21 Years Ago, Tim Burton Gave Miley Cyrus Her First Movie Role, Beating Disney

Before Miley Cyrus became the Disney sensation, Hannah Montana, her journey in the world of cinema began 21 years ago with an unexpected break from acclaimed director Tim Burton. While Burton is renowned for his collaborations with recurring actors like Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Catherine O’Hara, his films have also served as a platform for emerging talents.

In 2003, a full three years before Miley Cyrus captivated audiences as Hannah Montana on Disney Channel, she made her film debut in Tim Burton’s fantasy movie, ‘Big Fish.’ At the tender age of 10, she was credited under her birth name, Destiny Cyrus, in this Ewan McGregor-starring cinematic gem. Although her role as Ruthie in ‘Big Fish’ was relatively brief, it marked a pivotal moment in her early career.

Ruthie, the character portrayed by Cyrus, played a crucial role in the flashback sequences of ‘Big Fish,’ where a young Edward Bloom embarks on a quest with his friends to find the Witch’s eye in his hometown. Even in this short appearance, Miley Cyrus stood out, delivering a few lines that hinted at her budding talent. Notably, her collaboration with Tim Burton at such a young age made a lasting impression, setting the stage for her future successes.

Despite this auspicious start, Miley Cyrus and Tim Burton have not joined forces again in the 21 years since their initial collaboration, despite both having strong associations with Disney. This absence of collaboration is intriguing, given their shared history and the subsequent rise of Miley Cyrus as one of Disney’s biggest teen stars.

Interestingly, while Tim Burton’s extensive career includes collaborations with Disney, ‘Big Fish’ was distributed by Sony in 2003. Following this early film appearance, Miley Cyrus’s trajectory led her to another significant Disney project. Five years after ‘Big Fish,’ Cyrus secured her first major Disney movie role, lending her voice to the lead human character, Penny, in the animated film ‘Bolt’ (2008). This marked the beginning of her association with Disney animated movies, contributing to the success of subsequent hits like ‘Tangled’ and ‘Frozen.’

In retrospect, Miley Cyrus’s cinematic journey, starting with Tim Burton’s ‘Big Fish,’ serves as a testament to her versatility and early exposure to the diverse realms of film and animation. While her career skyrocketed with Disney, it all began with a notable debut under the direction of Tim Burton, showcasing her talent even before the world knew her as Hannah Montana.

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