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.

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. How they were able to parlay this into a kids' series is unknown.
    • Simple - they stripped all (or at least most) of the adult subtext from the movie and served up to kids the great deal of fun that was still left. Besides, the TV show never, ever exploited Circus of Fear imagery.
    • The animation style used for Large Marge would later be used for several scenes in Beetlejuice.
    • The whole movie has an indefinable creepy vibe to it, really, even the non-scary scenes. Pee Wee's (and Francis') Man Child nature is can really be unnerving more than amusing. And yeah, Danny Elfman's Circus of Fear BGM ramped things up.

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!
    • 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.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Corpse Bride

  • Corpse Bride. Truly, stop-motion animation is the creepiest medium ever, and there's something unnerving about that cheery "We all pass away" song.
    • W After Emily transforms into a cloud of moths, moving on at last, it leaves you wondering "Why doesn't that happen to everyone? Are they stuck in that nightmarish town of the dead forever?"
      • The fact that more that the rest of the town gets to stay in their happy afterlife, but what happens to Emily? She's just gone. Be honest, would you rather stay in a crazy, loving, colourful afterlife forever, or... 'find peace' by disappearing into nothing?
    • "New arrival..."

Alice in Wonderland

  • Just the new promotional pics from his upcoming adaptation of Alice in Wonderland can give one the shivers.
    • Johnny Depp can really make himself look awesomely creepy [dead link]. Take his role as Willy Wonka for example...
    • That Mad Hatter looks as though he stares into your soul and watches you. The eyes, the eyelashes...
    • The trailer goes to show that no matter what version of the story he's in, the Cheshire Cat was, is and always will be Nightmare Fuel. GAH! More Teeth Than the Osmond Family, indeed. If it helps, he's being voiced by Stephen Fry, who has the most soothing voice on the planet.
    • Forget Depp, Tweedledum and Tweedle-freaking-dee are the scariest parts of the previews thus far. They're like medicine balls, except that everything about them is forced into that shape. And the EYES! Look them up on Uncanny Valley, if you dare.
    • "To survive this place. You need to be mad... as a hatter!"
    • The Red Queen's castle. The moat is filled. With. BLOOD AND HEADS. At one point, shrunken Alice has to climb over and jump from head to head to get across the moat. And you don't even realize that they're heads at first. Apparently, one of the heads was Tim Burton's.
    • Johnny Depp's head-spinning dance at the end.
    • The fate of the Red Queen: the White Queen decrees that she be ignored until the end of time. Humans are social creatures -- being intentionally deprived of contact is truly A Fate Worse Than Death.
    • The fact that the White queen was always the pretty one and preferred over her sister, and STILL won over her, being loved by everyone and getting her kingdom and throne back, while nobody really loved the Red Queen, partially because of her large head, unfortunate personality and perfect little sister. Moral of the story, kids- be pretty and don't even kill a mosquito, or you will be deprived of your rightful possessions and be unloved. Yowch.
    • The White Queen herself: has sworn "not to harm any living thing", but has no trouble giving the Vorpal Sword to Alice so she can harm living things. Also had no problem with using coins from a dead man's pocket, severed fingers, urine, and spit to make a potion. Also, that strange almost-black lipstick on the almost-paper-white face; one might expect her to do a Face Heel Turn at the end and be the villain the whole time.
    • Anything involving the Knave and Alice is either this or Fetish Fuel. Especially when, after she's been identified as Alice, he mentions remembering her last visit as a tyke. This is the very next day after he cornered her in a hallway with a forceful and blatantly sexual advance.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

  • The inhabitants of Halloweentown assure us very early on that they're not evil, they just like scaring people. That shouldn't be enough to earn anyone's trust, seeing as how one citizen is a decaying body with an ax wedged in its head.

"I am the clown with the tear-away face..."

"I am the one hiding under your bed, teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red." Made worse by the fact that's all we see of it...

  • Oogie's death. All those bugs. Ewwww...
    • Also a dash of Nothing Is Scarier: I am the who when you call "Who's there?". I am the wind moving through your hair..


  • The scene where Vicky splashes off the Joker's fleshy makeup. He covers his face and pops back up laughing and looks like a giant cackling skull with the skin torn right off!
  • One particular scene that can creep people out is when the Joker takes one of his men by the hand and electrocutes him to death with a buzzer eventually causing the skin to melt off his face.

Batman Returns

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....
  • Then there's Frankenweenie.
  • 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 shoes and hung them on the clothesline really scared me... the town seemed way to perfect, like there had to be a catch.
    • There is a catch. YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE.
  • Nine? The Seamstress, the Cat Beast?
    • Definitely the Seamstress. The cobra-like appearance with the doll's head is already unnerving, but it's the scene before it shows its appearance which got me. [[spoiler: It holds a deactivated stitchpunk on the end of its tail and hypnotises its victims by shining a strobe light from the deactivated stitchpunk's eyes, accompanied by the most sleep-reducing whirring sound ever presented on film. The only thankful thing is that it really doesn't get any scarier.
  • Mars Attacks!. The Martians kill people For the Evulz. Have fun!
    • Something about those Martians is really freaky. They were obviously intended to be goofy and silly more then anything, but something between the way their faces look, those "ACK ACK!" noises they make, and the way they're just unstoppable sends a chill up the spine every time. You try to Nuke them, they just turn it into a bong. Further, they seem to just show up everywhere, without warning. You could turn the light on, and there it is, and it's all you see before it shoots you.
  • Hansel and Gretel, a short that was shown only once on Disney Channel, 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.
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