Burton is a compulsive drawer and has been since an early age. His unique style was developed as a kid, and some of Burton's movies were based on drawings he did when he was young. The characters Edward Scissorhands and Jack Skellington both come from his childhood illustrations.
Burton studied at the California Institute of Art, then found himself at Disney upon graduation. Burton's one-of-a-kind gothic style is very different from that Disney magic we all know and love, so it's no surprise that Burton found himself out-of-place at the famed studio.
While at Disney, Burton worked on The Fox and the Hound. He served as an animator, storyboard artist and concept artist on the film. The Disney classic is a huge departure from the style that Burton would eventually become known for. He was bored by the animation style and story line. He also worked on The Black Cauldron while at Disney.
While at Disney, Burton's talent was recognized and he was able to make two short films. The first was Vincent, about a boy who wants to be like Vincent Price. The second film, Frankenweenie, was a twist on the popular classic story of Frankenstein. Despite the fact that Vincent won numerous awards, both films were deemed too scary for kids and were never released.
Of all of Burton's iconic characters, his favorite is Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Burton is so fond of the character that Jack Skellington can be seen in his other movies. For instance, if you look closely, you can spot Jack Skellington as a pirate in James and the Giant Peach.
Even though he directed Planet of the Apes, Burton hates apes. "You don't know whether chimps are going to kill you or kiss you. They're very open on some levels and much more evil in a certain way," the director has said.
Burton met his former wife Helena Bonham-Carter on the set of Planet of the Apes in 2001. The two started dating and would go on to have two children together. Bonham-Carter would also go on to continue to appear in his projects.
When Burton was married to Helena Bonham-Carter, the director snored so badly it bothered his wife. In order to escape his snoring, the two lived in two separate, adjacent houses connected by a hallway.
Pinstripes can be seen throughout Burton's movies, most notably on Beetlejuice's iconic suit. However, the director has been known to wear pinstripes himself for good luck. He will wear pinstriped socks to movie premieres and other special occasions as a "lucky charm."
Burton complains that he's often portrayed as a bit "odd" or "reclusive" in the media. However, this is far from the truth. The director says that in real life, he's a normal, happy, cheerful person and not some weirdo artiste. In fact, Burton usually dresses in black simply because he does not like taking the time to match colors!