See Tim Burton's Early Hints of Being Tim Burton in His 1982 'Hansel & Gretel'

June 17, 2014


Like finding that the Jonas Brothers were just grotesque failed clones of Johnny Depp, this half-hour Hansel and Gretel adaptation is equally fascinating as an experimental relic of both the Disney Channel and Tim Burton. The special apparently aired on the network on Halloween 1982 and has never been aired on television since. It's not hard to see why: Burton's take is disconcertingly surreal, filled with the gothic-quirk aesthetic that defined his early work and illustrations, but layered over stray elements of Sid and Marty Krofft and Nobuhiko Obayashi's House. It's a Burton fairy tale without the CGI, a Disney Channel Original Movie without the manufactured teen pop stars, and wholly weird in the most charming way. Not suitable as a prequel to Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.


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