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50 Greatest Tim Burton Characters

Oompa-Loompas - Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005)

The Character: The dark haired Oompa-Loompas in Burton's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory sport shiny red suits with black and white stripy socks and wristbands.

They also wear matching headphones - quite a departure from the original green hair/orange skin description in Roald Dahl's story.

Tim Burton Touch: Only Tim could give the iconic green-haired creations a black dye-job. Once a goth, always a goth.

Barnabas Collins - Dark Shadows (2012)

The Character: In Burton's recent film take of the 1960s daytime serial he developed Barnabas Collins into a more slick and humorous character, particularly focusing on the fish out of water element of a 200 year-old vampire waking up in 1972.

Tim Burton Touch: Of course, being a Vampire, Barnabas has the standard Burton gothic look about him. But his witty one liners ("How, pray, does one throw a 'happening'?") also have an injection of the director's recognisable humour.

Miss Spider - James And The Giant Peach (1996)

The Character: Miss Spider is one of the many oversized insects who join James in his giant peach bound for New York City in the Selick/Burton adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel.

She is a much colder and feistier character than the original Miss Spider in the book.

She also sports a beret and a French accent.

Tim Burton Touch: With her black and white striped body, knee-high boots and almost sexy gothic make-up, Miss Spider would probably be played by Helena Bonham Carter in the live-action version.

Ping and Jing - Big Fish (2003)

The Character: Ping and Jing are Korean Siamese twin sisters who specialise in performing a cabaret act singing "Twice The Love."

The sisters are also romantics, agreeing to help out an American soldier during World War II after hearing his story about the love of his life.

Tim Burton Touch: Ping and Jing's striking look is down to Burton's long-standing partnership with collaborator and costume designer Colleen Artwood.

Zero - The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Character: Zero is the loyal ghost dog companion of Jack Skellington whose glowing rudolphesque nose helps guide his master through the fog.

Tim Burton Touch: Burton is quite a fan of man's best friend with several dogs (alive and deceased) scattered throughout his filmography.

Zero gets extra Burton points for having a glowing pumpkin nose though.

Lord Barkiss Bittern - Corpse Bride (2005)

The Character: Probably the most underrated of all Burton's villains is Lord Barkiss Bittern.

The slimy, large chinned conman pops up at Victor and Victoria's wedding rehearsal despite no one knowing who is. He takes his position waiting in the wings, ready to make his move...

Tim Burton Touch: Barkiss's design and heightened physical traits are typical of Burton's stop motion style however, what is particularly special is his hair: well kept in two big upward curls like devil horns.

Bela Lugosi - Ed Wood (1994)

The Character: Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi most famous for playing Dracula, frequently worked with B-Movie director Ed Wood towards the end of his life.

To complete Burton's representation of the horror actor, Martin Landau wore heavy, unnaturally white makeup to get as close as a resemblance as possible.

Tim Burton Touch: It's no secret that the director drew heavily upon his own experience of working with his horror idol Vincent Prince when he attempted to depict the friendship of Ed Wood and Wood's horror movie hero on screen.

Selina Kyle - Batman Returns (1992)

The Character: Burton's version of Selina Kyle/Catwoman was more crazy cat lady than sophisticated cat burglar.

Although she oozed confidence and sex appeal post-transformation as her alter ego Catwoman, the director adjusted her origins to make Selina initially a lonely, helpless and slightly pathetic lowly secretary.

Tim Burton Touch: Aside from her stitched up, deranged looking cat outfit, when undergoing her transformation this version of Selina Kyle tears up all her fluffy animals and paints everything black.

It feels like a Burton thing to do.

Juno - Beetlejuice (1998)

The Character: Husky voiced, pearl wearing, no-nonsense Juno is an extremely busy caseworker for the recently deceased.

Based in the Neitherworld, she spends most of her time urging her clients to read their death handbooks and to stay away from her former assistant Betelgeuse.

Tim Burton Touch: Chain smoking Juno gives her cause of death away when smoke emerges from the large slit in her throat - which feels very typical of the director's dark humour.

Willy Wonka - Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005)

The Character: In his interpretation of the much loved Roald Dahl novel, Burton moulded major character Willy Wonka into an eccentric crackpot conjurer (much like other Burton protagonists such as Betelgeuse) and did not shy away from highlighting the chocolate factory owner's actual dislike for children.

Tim Burton Touch: Elegant and graceful, with his crazy Beatles wig and bug eyed glasses, Burton's Willy Wonka is a complete departure from the earlier cinematic depiction of the character and much more in line with the director's imagination.