20 most iconic Tim Burton characters from movies and animation

20 most iconic Tim Burton characters from movies and animation

Tim Burton's characters are popular due to their mesmerizing and terrifying nature. They were created by Tim Burton himself. He is well-known for creating dark films that mix horror and fantasy elements. Some of the most popular Tim Burton's movies are The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman Returns, and Beetlejuice.

Tim Burton characters
Photo: @TimBurtonArt on Twitter (modified by author)
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In Tim Burton's films, the cast members carry the audience away into the depths of infinite imagination. The style is a mix of a world full of contradictions, both dark and light, cruel and tender, frightening and welcoming, and this often makes them remarkable for many.

Tim Burton female characters

There are several Tim Burton movie characters worth knowing. Most of them are characterized by their irresistible comedy. Here is a list of the best female Tim Burton characters with exceptional acting skills.

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1. Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton female characters
A cosplayer as Sally as The Nightmare Before Christmas poses during New York Comic Con at the Javits Center on October 05, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Mike Coppola
Source: Getty Images

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Sally is another remarkable Tim Burton female character appearing in the 1993 dark Christmas-Halloween movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas. The cast member is known for her pretty, loving, and caring nature. She is portrayed as a toxicologist rag doll who uses poisons to free herself.

2. Alice Kingsleigh from Alice in the Wonderland

Alice Kingsleigh is another iconic Tim Burton character appearing in the 1951 film Alice in Wonderland. This female Tim Burton character is seen as a loving, gentle, trustful and wildly curious being. What makes her iconic is her bravery, stubbornness and independent nature.

3. Miss Alma Peregrine from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Alma Peregrine is another popular female character in the 2016 film Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. She is characterized by her intelligent and strict yet caring nature. In the film, the cast member is a ymbryne, meaning she can manipulate time and transform into a bird. Miss Alma Peregrine is a delicate woman who enjoys smoking a pipe.

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4. Lydia from Beetlejuice

Lydia is one of the most popular female Tim Burton characters in the 1988 film Beetlejuice. She quickly discovers the ghosts of Barbara and Adam. She can be described as a serious but kind girl who is sensitive beyond her Goth dress because she feels isolated. Lydia’s devotion to the Maitlands and sensitivity to life beyond death solidified the character as a fan favourite.

Best Tim Burton male characters

Check out some of the famous male characters developed by Tim Burton:

5. Joker from Batman

The Joker from Batman is one of the most iconic Tim Burton male characters. The character is played by Jack Nicholson. In the film, the Joker is initially portrayed as a small-time crook and is driven insane by an accident with toxic chemicals. He can switch moods from sad to serious, and his creepy smile will leave an impression when watching the film.

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6. The Penguin from Batman Returns

The Penguin is a Gotham City mobster who fancies himself as the number one Gentleman of Crime. The character appears most times as a short, fat man with a long nose. He is characterized by wearing a monocle, top hat, and tuxedo while carrying his signature umbrella. Penguin proves to be a hideous, sinister yet strangely sad villain, especially against the backdrop of being rejected by his parents.

7. The Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow

Best Tim Burton male characters
Actor Tom Mison arrives at The Paley Center for Media's PaleyFest 2014 Honoring "Sleepy Hollow" at Dolby Theatre on March 19, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Photo: Frazer Harrison
Source: Getty Images

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is based on Washington Irving’s short story. The film has long been considered the first truly great work in the comedy-horror subgenre. The Headless Horseman is a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannonball in a battle. He cannot cross the bridge next to the Old Dutch Graveyard. If he crosses it, he is warned of vanishing in a blaze of fire and brimstone.

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8. The Mad Hatter from Alice in the Wonderland

Tarrant Hightopp (The Mad Hatter) is one of the best Tim Burton male characters appearing in Alice in the Wonderland film. He is portrayed as a middle-school-age boy in oversized clothes and a large hat covering his head. The Mad Hatter is described as an exaggerated and bitter person who is the resistance leader.

Tim Burton cartoon characters

If you are a great fan of cartoons, you should check these Tim Burton characters listed below.

9. Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton cartoon characters
Hat in hand, a sadder-but-wiser Jack Skellington gets a boost from his ghost dog, Zero in Touchstone Pictures' animated film, Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas. Photo: Joel Fletcher
Source: Getty Images

Ever wondered what is the most popular Tim Burton cartoon character? It is none other than Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Looking at many Tim Burton characters' drawings, you will realize that Jack Skellington features the signature Burton dark style.

The cast member demonstrates his creepy and frightening vibe in a unique and thrilling manner; a fitting depiction for someone designed to instil fear into people. Jack Skellington earned the title of Pumpkin King by terrifying humans but never harming them.

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10. The Martians from Mars Attacks!

The 1996 famous film revolves around aliens that have no sense of remorse or mercy for mankind. The aliens are portrayed as hostile creatures. The Martians create a memorable impression with their terrible cackling and sinister pursuit of humanity's destruction.

11. Sparky from Frankenweenie

Burton directed the short film in 1984. It is about a boy named Victor who seeks to resurrect his beloved dog, Sparky. Sparky is a devoted and playful Bull Terrier whose sense of curiosity is matched only by his beloved owner.

Victor learns that even dead creatures can be stimulated again by electrical impulses. While his friends hastily experiment on their pets, only Sparky retains his purity and soul.

Animated Tim Burton characters

The following are some of the best animated Tim Burton characters worth knowing as a fan.

12. Victor Von Dort from Corpse Bride

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Victor Von Dort from Corpse Bride is one of the popular animated Tim Burton characters. He was one of Tim Burton's first-ever animated roles. Victor is described as a timid and easily startled individual who is never sure of himself and tends to stammer when speaking.

13. The Cheshire Cat from Alice in the Wonderland

Animated Tim Burton characters
The Cheshire Cat, portrayed by Aaron Murphy, poses for a portrait at Emerald City Comicon at the Washington State Convention Center. Photo: Genna Martin
Source: Getty Images

The Cheshire Cat is one of the top Alice in the Wonderland Tim Burton characters. He is loved by many due to his mischievous and unpredictable nature. The Cheshire Cat is sometimes described as a guiding spirit for Alice.

The Cheshire Cat directs her toward the March Hare's house and the mad tea party, eventually leading her to the garden's final destination. He is also an outstanding character due to his dark, sarcastic, and creepy personality.

The best Tim Burton's characters

The greatest Tim Burton characters may be new to you, others have been in the industry for a long time. Below are some of the best cast members developed by Tim Burton.

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14. Edward Scissorhands from Edward Scissorhands

best Tim Burton characters
A cosplayer poses as Edward Scissorhands outside New York Comic Con at Javits Center on October 10, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik
Source: Getty Images

The titular character in the 1990 fantasy film Edward Scissorhands is another iconic figure in Tim Burton’s films. The professional filmmaker was inspired to draw the character while growing up in the suburbs in his teenage years.

He is described as being shy, sad, and artistic. Scissorhands has a dark vibe, but he manages to bring out his human side with a moving storyline that makes the audience sympathetic.

15. The Betelgeuse from the Beetlejuice

best Tim Burton characters
A Comic-Con attendee poses as Beetlejuice during New York Comic-Con 2015 at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on October 10, 2015 in New York City. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik
Source: Getty Images

The 1998 comedy horror film Beetlejuice is one of the top Burton films of all time. The Betelgeuse is perceived as a trickster and mischievous ghost. He is the main antagonist in the live-action movie due to his rude, vulgar and psychopathic nature. In addition, he takes great pleasure in tormenting other characters, even likeable ones.

16. Sweeney Todd

The 2007 film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is one of Burton’s gruesome projects. It is based on the 1973 play of the same name by Christopher Bond. Sweeny Todd and Johnny Depp return many years later, and they establish a barber shop on Fleet Street. However, things get ugly when Todd's wife, Lucy, is killed.

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The ordeals force Todd to become a murderer. However, Burton does a great job balancing the character’s personality, ensuring that his dark nature is not too gruesome for the audience.

17. Emily the Corpse Bride from Corpse Bride

best Tim Burton characters
A woman dressed up as a "corpse bride" poses during Halloween celebrations in Churriana near of Malaga, on October 31, 2016. Photo: JORGE GUERRERO
Source: Getty Images

Emily was a tall, aggressive, outgoing and beautiful young woman with a slim and graceful figure. She was one of the top cast members in the 2005 fantasy film, the Corpse Bride. By looking at her, you can easily assume that she was just as plain and dull as the rest of the living when she was alive.

You might also mistake her for being naïve and gullible. However, Burton gives her a fantastic personality – quirky charisma and a love of music and dance, making her lovable to the audience.

18. Willy Wonka

best Tim Burton characters
Spanish actor Edu Soto characterized as Willy Wonka poses during the presentation of the 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Photo: Borja B. Hojas
Source: Getty Images

He is a popular character who has appeared in several TV Shows, films and children's novels. The cast member also appeared in Burton’s adaptation film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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19. Edward Bloom from Big Fish

best Tim Burton characters
The Big Fish production stars Norbert Leo Butz as Edward Bloom. Photo: Paul Kolnik
Source: Getty Images

Edward Bloom is one of the most fascinating men who ever lived and the world's greatest storyteller. He is the main character in the film and somewhat of a Baron Munchausen figure. The movie character is described as being charming and charismatic. He can see the humans' black and white world in multiple colours.

20. Batman from the Batman franchise

best Tim Burton characters
Batman film franchise awarded the Guinness World Records title for most film adaptations of a comic book character at the ceremony in Hollywood, California. Photo: Michael Tran
Source: Getty Images

The Batman franchise has become one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. After years of being primarily associated with the campy ‘60s series, Batman returned to his darker roots through Burton’s 1989 blockbuster. In the film, Michael Keaton casts the character of Batman in the most iconic way.

He manages to convey deep emotions without ever speaking. The Batman gets everything across through restrained facial expressions and the occasional subtle dialogue explaining why he must fight crime as a bat.

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FAQs

  1. Who are Tim Burton's characters? They are fictional characters created by Tim Burton, a professional filmmaker, producer, and director.
  2. What features do Tim Burton characters have? Most of Tim Burton's characters are designed to have exaggerated features such as long frizzled hair, baggy eyes, and gangly limbs.
  3. What was Tim Burton's first big movie? The professional filmmaker's first film was Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985). The film brought Burton tremendous fame and success.
  4. What Disney movies did Tim Burton work on? Tim Burton worked on popular Disney films such as Frankenweenie (1984) and Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).
  5. Why is Tim Burton so popular? The professional filmmaker and producer is famous for his unique way of creating visually striking films that perfectly blend fantasy and horror themes.

Tim Burton's characters are known to portray a dark, creepy vibe, and their unpredictable nature. Who are the best characters that inspired you the most? The above are some of the most iconic and outstanding cast members created by Burton as a director and producer.

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