Fans of director Tim Burton’s wonderfully imaginative and darkly quirky movies will find much to savour in this unofficial and unauthorised guide by film journo Ian Nathan.

Presented in an elegant slipcase and illustrated with countless photographs both from Burton’s movies as well as behind-the-scenes snaps, this book aims to decipher the enigma that is Tim Burton and for whose films and other works including books the word ‘Burtonesque’ had been coined. Starting with his humble beginnings as an animator, Ian Nathan traces back Burton’s near obsession for all things dark, quirky and gothic to his childhood in Burbank (home of the wonderful ‘Halloween Land’ store) in Southern California. It will come to no surprise that Burton had been fascinated with the macabre and horror-flicks – especially B-movies – from an early age and his childhood fascinations would later manifest themselves in his various projects. It’s not only well-known works such as Edward Scissorhands or Beetlejuice that are discussed but we also learn that one of his first animations called Vincent was created with Vincent Price in mind, an actor which Burton had always cherished and of course had him appear in the aforementioned Scissorhands. More surprisingly perhaps is the fact that Burton admits to being a fan of Ed Wood movies (the world’s worst movie director) which resulted in him direction the 1994 bio-pic Ed Wood starring Johnny Depp in the title role. Very obviously Burton’s own experiences and childhood memories always manage to creep into his projects and it makes for an enlightening read to find out just how close life imitates art in the world of this undoubtedly unusual and innovative director. There’s even a filmography chart included which brings us up to date with the director’s work (live action, animation, stop-motion) including Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Although nothing ground-breaking has been accomplished here it’s nonetheless a brilliant and well-researched read for those wishing to find out that little bit extra about Burton’s movies and of course what makes him tick.