Rick Heinrichs

Production designer, Animator, Set designer
An animator and production designer best known for his creative alliance with Tim Burton, Rick Heinrichs has done visually interesting and evocative work in capacities ranging from stop-motion animation to set design on ... Read more »
Born: in San Rafael, California, USA


Art Department (24)

Big Eyes 2014 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Dark Shadows 2012 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Frankenweenie 2012 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Captain America: The First Avenger 2011 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

The Wolfman 2010 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 2007 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 2006 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 2004 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

The Hulk 2003 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Planet of the Apes 2001 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Bedazzled 2000 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Sleepy Hollow 1999 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

The Big Lebowski 1998 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Fallen Angels 1995 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Production Designer

Fargo 1996 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Last Action Hero 1993 (Movie)

(Art Director)

Batman Returns 1992 (Movie)

art direction (Art Director)

Soapdish 1991 (Movie)

(Assistant Art Director)

The Fisher King 1991 (Movie)

(Set Designer)

Edward Scissorhands 1990 (Movie)

(Set Designer)

Joe Versus the Volcano 1990 (Movie)

(Set Designer)

Ghostbusters II 1989 (Movie)

(Set Designer)

To the Moon, Alice (TV Show)

Art Director
Visual Effects & Animation (2)

Nutcracker: The Motion Picture 1986 (Movie)

models and miniatures supervisor (Miniatures)

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure 1985 (Movie)

animation effects supervisor (Effects Supervisor)
Producer (1)

Vincent 1981 (Movie)

Other (3)

Gnomeo & Juliet 2011 (Movie)

Production Design Consultant(Art Pre-Production) (Consultant)

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993 (Movie)

visual consultant (Consultant)

Beetlejuice 1988 (Movie)

visual effects consultant (Consultant)


An animator and production designer best known for his creative alliance with Tim Burton, Rick Heinrichs has done visually interesting and evocative work in capacities ranging from stop-motion animation to set design on films as varied as "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" (1985) and "Fargo" (1996). Like Burton, Heinrichs studied animation at the California Institute of the Arts and was recruited by Walt Disney Productions. The two collaborated on Burton's stop-motion animation short "Vincent" (1982) and the live-action "Frankenweenie" (1984), before teaming up on Burton's unforgettable feature debut "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure", with Heinrichs serving as the film's animation effects supervisor. Before reprising his work in this capacity, perfecting animation-aided special effects with a visual effects consulting role on Burton's "Beetlejuice" (1988), Heinrichs branched out, doing stop-motion animation for "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzaii: Across the 8th Dimension" (1984) and supervising the models and miniatures for the Maurice Sendak-designed "Nutcracker: The Motion Picture" (1986).


Dawn Heinrichs



School of Visual Arts

New York , New York

studied with cartoonists Harvey Kurtzman and Will Eisner

School of Fine Arts, Boston University

Boston , Massachusetts

Phillips Exeter Academy

Exeter , New Hampshire

California Institute of the Arts

Valencia , California
attended on scholarship



Earned an Oscar nomination for his work as an Art Director on "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"


Was the production designer for "Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events" which is based on the children's books by Daniel Handler; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction


Served as the Production Designer for Ang Lee's "Hulk" based off the Marvel comic book character


Reunited with Burton for the remake of "Planet of the Apes"


Designed the remake of "Bedazzled"


Reprised signature work with Burton as production designer of the director's haunting "Sleepy Hollow"; garnered Academy Award


Reteamed with the Coen brothers as production designer of the comedy "The Big Lebowski"


Was production designer of Joel Coen's Minneapolis-set mystery-comedy "Fargo"


Earned rare television credit as production designer of the popular Showtime anthology series "Fallen Angels"


Was supervising art director for the adventure fantasy "Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill"


Worked as art director for "Last Action Hero"


Served as visual consultant on the animated feature "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas"


Was art director of Tim Burton's "Batman Returns"


Was assistant art director of the comedy "Soapdish"


Worked as set designer for director Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King"


Contributed to the "Showtime 30-Minute Movie" entitled "To the Moon, Alice" as art director


Worked as set designer for "Joe Versus the Volcano"


Joined crew of Burton's "Edward Scissorhands" as set designer


Was set designer for Ivan Reitman's supernatural sequel "Ghostbusters II"


Reteamed with Burton as visual effects consultant on "Beetlejuice"


Was models and miniatures supervisor for "Nutcracker: The Motion Picture"


Resumed association with Burton as animation effect supervisor on the director's feature debut "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure"


Was part of the crew of the short "Frankenweenie", Burton's live-action directorial debut


Worked as a stop-motion animator for the film "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension"


Worked with Tim Burton on his animated short "Vincent"


Relocated to Disney Studios animation; was an assistant animator for the feature "The Fox and the Hound"


Spent four months at Disney's WED Enterprises, where he did sculpting for theme park audio-animatronic figures

Created 3-D character models for Disney's "The Black Cauldron" (1985)

Studied animation at CalArts

While at Exeter drew cartoons for the school newspaper and was the art editor for the class yearbook

Bonus Trivia


The Coen brothers on Rick Heinrichs: "He loves to take design as far as it will go. He worked on 'Fargo' and that was really an unsung accomplishment because we wanted no design. Absolutely nothing. We told him to find the most soul-deadening, flattened locations, and he'd find some dumpy cafe, and we'd say 'No, it's too good . . . less color, less design, less kitsch. Now that can be hard." -- quoted in an interview with FilmScouts.com, 1998


Production designer Rick Heinrichs on the challenges of working with pre-existing sets, and how to overcome them while adding to the film as a whole: "Of course when it came to the studio, we had total control over what we created there. But at the Greystone 'Lebowski' mansion, we ran into a problem that got solved in an unusual way. Inside the huge house was a black and white checkered floor that [director] Joel [Coen] was unhappy with. He didn't feel it was right. But there was nothing we could do. He loved the rest of the place so we make do with the floor. But since it grated on him, he used the black and white checkered visual motif in the Dude's dream that occurs later in the film. It appears as an element that has stayed in the Dude's mind, so it justified us having to go with the floor in the mansion." --quoted in "The Big Lebowski" presskit


Heinrichs on "Sleepy Hollow": "The biggest challenge was creating so many 'exterior' settings on stage. What emerged was a sort of 'stylized naturalism' which is very beautiful. It's a combination of using real materials with painted backings and very old-fashioned techniques of displaying perspective. It creates a very theatrical and painterly feeling." -- quoted in the film's presskit, 1999