Tim Burton’s Hansel & Gretel has become one among Hollywood’s most popular urban legends. Nobody has apparently seen it but industry people assure it exists, giving out a few details. This live action short film produced by Disney and that apparently has a running time between 20/45 minutes aired for the supposed first and only time in 1982, on the US Disney Channel on Halloween night and it featured a cast of non professional Japanese actors and scenes impregnated with Japanese culture, manga toys and ninja fights
Filmed for a reported $116,000 on 16mm film, Burton’s Hansel & Gretel follows the traditional story of the two kids captured by an evil hag in her gingerbread house who wants to eat them both and the children’s plot to escape but the Japanese influece, design style and special effects make it very unique, recalling at times the Godzilla movies.
Some stop-motion animation a la Nightmare Before Christmas is also included in a few sequences. The reasons why it was never relased on dvd? Tim Burton apparently doesn’t like it and is embarrassed by this early project.