Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Tim Burton

Go To
And when they finally pulled the driver's body from the twisted, burning wreck. It looked like THIS!

This is a man who virtually defined the Nightmare Fuel trope. Just some sketches from his exhibit in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art alone is more than enough to give any child (and quite a few grown ups) reoccurring nightmares. In short, Jack Skellington wasn't our Nightmare Fuel icon for nothing before the site icons were revamped.

Works with their own pages:

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

  • After Willy Wonka's boat ride, the Trope Maker of Nightmare Fuel is our old friend Large Marge. And the evil clown dream sequence was rough going as well.
    • See also the sequence where Pee Wee's bike is initially stolen; the formerly smiling, cheery mechanical clown he'd shackled his bike to suddenly adopts a pretty terrifying leer and a cackle sounds off.
    • The animation style used for Large Marge would later be used for several scenes in Beetlejuice.
    • Advertisement:
    • The whole movie has an indefinable creepy vibe to it, really, even the non-scary scenes. Pee Wee's (and Francis') Manchild nature is can really be unnerving more than amusing. And yeah, Danny Elfman's Circus of Fear BGM ramped things up.

Edward Scissorhands

  • Edward ripping apart the Boggs' curtains and tapestry in a fit of jealousy over Kim and Jim.
  • Edward can get a pretty unsettling expression whenever he's scared or angered, particularly the latter.
  • Jim is a more mundane example. On the outside, he's a clean-cut and well-to-do kind of guy, but get his girlfriend's attention and the illusion shatters, revealing a murderous thug who won't stop until the source of his hatred is dead.

Oyster Boy and Other Stories

  • This little book is extremely creepy even by Burton's standards. It features such stories as one about a girl who turns into a bed, a hideous penguin boy, and a pin-cushion queen.
    • In the poem Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy , the title character gets eaten by his own father at the end. As an aphrodisiac!
    • Advertisement:
    • Then there's Mummmy Boy. At the very end of the poem he's walking in the park with his mummufied canine companion, unfortunately it's on the exact same day as a Mexican Girl's birthday party. The Mexican Girl and the other kids mistake him for a pinata and smash him with their sticks and scarab beetles and other things come out from inside of him.
    • Incidentally, Burton showed Danny DeVito the drawing of Jimmy the Hideous Penguin Boy to give the actor an idea of how the Penguin's character would be approached when they were getting ready to shoot Batman Returns...
    • The Pincushion Queen.
    • Most, if not all, of the drawings qualify for this trope to some degree.

Other Stuff

  • There's Burton's early film ''Vincent''. The ending of Vincent has the titular character all alone in his room faking his death and reciting the last lines from the Raven. Let's ''hope'' he was faking....
  • Burton's movie Big Fish is much less scary than his other films, but the scenes in Spectre were just creepy. The scene where the little girl stole the protagonist's shoes and hung them on the clothesline ...the town seemed way too perfect, like there had to be a catch.
    • There is a catch. YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE.
  • Hansel and Gretel, a short that was shown only once on Disney Channelnote , on Halloween 1983. There's a very creepy-looking Gingerbread Man. Let's just say its eye meets a candy cane. Here are some pictures of the little freak.
    • Then of course, we have the Witch. Sure, she's a Large Ham who arms herself with candy cane nunchucks at one point, but her creepy appearance, candy cane nose, and bone-chilling shriek are enough to give any little kid nightmares.
  • A Real Life example would be his stories about his brief stint at Disney animating The Fox and the Hound, which involve graphic scenes of animalistic outbursts and gory self-mutilation. Of corse, he often concludes this with "You try drawing a cute fox with Sandy Duncan's voice for two years!!"


Video Example(s):


Large Marge

It's the Image for the Tim Burton Nightmare Fuel page for a reason. Marge's unexpected jumpscare, makes this chilling tale all the more haunting.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / NightmareFace

Media sources:

Main / NightmareFace