A Ranking Of Tim Burton’s Most Magical Scenes
We’ll rank ‘em for you…
…from dolls on fire to the very height of Tim Burton’s work.
Let’s get to it!
26. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The welcome song.
There is nothing so lovely as the sight of a couple dozen dolls in flames. Welcome.
25. Dark Shadows: This comeback.
Also, those bangs.
24. Alice in Wonderland: The croquet scene.
I will admit that I wish this movie could have stuck to the original and relied much, much less on CGI. THAT SAID… Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen was an inspired choice. And who doesn’t love a flamingo?
23. Frankenweenie (2012): “I want him here…”
This stop-motion remake of Tim Burton’s original short film follows a young boy, Victor, (you’ll note as we go on that Burton is a pretty big fan of this name) as he successfully reanimates his recently deceased dog. If you’ve ever lost a pet, his sadness will resonate.
22. Corpse Bride: A thousand butterflies.
A very bittersweet scene in this movie which Tim Burton co-directed (but, come on, it’s Tim Burton all over).
21. Corpse Bride: Piano duet
Just a lovely scene between two lonely people trying to understand one another under pretty awful circumstances.
20. Sleepy Hollow: The death of the Hessian soldier.
A lot of people can do scary, but to make something scary that also comes across as sad and darkly funny and weirdly, disquietingly beautiful? Plus Christopher Walken.
19. Frankenweenie (1984): Mom helps out.
The problem with reanimating a pet is that you have to keep sewing him back up. Tedious.
18. Corpse Bride: Remains of the day.
Cool song about murder and such.
17. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: “And what did Santa bring you, honey?”
This LITERALLY PERFECT movie was not directed by Tim Burton, but is nonetheless his creation, based on his story and illustrations. And this fun sequence, in which a child’s parents ask to see what he’s gotten for Christmas, is Burton’s work in a nutshell.
16. Ed Wood: Ed meets Orson Welles.
Would that we all could be swathed in angora when our idol dispenses terrible advice.
15. Mars Attacks: Addressing Congress
14. Big Fish: The birth scene.
100% accurate depiction of the wonder of birth.
13. Sweeney Todd: Mrs. Lovett’s beachside fantasy
Keep dreaming, bb.
12. Mars Attacks!: The lady martian’s walk
This is exactly how va-va-voomy lady humans ensnare men. Good job, Martians.
11. Batman Returns: Catwoman’s transformation
After having had quite enough of everyone’s shit, the formerly shy, accommodating Selena Kyle recovers from attempted murder (!) by unleashing Hell.
10. Big Fish: They say time stops…
A beautiful depiction of what it feels like when you first lay eyes on someone amazing.
9. Vincent: The whole thing.
Vincent is a short about a young boy who believes he is Vincent Price, and you should watch the whole thing right now, letting both the darkness and the voice of Vincent Price take hold of you.
8. Edward Scissorhands: Holding on.
Brb crying in the fetal position.
7. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack and Sally are meant to be
It’s plain as anyone can see, tbqh.
6. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure: Pee-wee dances to “Tequila”
An icon of fashion and dance.
5. Beetlejuice: Lydia Deetz dances to “Jump in the Line”
Lydia got an A in math, so her dead friends let her dance in the air. A common rite of passage for teens.
4. Time Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack discovers Christmas Land
The wonder and the creepiness of Jack Skellington are on glorious display in this scene. And he’s a pretty great singer, too.
3. Edward Scissorhands: Kim dances in the snow
Quite honestly one of the most eerily beautiful, touching scenes in a highly overlooked love story.
2. Beetlejuice: The “Day-O” scene
Nothing perks up a dinner party quite like the musical stylings of Harry Belafonte + being possessed.
1. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Opening sequence
A perfect movie moment: fun, eerie, sweet (that wind blowing through Sally’s hair!), inventive, all set to a fantastic song by Danny Elfman, a frequent Burton collaborator and genius in his own right. Perfeeeect.