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50 Greatest Tim Burton Characters

Lydia Deetz - Beetlejuice (1988)

The Character: Lydia Deetz is a moody, dramatic, angst-ridden teenage goth who feels even more isolated than usual when her father and step-mother move her into a country home out in the sticks. Admittedly this blow is lessened when she finds out what's hiding in the attic...

Tim Burton Touch: With her wild jet black hair and pale make up, Lydia's look has influenced goth kids ever since.

Mix this with her morbid fascination with the supernatural and her liking for everyday funeral wear and you have a prime Burton weirdo on your hands.

Ichabod Crane - Sleepy Hollow (1999)

The Character: When adapting The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow , Burton steered clear of portraying Ichabod Crane as a typical, brave, hands on hero. Instead the director focused on the character's keen feminine side and delicate, fragile nature, thus emphasising his frightening environment in the spooked village.

Tim Burton Touch: In addition to hamming up Crane's timid disposition, Burton also changed the character from a school teacher to a police constable with an interest in ahead-of-his-time post-mortem examinations.

Cue lots of scenes with creepy dead bodies. How very Timothy.

Oogie Boogie - The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Character: Large animated burlap sack Oogie Boogie is the most evil and sadistic resident of Halloween Town. He lives in exile from the rest of the inhabitants in an underground casino themed lair filled with torture devices and groovy glow-in-the-dark skeletons.

Tim Burton Touch: The concept of Oogie Boogie; an evil maggot invested sack with a casual torture dudgeon is terrifying and disturbing.

Yet as with so many of his antagonists, Burton makes him very likeable with his musical talents.

It's hard not to wish all villains were this fun and jazz loving.

Pegg Boggs - Edward Scissorhands (1990)

The Character: Bespectacled Avon lady Pegg Boggs drives around her neighbourhood adored in a purple suit and matching hat, restlessly trying to sell lipsticks and nail polish to the women of suburbia.

When this mission takes her to the dark castle upon the hill she meets Edward Scissorhands.

Tim Burton Touch: Extremely kind and good-natured, Pegg represents the complete opposite of the society she lives in.

Underneath her garish outfits and sunny disposition is someone who feels just as alienated from her community as her adopted scissorhanded boy.

A true Burton outcast.

Joker - Batman (1989)

The Character: Like many characters in the director's comic book adaptations, Burton's interpretation of Batman's most famous nemesis The Joker, under went a slight origin overhaul.

Starting out as a key gangster called Jack Napier, The Joker comes into being when he is disfigured in a confrontation with Batman in a chemical factory.

Tim Burton Touch: Burton's version of The Joker is strongly characterised by the way he views himself and his crimes as a performance.

The very moment The Joker is revealed he is accompanied with unsettling carnival music and he sets about engaging in an energetic, celebratory killing dance.

This is also a prime example of Tim Burton's ongoing association of villains and fun music.

Note also the art gallery attack - which firmly establishes the Bat-villain as a performance artist gone wrong, whilst Prince plays from a boom box.

Betelgeuse - Beetlejuice (1988)

The Character: Miscreant, prank-loving Betelgeuse is a self proclaimed "ghost with the most."

Extremely lecherous and sleazy, he stumbles around the afterlife conducting "bio-exorcisms" and touching up women alive or dead.

Tim Burton Touch: In addition to being a manic ghoul with a gothic look, Betelgeuse also possess a guiltily enjoyable perverse sense of humour which Burton appears to relish coaxing out of many of his characters.

Emily - Corpse Bride (2005)

The Character: Corpse Bride Emily spends her time roaming the underworld in her tattered wedding gown and stale headdress after her elopement plans turn fowl.

Her luck seemingly begins to change when a clumsily, socially awkward man stumbles upon her grave.

Tim Burton Touch: With her dead blue skin and large wide eyes, it's easy to view Emily as just a shinier, skinnier version of T he Nightmare Before Christmas ' Sally.

However, it's her brazen ways and quirky charisma (breathed into her by Burton's own bride of sorts Helena Bonham Carter) that makes her a special Burton creation in her own right.

Jack Skellington - The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Character: Jack Skellington, also known as the 'Pumpkin King' is the popular leader of Halloween Town and its most frightening resident.

However, after a grand finale of Halloween celebrations leaves him feeling deflated and then he accidentally stumbles on Christmas Town, the graceful skeleton becomes infatuated with a different holiday.

Tim Burton Touch: With his elongated limbs, pin stripe suit, monochrome colour palette and large bat bow tie, Jack just oozes the distinctive Tim Burton design.

Being scary yet graceful, dead but warm natured he could only be creation of Burton.

Edward Scissorhands - Edward Scissorhands (1990)

The Character: Edward Scissorhands is the eponymous hero of Burton’s 1990 gothic fairy tale. The creation of an eccentric inventor, Edward is slightly set back when his father figure dies before Edward is given hands. Instead innocent Edward has to make his way through the world and fickle society with long scissor fingers.

Tim Burton Touch: Being the lead in what is still arguably Burton’s most personal film, Edward Scissorhands is as Burton as a character can get; his alienation from suburbia, his dark shaggy hair, pale complexion, the fact that he is portrayed by Johnny Depp...

However, it’s his trusting nature and sweetness that gives Edward that special Burton magic.

He wears his heart on his sleeve just as the director tends to in his films.