Caroline Thompson Collection

Finding aid created by Writers Guild Foundation Archive staff using RecordEXPRESS
Writers Guild Foundation Archive
7000 West Third Street
Los Angeles, California 90048
(323) 782-4680

Descriptive Summary

Title: Caroline Thompson Collection
Dates: 1984-2011 [Bulk 1989-1995]
Collection Number: WGF-MS-101
Creator/Collector: Thompson, Caroline, 1956- Burton, Tim, 1958- Walt Disney Studios 20th Century Fox
Extent: 3 linear feet
Repository: Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The Caroline Thompson Collection contains drafts of screenwriter Thompson’s produced and unproduced feature film screenplays as well as development materials, outlines, treatments, correspondence and photographs relating to each script.
Language of Material: English


Available by appointment only.

Publication Rights

The responsibility to secure copyright and publication permission rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Caroline Thompson Collection. Collection Number: WGF-MS-101. Writers Guild Foundation Archive

Acquisition Information

Donated by Elizabeth Seldes Annacone on January 15, 2019.

Biography/Administrative History

Born April 23, 1956 to an attorney and a teacher, Caroline Thompson was raised in Washington D.C. She graduated from Amherst College with a degree in English and Classic Literature in 1978 and moved to California in 1979. In 1983, she published a novel, First Born (Coward, McCann). She adapted the book with and for the director, Penelope Spheeris. Though the movie was never made, Caroline found she loved writing screenplays and focused her energy in that direction. On reading First Born, director Tim Burton approached Thompson to collaborate. Thompson’s first produced feature film credit was 1990’s Edward Scissorhands, which she wrote after developing the story idea with Burton. Subsequent produced credits include film adaptations of The Addams Family (1991), Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) and The Secret Garden (1993). Thompson collaborated with Tim Burton again in 1993, writing the screenplay for the stop-motion animated film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Profoundly influenced by animals in her storytelling, Thompson directed Black Beauty in 1994 from her own adapted screenplay. She followed this up writing and directing Buddy (1997) and Snow White: The Fairest in the Land (TV movie, Hallmark, 2001). In 2005, she wrote the screenplay for another stop-motion animated feature, Corpse Bride. In 2009, she wrote the screenplay for the science-fiction adventure film, City of Ember, based on the novel by Jean DuPrau and she co-wrote the 2018 film Welcome to Marwen with Robert Zemeckis. In 2011, she received the Austin Film Festival’s Distinguished Screenwriter Award, the first woman to be so honored, and was awarded a Hugo in 1991 for Edward Scissorhands. She lives near Santa Barbara.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists mostly of feature screenplays, related production materials and a small amount of memorabilia. Produced film scripts in the collection include The Addams Family, Black Beauty, Buddy, City of Ember, Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Nightmare Before Christmas and The Secret Garden. Outlines and development materials are included for Edward Scissorhands, Homeward Bound and Corpse Bride. The collections include a draft of Edward Scissorhands and a draft of Nightmare Before Christmas with Tim Burton’s notes and annotations. The collection also includes unproduced projects including a take on Alvin and the Chipmunks, Boy Child (screenplay written with Penelope Spheeris based on Thompson’s novel First Born), Distant Music (Thompson’s first studio project); The Geek, which includes outlines, treatments, handwritten notes and studio coverage; Snark; materials from a project with David Lynch called Snootworld, including correspondence, notecards, outlines and an eventual draft of the script. Lastly, included is a script for a 2000 adaptation of the Roger Corman 1963 film The Man with X-Ray Eyes.

Indexing Terms

Animated Films
Fantasy Films
Motion Picture Directors