February 26, 2024
Tim Burton Closes Door on Disney after "Horrible" Dumbo Tenure

Tim Burton has grounded any potential future projects with Disney following his “horrible” experience directing the 2019 live-action reboot of Dumbo for the House of Mouse.

According to Deadline, Burton shared his displeasure with Disney on Saturday during a press conference at the Lumière Film Festival in Lyon, France, where the director was being was honored with the annual event’s prestigious Prix Lumière award. He critiqued the studio’s narrowing focus on franchises like Star Wars and Marvel and rejected the idea of helming an installment in the latter’s cinematic universe, before saying, “It’s gotten to be very homogenized, very consolidated. There’s less room for different types of things.”

Burton’s feedback holds some weight considering the director launched his filmmaking career as an animator for the company and has maintained some form of a working relationship with them for over three decades, a fact he noted before addressing his most recent collaboration, 2019’s Dumbo. “My history is that I started out there. I was hired and fired like several times throughout my career there,” he said. “The thing about Dumbo, is that’s why I think my days with Disney are done, I realized that I was Dumbo, that I was working in this horrible big circus and I needed to escape. That movie is quite autobiographical at a certain level.”

Although there might be some exaggeration in comparing the titular tortured elephant’s animal cruelty-laden, soaring-despite-suffering storyline to Burton’s directorial effort, the experience seems to have effectively ended his long-running partnership with Disney for good. It’s a true end of an era as the studio previously distributed iconic Burton projects like 1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1994’s Ed Wood, the 2010 Alice in Wonderland reboot, and 2012’s Frankenweenie.

The director is gearing up to premiere his next project, The Addams Family off-shoot series, Wednesday. The latest trailer revealed Christina Ricci’s return to the creepy, kooky family property, but prepare for more surprises when the eight-episode season premieres on Wednesday, November 23rd via Netflix.

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