This December 7th marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Edward Scissorhands. Rightly hailed as one of the best entries in director’s Tim Burton’s filmography, the surreal but moving tale of Johnny Depp’s eponymous artificial creation has managed to stand the test of time, with its popularity only increasing as new generations have discovered it over the years.
In particular, Edward the character means a lot to those identified with the disabled community, which is something that screenwriter Caroline Thompson (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride) couldn’t be more proud of. While speaking to Insider to commemorate the 1990 movie’s anniversary, Thompson recalled how she took part in a Q&A screening for the Reel Abilities Film Festival, which “explores, embraces, and celebrates the diversity of our shared human experience.”
“I did not realize what an icon Edward is for the disabled community and how much confidence and comfort and clarity about themselves he gave many people,” Thompson said.
Upon realizing his enormous impact during the Q&A, she became overwhelmed with emotion, explaining:
“I started to cry,” Thompson continued. “How touching can that be? People who are suffering otherness that is so visual, and people are so cruel, to have been a support was a beautiful feeling. That’s been one of the great joys of having contributed him to the culture.”
Clearly, Edward took on much more of a life and a meaning with viewers than even Thompson intended. Burton, meanwhile, has discussed how the character was inspired by his own feelings of loneliness as a teenager, as his struggles to connect with people inspired him to draw a sketch of a man with scissors for hands, which later led to the movie.
The filmmaker’s personal experiences, and everything that Thompson poured into the script to bring the story to life, ended up creating something that countless folks who feel like Edward, for whatever reason, can relate to. And that’s the reason it’s enjoyed such longevity and proved to be so timeless.
Edward Scissorhands can currently be streamed on Starz in the US or on Disney Plus in the UK and Ireland and other territories.