In its first year, the Disney Channel celebrated Halloween by airing a version of Hansel And Gretel by a then-little-known concept animator and filmmaker named Tim Burton. After that initial airing in 1983, the short more or less vanished, making rare appearances in Burton’s MOMA retrospective and French touring exhibit. But now some enterprising soul (username: unclesporkums) has uploaded the entire thing to YouTube, so everyone can relive the nightmare that Burton created many years ago.
Hansel And Gretel features many things that would become Burton trademarks—German expressionist influences, stop-motion animation, a tendency to be incredibly creepy—and was filmed entirely on a sparse set with an all-Japanese cast and a simple (and repetitive) piano score. But there are some aspects that the young filmmaker wouldn’t carry over to his later hits, such as its use of kung fu fighting and a lack of Johnny Depp. Watch the bizarre short film in its entirety below, then begin casting the inevitable big-screen remake. Obviously, Helena Bonham Carter should play the witch, though she’d probably nail the toy duck that becomes a robot, too.
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