Review: Tim Burton’s “Vincent”

Kathryn Sturdevant | Herald Contributor 

We all know Tim Burton for the movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and various other films, but before any of his movies, he created a short film called “Vincent.”

In 1982, Tim Burton had just started working as an animator for Disney. Disney was excited to have Burton because of his unique creations, but most of his ideas were not “Disney material.” The head of the creative development team at the time gave Burton about $60,000 to produce a film out of a poem that Burton wrote.

Then, Burton gathered a team and they created his poem called “Vincent” into a stop motion film. The film is in black and white and mimics the style of German expressionism of the 1920s. His poem is based off Vincent Price and Edgar Allen Poe, two creators that influenced him as he grew up. The main character in the short film, Vincent Malloy, resembles Tim Burton in a lot of ways, including the crazy spiked hair.

The film is about six minutes long and can be found on Youtube. Burton got Vincent Price — who was an actor known for various horror movies — to narrate his poem. The film starts off with a young boy who is interested in Vincent Price and wants to be him. Vincent would rather make scary creations and live in a spooky house than his regular home. The film transitions from the little boy’s regular life to his dream of being the people he admires — from Vincent Price then to Edgar Allan Poe. In the film, Vincent reads a poem about his wife being buried alive and it spirals him into madness. The film finishes with Vincent feeling like the man in the poem, “The Raven.”

The film is reminiscent of a lot of his work such as, “The Corpse Bride,” “Coraline,” “Beetlejuice” and many more. His vision is always the same in regards to the unsettling characters with the cartoonish faces, oversized hair and long-limbed bodies. When watching the short film, it is easy to notice a lot of similar faces and creations that have showed up in Burton’s other movies. It’s a great film and a perfect way to get into the grim and mysterious mind of Tim Burton for the Halloween season.