While filming “Dumbo” for the studio, Burton “realized that I was Dumbo, that I was working in this awful big circus and I needed to escape.”
Anyone hoping for a sequel to Tim Burton’s “Dumbo” shouldn’t hold their breath.
Speaking at Lyon’s Lumière Festival after receiving the Prix Lumière, Burton revealed that the 2019 film likely marked the end of his long creative relationship with Disney (via Deadline). He began his film career as an animator at Disney before Warner Bros. hired him to make his live directing debut in “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”. He has returned to work with Disney in such films as “Ed Wood”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “Frankenweenie” and, most recently, “Dumbo”.
Burton believes the entertainment landscape has moved to the point where it no longer makes sense for him to partner with the entertainment giant. He explained that his experience working on “Dumbo” made him realize that Disney had outgrown him.
“My story is that I started out there,” Burton said. “I have been hired and fired several times during my career there. The problem with “Dumbo” is that this is why I think my days with Disney are over, I realized that I was Dumbo, that I was working in this horrible big circus and I needed to escape. That film is quite autobiographical on a certain level ”.
During a masterclass at the festival on Friday, Burton also shared his thoughts on the state of superhero movies. His 1989 landmark film “Batman” helped establish many of the genre’s tropes – and Burton is surprised at how influential he continues to be.
“It was very exciting to be at the beginning of it all. It’s amazing how much he hasn’t really changed in a way – tortured superhero, weird costumes – but for me at the time it was very exciting. It felt new, “he said.” The funny thing now is that people say ‘What do you think of the new’ Batman? ” And I start laughing and crying because I go back to a time capsule, where pretty much every day the studios were saying , ‘It’s too dark, it’s too dark’. Now it looks like a carefree game. “