“Vincent” – Tim Burton Animation – Narrative Poetry / Speculative Poetry


Vincent is a short 6 minute horror animation made by Tim Burton in 1982. It was on special editions of the “Nightmare Before Christmas” dvd as a Bonus Feature.

It tells the story of Vincent Malloy, a 7 year old boy trying be like the actor Vincent Price who is actually the narrator of the animation and also a childhood idol of Burtons.

“The film is narrated by actor Vincent Price, a lifelong idol and inspiration for Burton. From this relationship, Price would go on to appear in Burton’s Edward Scissorhands. Vincent Price later said that Vincent was “the most gratifying thing that ever happened. It was immortality — better than a star on Hollywood Boulevard” (Wikipedia)

The narration is rhyming so it is done in the style of narrative poetry. Tim Burton had originally written it as a children’s short story.

“Vincent Malloy is seven years old
He’s always polite and does what he’s told
For a boy his age, he’s considerate and nice
But he wants to be just like Vincent Price…”

The animation is in black and white with a Spooky Gothic feel. It is done in a style reminiscent of 1920’s German Expressionist films.

Vincent is obsessed with the tales of Author Edgar Allan Poe and eventually becomes delusional believing himself to be a tortured artist and pining for the girl he has loved and lost.

He lives in his own little fantastical agoraphobic world and wants to sit in the dark even though his mum wants him to go out to play.

“While alone and insane encased in his tomb
Vincent’s mother burst suddenly into the room
She said: “If you want to, you can go out and play
It’s sunny outside, and a beautiful day”
Vincent tried to talk, but he just couldn’t speak
The years of isolation had made him quite weak
So he took out some paper and scrawled with a pen:
“I am possessed by this house, and can never leave it again”

There are several references to Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem “The Raven” throughout and he quotes from it at the end.

Vincent was funded by Walt Disney Productions where Burton worked as a conceptual artist. Vincent was never released on it’s own but you can watch it on youtube.

Vincent Tim Burton Bats gif

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