Tim Burton’s Labyrinth

Enter through the mouth of a monster and journey through Tim Burton’s various worlds.

Tim Burton's Labyrinth
Entrance to Tim Burton’s Labyrinth in Tours & Taxis, Brussels, Belgium, October 21 (Hilde Heyvaert)

The master of spooky storytelling, Tim Burton, is back with a new traveling expo, and for the foreseeable future Tim Burton’s Labyrinth calls Tour & Taxis in Brussels its home. So if you’re a fan of his work and looking for something to do this holiday season: here’s a fun all-ages recommendation!

First and foremost, if you are expecting an expo that depicts the director’s process, from his sketches to concept art, photography and statues, this is not like The World of Tim Burton. While there are sketches and concept art on display, they make up a very small part of the expo. The main expo is literally a labyrinthine setup. You enter through the mouth of a monster, and there a door will be chosen for you through the setup system (you press a big red button). That will be the start of your journey, and from that moment on you can choose which door to travel through. Choose wisely, though, as you can never travel back, only forward until you exit through the gift shop.

As to be expected, all Burton’s classic works, such Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice, are represented. But also lesser known ones, such as Vincent and Frankenweenie, are there. The nature of the expo is that while you will always see the “key” rooms, you will never see them all, so obviously my impression may be off. But I do feel like it largely focuses on his commercial successes and while it was amazing to see such lifelike statues of characters from his movies, I wish I would have seen characters such as his Batman, those from Sleeping Hollow, Dark Shadows and Wednesday. But hey, maybe those just weren’t on the trail I followed.

Every room is definitely very well designed. Even the doors are on-theme on both sides. If you’re into cosplay or costume history, take a good camera, because there’s a veritable treasure trove of source material to be found here. All have information displays in Dutch, French and English, and some also have concept art to go with those.

It’s a very well-designed expo, and if you are a fan of Tim Burton this is definitely worth a visit. My only regret is that there weren’t more rooms to a single visit, because I could have happily traveled through his Labyrinth a little longer.

And great news for those with mobility issues: Tim Burton’s Labyrinth is wheelchair-accessible. I checked with the organization to make sure!

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