Burton was born on August 25, 1958, in the city of Burbank, California, to Jean Burton (née Erickson), the owner of a cat-themed gift shop, and Bill Burton, a former minor league baseball player who would later work for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department.

As a preteen, Burton would make short films in his backyard on Evergreen Street using crude stop motion animation techniques or shoot them on 8 mm film without sound (one of his oldest known juvenile films is The Island of Doctor Agor, that he made when he was 13 years old).

Tim Burton's Family Tree