Tim Burton has this reputation as being incredibly out there, but the rest of the movies that I've seen have nothing on this one. This seems like a children's movie most of the time, with corny acting and terrible setup lines that are outdone only by the even worse punch lines. But, the movie is good anyway. Michael Keaton as the title character is incredibly weird and compelling when he's on screen. It makes the tedious interim scenes worth waiting for. The puppetry helps as well. Even though it's obvious kitch, it's visually compelling because of Burton's aesthetic style.
How in the world did this movie get made? It's got incredibly mature themes, including violent death, suicide, statutory rape, and unwanted sexual advances, but the dialogue is mostly simple-bordering-on-corny. I don't know who would have greenlighted this project -- it feels deeply strange and conflicted. Nonetheless, it's good. It's different and fresh. I can handle a little bit of bad scriptwriting for some freshness.