingly fragile and yet also otherworldly -- with a broken arm in a sling, a big mischievous smile on his face and his hair awry like the "mad scientist" he once dreamed of becoming. Nearby was a plastic container marked "Tim's Toys," several of which had been removed and placed on a desk to make him feel at home during an extended stay in Los Angeles. There were also colored markers within reach -- he has loved to draw for as long as he can remember, and was in town talk about Frankenweenie, the animated feature for which he is now a best animated feature Oscar nominee, and on behalf of which he had attended the Oscar nominees luncheon the previous day.
"You might be able to tell I was a big monster fan," Burton tells me. "I grew up watching the Universal horror movies, Japanese monster movies and pretty much any kind of monster movie. That was my genre." He also loved animation, particularly of the stop motion variety popularized by Ray Harryhausen. "I think I knew his name before I knew any director or actor names," he says. "He was probably the person that got me more interested in animation than any other form of filmmaking."
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