Timothy Walter Burton on August 25, 1958, in Burbank, California. As a child, Burton was engrossed with the classic horror films of Roger Corman—many of which featured quintessential screen villain Vincent Price. Burton also developed a hobby for drawing and enrolled at the California Institute of Arts, where he majored in animation. In 1980, upon his graduation, he began working as an apprentice animator for Walt Disney Studios. Within a year, Burton grew tired with his work at Disney and decided to strike out on his own. In 1982, he released the award-winning short Vincent, which paid respect to the enduring work of his childhood idol.
In 1984, Burton created a unique version of the Frankenstein story with the live-action short Frankenweenie. Impressed with Frankenweenie, Paul Reubens commissioned Burton to direct the wildly inventive comedy Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985). The success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure brought about other opportunities, including the 1988 ghost story Beetlejuice starring Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, and Geena Davis. Often considered the prototypical Burton film, Beetlejuice was recognized for its visual flair and interwoven themes of fantasy and horror.
After forming his own production company, Burton directed the lavish production Batman (1989). It became the first film to sell $100 million in the first 10 days of release.