A lost short film by Tim Burton resurfaced on the web last week, giving viewers one of the few chances to see it since its supposed only television airing on Halloween of 1983. The short adaptation of Hansel and Gretel is wonderfully strange and filled with plenty of eerie, Burtonesque shapes and sights despite coming early in his career and at a reportedly tiny budget of $116,000. Much of the film's style is said to be a result of Burton's obsession with Japanese culture at the time.
The film has been something of an urban legend for years now, and its actual history is somewhat unclear. According to SlashFilm, some say that Burton is embarrassed by the early work and wanted to keep it hidden. At the very least, it's easy to imagine why a nascent Disney channel, which began in 1983, would refrain from airing it again. The film hasn't been entirely buried since then, however. In recent years, it's begun showing up in museum exhibitions, including a run at the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.