Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tim Burton's Hansel and Gretel


Youtube user tapio1985 uploaded bootleg footage of almost the entire thing!:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Absolutely Fantastic!
Be sure to give them a ton of thanks!

Also, the tumblr account http://timburtonjp.tumblr.com/ posted some great behind the scenes photos:


On Halloween night 1983 the Disney Channel aired Tim Burton's first live-action movie: Hansel and Gretel.

It was never shown again.

In fact, it's almost as if this movie never existed.  For years, information on this movie has been scarce; IMDB still doesn't even list who played the title roles. The movie featured a Japanese-American cast, and references to Japanese movies and pop culture. It has never been released on video, and for years there wasn't even a still picture from it on the internet.

That finally began to change when New York's Museum of Modern Art decided to do an exhibition on the directors work, starting in November 2009.  A copy of the movie was found and featured as part of the exhibit.  And has also stayed with it when Tim Burton: The Exhibition was moved to other museums in other cities.  Only problem is, museums don't let you take pictures or video inside them.

But this is the age of the internet, and of  phones with cameras.  So, I've been able to track down a few images that at least give us a glimpse of what this film looks like.

First, some concept art of the main characters:

 Here is a concept painting of the witch's house:

And here it is in the actual film:

Here's a blurry pic of some storyboards:
A close-up of one panel, showing colorful liquids leaking from the witches house:
This painting shows what looks like candy-colored ninja throwing stars sticking into the wall:
 "Hansel holds out his hand for syrup that spills from holes poked into walls."
and this shot showing the same scene, with Hansel up against the wall:
Two more blurry images, showing I believe Gretel, and possibly the witch or the stepmother:

a closeup of the clock on the wall:
From the introduction with Vincent Price:
A video of the intro playing at the exhibition, by the way, has made it onto the web. YouTube link

The only video from the actual movie itself that I could find, features a couple, small,  partially obscured, glimpses of the kids walking through the forest (YouTube link):

Tim Burton's continued popularity would seem to ensure that this movie will someday get a release on video, possibly on a collection with other early works.  I was a huge fan of his early stuff; Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, and Edward Scissorhands were some of my favorite movies growing up.  I hope this ultra-rare little flick will, someday, finally make the jump out of obscurity.


  1. Wow, I'm a fan of Burton and consider myself fairly well-versed in his work, but I never knew about this. Great post. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the stills. Does anyone know if this will ever put on DVD?

  3. It can be seen at The Modern Art Museum's Film Study Center in New York. You need to make an appointment and wait 3-weeks to see it.

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNODoL_PmqY



    1. LOL I am literally watching it as u sent that!

  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAbAd4QBL1s

    1. Wow! Dude, you're awesome! Thank you for sending me the link!