Friday, September 12, 2008

Vincent By Tim Burton and Rick Heinrichs 5:53

Narrated by Vincent Price

“Vincent” is about a seven-year-old boy, Vincent Malloy who wants to be Vincent Price. Throughout the film, Vincent leads a sort of double life. One where he is a normal little boy, and a second one (in his imagination) where he is Vincent Price.

Vincent turns into a very macabre version of the little boy between versions of his imagined life and his real life. He imagines this fantastical world and is constantly interrupted by his mother or his aunt. This makes for a funny story because the little boy wants to be dark and scary and the mother is always encouraging him “to go out and play because it is a beautiful day.” At one point, Vincent has sentenced himself to a lifetime of imprisonment in the tower of doom, a.k.a. his room. While serving this sentence, his mother comes in and says, “If you want to, you can go out and play. It is sunny outside and a beautiful day.”

One of his fantasies includes dipping his aunt in wax for his wax museum. Another fantasy is turning his dog into a type of Frankenstein so they can lurk through the London streets at night searching for victims in inclement weather. The short film ends by him quoting “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe while dying on the floor (he doesn’t really die).

The rhyme and meter of the narration counteracts the dark material of the short film by adding a children’s book quality to it. Also the fact that it is an animated short makes the subject material a little more PG.

I really enjoyed the simulacrum in the film because Vincent Price narrated the short film and the little boy wants to be Vincent Price.

Tim Burton always freaked me out when I was a child, but now that I am older his films don’t scare me (as much) any more. "Vincent" is one of Tim Burton's earlier works. It was completed in 1982. The "Tim Burton" style is throughout this entire short which you may know from some of his other works such as "Edward Scissorhands," "Sleepy Hollow," "Beetle Juice," "The Corpse Bride," and most recently "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." All of these films sincerely freaked me out (that isn't to say that I didn't enjoy them, they are just creepy). Even though "Vincent" is done in the same style it is just more playful. Overall I enjoyed the film because of the humorous writing and rhyme scheme and the playful subject material.

10 comments:

Ashley Joyce said...

I saw Vincent years ago when I was first looking into Tim Burton's body of work, and it's always held a special place in my heart. It's too bad that his most recent stop-motion film, The Corpse Bride, was generally regarded as a disappointment, because I love the medium as a whole.

Lance McCallion said...

I'm curious, as I haven't seen this film, exactly how indicative it is of the rest of his career, or how much promise was shown in even his earliest work. I've seen most of his features, and I have to say I've been pretty disappointed with his apparently complete lack of creativity in recent years, as he seems to be going through all the motions again of the first part of his career.

Anonymous said...

the film is basically a mirror for the rest of his work. It seems that he has only one style. I'm afraid that well is almost tapped out. I have been disappointed in Burton's more recent works too.

Anonymous said...

I havent seen the film, but certainly curious now to compare it to his earliest work.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Burton being a one trick pony. If you have seen one then you have seen the rest. I think this as an early work is extremely well done and telling of his later accomplishments and style

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I thought some of his later movies were really good. The Corpse Bride is one of my favorites. I think it is funny how he uses Johnny Depp in almost every movie he makes now.

Colin Senteney said...

Wow, Vincent Price and Tim Burton together. This seems almost too much. I am huge fans of both...I would agree Tim Burton seems to have only style, but I don't think that is a bad thing. His work is always amazing. I am always enthralled by his movies. Many hollywood particpants only have one style and most of it is crap. I think it is amazing to have someone who can constantly make good movies.

Anonymous said...

I can see how people would feel that his animated things are all the same, but he also directed Big Fish, Sweeny Todd, Charlie and The CHocolate Factory, and a lot more. all of these are pretty diverse. sure they are all just a bit creepy, but Big Fish I think is the most different of all of them. That film is just a quaint love story, where the others are more dark and sinister.

Kim said...

I've often been a little bit put off by Tim Burton's style, that is to say, his mixture of the innocent with the macabre and his jagged cartoonish animation. Nonetheless, one can always look at a Burton film and see these trademarks. One thing about Vincent struck me particularly: the Charlie Brown-ish omission of adults. Although their legs are seen, the aunt and mother don't have faces or characters as Vincent does. Something to think about.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that too, that all of the adult's faces are missing. Burton probably does that because the adults would take vincent out of his imaginary world, where as here he can get right back t his macabre day dreams.

And yeah, Burton has always freaked me out with his particular style. I still can't watch a Nightmare Before Christmas. too creepy.