In Tom Stoppard’s 1982 drama The Real Thing, a middle-aged playwright and his daughter discuss Elvis Presley’s death:
Henry: I never went for him much. ‘All Shook Up’ was the last good one. However, I suppose that’s the fate of all us artists.
Henry: People saying they preferred the early stuff.
Because film director Tim Burton works in a fairly narrow groove of style, subject, and cast, his career offers an unusually clear opportunity to consider why people do generally prefer the early stuff.