The final image of the Tim Burton exhibit at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (only on until this Sunday – book your ticket ahead of time as it’s timed entry tickets) is a 1983 bizarre television adaptation of Hansel and Gretel where a toy duck transforms into a beacon, the witch’s gingerbread house is a combination of something out of your worst nightmare, a hilarious marshmallow heap and a grotesque oozing-multi-coloured-goo-candy entity in itself, and the acting is so cheesy, it’s good there is so much going on with everything else it distracts you. Hansel and Gretel was so bad it was funny, but also foreshadowing of the wild characters and worlds Tim Burton made his career creating.
The Tim Burton exhibit has sketches, paintings, notes, models, puppets, drawings, props, costumes, and video of a lot of the major films (and minor ones) he has done in his career. However, it is also a personal retrospective of Tim Burton’s collective works. Starting from a young age, he created crazy characters and worlds in the way that would become his signature style. Some of them so creatively bizarre, they made me laugh and cringe at the same time (a man with miniature dogs hanging out of his empty eye sockets with a caption that read “blind man with permanent seeing eye dogs”).
The exhibit inspired me not only because of the talent that Tim Burton and the teams he works with have, but also his bravery and confidence to put his ideas out there when they obviously were out of the norm. He kept trying and working and making his art the way he wanted to.
I’m glad I got a chance to see this exhibit before it ends on Sunday. I’m inspired to push my own boundaries and keep writing in my own style, even if other people think I’m a little crazy. Tim Burton proves that sometimes the quirkiest ideas are those that resonate with the widest variety of people.
To conclude, here’s a short animation from 1982: