532. Vincent – Tim Burton

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SUMMARY: A young boy who idolises Vincent Price and Edgar Allen Poe gets lost in a fantasy world inspired by their ghoulish legacies.

WHY IT’S HERE: Tim Burton’s ‘Vincent’ is a hugely stop-motion short which has received greater exposure due to the director’s ascent to the status of household name. While working at Disney as a conceptual artist, Burton was given $60,000 by Head of Creative Development Tom Wilhite to finance a short film based on a poem he had written. The result was ‘Vincent’ a mini-masterpiece that took just 2 months to produce. The film is narrated brilliantly by Burton’s childhood hero Vincent Price himself, who said of the experience that it was “the most gratifying thing that ever happened. It was immortality – better than a star on Hollywood Boulevard.” This early association lead to a long-term friendship that lead to Price’s role in ‘Edward Scissorhands’, his final film role before his death in 1993. ‘Vincent’ strikes a perfectly ghoulish tone somewhere between the macabre and the hilarious, with Vincent’s fantasies of villainy and melodramatic maladies seeming to overtake him completely by the film’s end. The simple but expressive models are a wonderful forerunner for Burton’s designs for ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ and ‘Corpse Bride’ and ‘Vincent’ is an ideal opening short to play before either.

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