Now I know there are those that will say, "What about Ed Wood? What about Edward Scissorhands?" While I think these film are very very good. I have always felt they were just missing one thing to truly make them great. And that thing is a moving powerful story. The problem with Scissorhands was that it was too much like a cartoon at times. Ed Wood was a showcase to show of Johnny Depp's range and give the audience some interesting scenarios... but it never really rose above that.
Tim Burton films have had a great unique look. But he had never shown that he was a great story teller. He would rely so much on his visuals and over the top characters to make up for the sometimes very weak stories. One only has to look at Planet of the Apes, Mars Attacks, Sleepy Hallow, and both of his Batman films to see that. Don't get me wrong... I pretty much enjoyed all those films (except POTA), but they were for the most part all look and no substance.
Big Fish finally delivers on the promise of Tim Burton. Great odd ball characters, beautiful cinematography, awesome production design, and most of all... great story telling.
Big Fish is for sure on my top 10 list of the year... and possibly my number one pick.