You might not know this, but Tim Burton actually got his start as an intern down at Walt Disney studios where he was a fringe “idea man”. The company was facing a turbulent era of management, right before Michael Eisner & Frank Wells took over the reins, and they were taking a confused mish-mash of directions.
Burton’s stuff was so weird, they mostly relegated him to the side-lines and figured he had talent– they didn’t know what to do with him. The studio set-aside money for an inexpensive in-house children’s production and told him to make the most out of a tiny budget as they folded their hands and bided their time.
And here is an obscure little project, practically the second thing he ever did– “Hansel & Gretal”. It only aired, once– back on Halloween ’83 on a late-night slot hardly anyone saw. Would anyone remember? Would anyone care? But miraculously, someone taped-it off of T.V. with a VCR as it is all betelling of a clunkier era.
Actually, the production-values are pretty good for the pittance of a budget they were given– and Tim Burton must have only been about 22 or 23 when he conceptualized and directed-it. You will note the simple sets, the kind of happenstance “Charlie Brown” piano-score of preposterous pathos, cheap effects, and the witch that looks like a latter-day Ozzy Osbourne. It’s the work of an amateur but clearly shows potential.
It’s altogether ghoulish and strange, somewhere between an animated-short and “Faerie Tale Theatre”. Cinephiles will find it, of interest as it shows the development of a master. Fast-foward around if you want, as this is a long videol
We’ll beback soon and thank-you for watching!