Friday, August 28, 2020

Tim Burton's Hansel and Gretel (1983)

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I love Halloween. By proxy, I'm a big fan of Halloween specials as well. Some people follow the NFL, I follow the Great Pumpkin. While various Halloween specials are produced every year... I prefer the old ones. Because nostalgia? Maybe, but also because they were vastly different. The gloves were off, obviously too much fun being had behind the scenes, or maybe it was a good opportunity to try something different. The more obscure the special, the more out there, the better. Such is the case with today's post.

The video above is a Disney Channel Halloween special from 1983. At the time a young Tim Burton was a Disney employee and made this short for the company. It was literally only shown once, on Halloween in 1983. Even as a Halloween special it was a little too dark. Even for Tim Burton. It might be cursed.

I've used the term fever dream often to describe things here and... that's a nice way of putting it. We have a retelling of Hansel and Gretel which is a pretty good story for Halloween. You know, they get lost in the woods and find a witches house. In this telling, their step mother tries to get rid of them by getting them lost in the woods (involving a robot duck), which leads to the witches house and some of the weirdest hellscape I've ever seen on film. You'll have to pause it occasionally.


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