Animators Turned Live-Action Filmmakers: From Tim Burton to <i>John Carter</i>‘s Andrew Stanton

With the sci-fi blockbuster John Carter, which opens in theaters on Friday, Pixar wizard Andrew Stanton (who has two Best Animated Feature Oscars to his name, for Finding Nemo and Wall-E) makes the leap from directing cartoon characters to live-action heroes. It's a path that has been followed by a handful of filmmakers, some of whom made the transition seamlessly while others... well, didn't. We'll find out soon whether John Carter will be a one-off for Stanton (pictured here with the movie's star, Taylor Kitsch) or if he'll be adding more live-action features to his filmography. In the meantime, here's what happened to some of his predecessors:

Dark Shadows: We Miss You, Tim

by Ethan Alter May 14, 2012 5:27 pm
<i>Dark Shadows</i>: We Miss You, Tim

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Tim who escaped the banality of his ordinary suburban existence in Burbank, California by conjuring up dark and fantastic visions in his own mind, visions that he brought to life with pen and paper or stop-motion short films. As a grown-up, Tim briefly brought his significant artistic talent to the Walt Disney company, but the bright and happy Mouse House proved an ill-match, so he struck out on his own, parlaying the success of his well-received short Frankenweenie into a feature directing assignment, 1985's Pee-wee's Big Adventure. The surprise success of that oddball comedy led to more gigs: among them, Beetlejuice, Batman and Edward Scissorhands, all successful and all distinct examples of a specific artistic vision. More importantly, his films connected with a very particular audience of outsiders and misfits -- viewers who felt marginalized by both the film industry and society at large. Here, at last, was a mainstream filmmaker who empathized with their plight and celebrated their oddity. He made it okay to be different, whether you were an overgrown man-child, a ghost, a traumatized man who dresses up in a rubber batsuit or a warm-hearted, pale-faced guy with scissors for hands.

Depp and Burton Vamp It Up

by Tippi Blevins June 3, 2008 10:22 am
Depp and Burton Vamp It Up

Peanut butter and chocolate. Smoking jackets and elderly playboys. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. What do these pairs have in common? Each half goes so well and so often with its companion that their combination seems not only natural, but expected. Add the pairing of "vampires and soap operas" to that list as Depp and Burton team up once again, this time to bring Dark Shadows to the big screen, according to a report at IESB.

Happy Anniversary: Batman Returns and Batman & Robin

by Ethan Alter July 18, 2012 3:51 pm
Happy Anniversary: <i>Batman Returns</i> and <i>Batman & Robin</i>

Before The Dark Knight Rises closes out the current Batman series, we celebrate the anniversaries of two older Caped Crusaders.

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