Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tim Burton's rejection letter at 17



If the secret to success is failure, Tim Burton started early with a rejection letter from Disney at 17 for an illustrated children's book submitted while he was still in high school.

I hope this adds some perspective to the immensity of the exhibit we are soon to see.  Had he stopped at this first rejection he would not have become the Tim Burton we know today.

Disney to Tim Burton

13 comments:

  1. I never knew that Tim Burton had taken a crack at writing children's books. I find it admirable of him to take such a huge step at creating this illustrated book while he was still in high school. The majority of people I know who are in high school do dream big, but don't necessarily take action on their dreams until they are older and feel it is more in their place to do so. If this was me, after I built up enough confidence to actually submit a book, and it got rejected, I would probably distance myself from writing and drawing for a long time. However; another admirable trait of Burton's is his determination and the high standards that he set for himself.

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  2. I am really impressed with Tim Burton's talent. He was chasing his dreams as a young lad, which I happen to find very inspiring. One might perceive that a lot of kids in my generation are go-getters, striving for big time success in their early years. The fact that Tim Burton got shut down, but stuck with his passion and continued to do what he loved is a beautiful thing to see. I am still working on my craft and hoping to one day be as successful with it as Tim Burton was in his-no matter how many people tell me otherwise.

    GURDA OUT

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  3. I find it interesting that Tim Burton had to experience setbacks before he made it big in the movie and animation industry. It would seem that someone with his talent and skill would be an instant success from the very start, and even in the transcript/response the story seemed to be well liked as well as the art work, the only issue was that it sounded too similar to Dr. Seuss’ stories. I also admire the fact that Tim Burton worked hard to realize his full potential as an artist because not many people in the world have this gift and can actually chase their dream. Not only is he good at what he does, but he comes at it from a completely different angle than most artists whether it was back in the 1970s or in modern times, Burton is definitely an artist that cannot be replicated.

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  4. It seems Tim Burton was quite multi-talented. Having seen some of his work at the LACMA exhibit, I have an even greater appreciation of this type of variety. Imagine if he had continued writing picture books rather than moved on to try other media - we may have lost a brilliant director, but I'm sure the picture book industry would have flourished. It was also surprising to me that Disney did not want to publish this picture book, as their response seemed overwhelmingly positive, with only the slight issue of how they might market it. Yet it is not unexpected that a first-time author found it difficult to get published. Many, if not most debut authors are rejected several times before they find the right publisher. Although I'm sure Mr. Burton would have found a publisher eventually, thank goodness he went on to create his other works instead.

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  5. Most people would of viewed Tim's initial outcome as a failure, and if they had been in his shoes they may have given up. However, Tim Burton used this rejection to expand his perspectives to encompass new and opposing views of the world and his art. If one only achieves in life, they will never have the experience and perspective of failing. Failure served to inspire Tim to preserver in his dreams and put more effort and time into his work. Rejection was a motivating factor for Burton, as it forced him to dig deeper in his creativity and work harder in his art.

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  6. Having seen Burton's work at the LACMA exhibit, it is reassuring that someone so famous failed at first. I was surprised by Disney's kind remarks towards Burton's work, I feel like a rejection letter from them would be more harsh. This example of rejection before fame can give hope to all young creative people who have got shot down fighting to do what they love. It was brave of Burton to continue on with his work, after being rejected. Clearly, it paid off.

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  8. Being an artist myself it is inspiring to know that out of failure comes success. It motivates me to put myself out there in the world and to dream big. I really admire how obsessive Tim Burton's drawing habit is. I believe that his obsessive qualities are what allows so many people to appreciate and connect to his artwork. After walking through his exhibit I was inspired and reassured that if I stick to my artwork big things can happen.

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  9. I really admire that even after receiving a rejection letter at such a young age, Tim Burton continued to work toward his goals. If he had given up after receiving this letter, he would not be the successful artist and movie producer he is today. After seeing the Tim Burton exhibit at the LACMA and reading this rejection letter, I really understand how failure can lead to success if you persevere.

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  10. I think its really interesting how the art style of this piece is not what you would think of as Tim Burtons. Im wondering if he went for a different less gothic approach when he submitted this to appeal to disney but realized it was not for him when he received his rejection letter, if so then i think that the rejection he experienced could have a been a huge part in defining the artist that he is today.

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  11. His work is truly incredible. It makes me want to start drawing. If only I had some talent. Seeing his work at LACMA opened my eyes to the amazing work he produced. His art work was so unique. I loved all of the strange characters and illustrations he produced. His initial failure seemed to only fuel him as he went on to master new genres of art. I commend him for believing in himself and transforming his love of drawing into a successful animation artist. It would be interesting to see him write a children's book now being that he is so successful.

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  12. I think this whole situation is really hilarious. Now that we can see who he's become, it's a little funny to think of tim burton as being a children's author. Although a good deal of his movies are child-friendly, many are not. I would have loved to see Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd" for kids. But of course, back then no one would have known he was to become the genius he is today. I think it speaks very highly of him that even in his first rejections people were praising his work.

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  13. Looking at the year that this letter was sent to Disney shows that it was nearly 20 years after Dr. Seuss had released his bestseller children book, Cat In The Hat. Disney's main argument was that Burton's anthropomorphic sketches of a children's story were too much like Dr. Suess's work. This is understandable, but Disney could of had an extra touch to their company by adding an interesting series Dr. Suess-esqe books. It is definitely interesting that Tim Burton continued to follow his dreams and pursue his art as it so greatly has resulted in. Disney didn't make a mistake of not publishing his book, they simply gave him more to grasp on to and improve his skills for more imaginable opportunities.

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