This offbeat Disney Channel Halloween special originally aired—and aired once—on October 31, 1983 at 10:30 at night. Since then, it’s only been shown at the big Burton retrospective that was at the Museum of Modern Art in 2009/10 and in a Burton-themed show programmed by the CinÃ©mathÃ¨que FranÃ§aise that traveled in 2012.
About a week ago, the special was uploaded to a torrent tracker by someone who had obviously taped it off cable in the early 80s and it’s been on YouTube since a few days ago. Watch it now, who knows how long it’ll be there.
Burton’s revisioning of the Brothers Grimm tale involved a cast of Japanese actors, creepy stop-motion animation and drag. It was shot on 16mm for a little over $116,000. I think this is one of his BEST ever films. It’s really cuckoo, and reminds me A LOT of the late Mike Kelley’s work (Speaking of, if you live in Los Angeles and miss the big Mike Kelley retrospective at MOCA, you’re crazy.)