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Tim Burton Shuns Disney, "Impossible to Work With"

As of late, Disney has been in the hot seat when it comes to their films. Now, one of the most notable directors in Hollywood, and one who has created one of the most iconic Disney IP’s, is speaking out against the company.

tim burton being interviewed
Credit: Netflix

Disney’s films as of late have not been too successful at the box office, leaving them in a massive debt after creating multiple failed live-action films.

The first casting choice to make headlines was when Disney announced they had finally found who would play the iconic mermaid, Ariel, for the live-action remake The Little Mermaid. The Disney Princess and mermaid, Ariel, is played by actress Halle Bailey, known for her work in ABC’s Grown-ish and as one half of the famous R&B singing duo Chloe and Halle.

But it wasn’t long before the Internet spoke about the decision on Bailey’s casting. While many fans were highly supportive, others immediately took to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their frustrations about the casting of the Disney Princess character. The hashtag #NotMyAriel immediately began to trend.

The Walt Disney Company, Jodi Benson (the original voice for Ariel in the 1989 animated classic), Lin-Manuel Miranda, one of the producers and composers for the upcoming live-action remake, and others spoke out defending Disney’s decision and Bailey’s casting of the character.

Ariel (Halle Bailey) resting on jellyfish and talking to Sebastian
Credit: Disney

Then we heard Yara Shahidi, currently known for her role on ABC’s Black-ish, is looking forward to playing the iconic sidekick, Tinker Bell, in the upcoming live-action film, Peter Pan and Wendy.

Most recently, the upcoming Snow White live-action film starring Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot has hit some heat. There are two main instances that caused fans to be outraged with the upcoming film. Firstly, there will be no dwarfs in the film, but seven magical creatures, which deviates from the iconic story that Walt Disney himself created on screen. The second comes from an interview where Zegler and Gadot say that Snow White will not have a prince charming, and there is no one that needs to save her.

The film has received so much criticism without even a single trailer being developed that fans thought that the film was going to be canceled before it was ever even released. With the amount of negative press the company has been getting as of late, in combination with the ongoing SAG / AFTRA strike, having one of Hollywood’s largest figures denounce Disney is a large blow.

jack skellington snowflake nightmare before christmas
Credit: Disney

Tim Burton is a prolific director who has directed many masterpieces like Dumbo, Corpse Bride, Alice in Wonderland, Frankenweenie, Edward Scissorhands, Wednesday, Beetlejuice, Batman Forever, Batman Returns, and more. Although many of these titles are Disney, his biggest Disney creation was certainly The Nightmare Before Christmas. 

As Halloween approaches, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is only just now coming out of its shell. Audiences everywhere are now ready to once again watch Jack Skellington, king of Halloween, discover Christmas, and ruin it for everyone. The Halloween / Christmas film has been so popular over the years, that it has infiltrated Disney parks all over the globe.

Jack and Sally in 'The Nightmare before Christmas'
Credit: Disney

Since its release in 1993, The Nightmare Before Christmas has become a perennial Halloween classic, splitting the difference between “heartwarming family film” and “deeply disturbing near-horror movie.” Are you team Halloween? Or are you team Christmas movie?

Many factors might have gone into Nightmare Before Christmas’ slowly growing — and non-stop — popularity. As we noted in the past, “it might have been Tim Burton’s rise to stardom, the popularity of movies like Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride, and other strange and unusual films, or simply the growing interests of an evolving audience. Whatever the reason, the film has become one of Disney’s most popular properties, and its influence continues to be felt in and out of Disney property.”

jack and sally in the nightmare before christmas
Credit: Disney

At the moment, fans of the film can meet both Jack and Sally at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Magic Kingdom. If that wasn’t enough, over at Disneyland Resort, fans can enjoy Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure.

As one can tell by the name of the event, it celebrates all things Nightmare Before Christmas. Although you cannot meet Jack and Sally at the event (that can actually be done during the day at Disneyland Park) they can see the lovebirds in the Frightfully Fun parade, along with Oogie Boogie, Zero, they Mayor, and more. Oogie Boogie is also one of the villains in the treat trails, so you can get up close and personal with him.

The IP also takes over the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland to turn it into Haunted Mansion Holiday, which lasts from Halloween through to Christmas ans has become an iconic aspect of the season, and a fan-favorite attraction.

Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman) does his best Santa Claus in The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

Jack Skellington has become such a popular icon that Home Depot even sells a 13-foot tall version of the Pumpkin King that fans can put in their front lawn for the Halloween and Christmas season.

Most recently, we announced that The Nightmare Before Christmas is coming back to theaters as well, as the film celebrates its 30th anniversary. On top of the new 4K edition released last month, the film returns to theaters just in time for Halloween. Soon fans of the film will be able to see Jack (Chris Sarandon – Speaking/Danny Elfman – Singing), Sally (Catherine O’Hara), Zero (Frank Welker), Oogie Boogie (Ken Page), Lock (Paul Reubens), Shock (Catherine O’Hara), and Barrel (Danny Elfman) back on the big screen.

For all of this success, Disney has Burton to thank.

That being said, Burton no longer seemingly wants to be working with Disney.

Tim Burton wearing all black on a black background looking befuddled
Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

As noted by MovieWeb, “Tim Burton won’t work for DC or Marvel simply because of the way they use culture unethically. According to him, large studios like Disney or Warner Bros. take moments of cinema or art and use them in a way that seems dishonorable, like how they took a piece of his 90s Superman movie and shoehorned it into The Flash for the sake of a cameo.”

Related: Tim Burton Slams Warner Bros. for Using His DC Creation

Burton stated, “Even though you’re a slave of Disney or Warner Brothers, they can do whatever they want. So in my latter years of life, I’m in quiet revolt against all this.” Tim has found more freedom working outside of Disney.

All of this comes shortly after Johnny Depp was booted from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Tim Burton has been a major player in Johnny Depp’s career, allowing it to skyrocket through films such as Edward Scissorhands (1990), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), and more. Depp has also starred alongside Tim Burton’s ex-wife Helena Bonham Carter in Burton’s musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaged together
Credit: Warner Bros

Depp and Burton have been known to be a dynamic duo, and there is a possibility that Burton continued to see the “lack of freedom” mentality of Disney following their choice to boot Depp from the company due to what is now a false allegation.

What do you think about Burton speaking out negatively about Disney? 


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