Way back in 2007, in the early days of /Film, Peter wrote about one of Tim Burton‘s most obscure works. The piece in question was Hansel and Gretel, a half-hour version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, produced as one of Burton’s collaborations with Disney. This was before Frankenweenie turned everything sour, and well before Burton became a star director.
Shot in 1982 and aired once on the then-new Disney Channel on Halloween night in 1983, the short quickly disappeared. While it eventually surfaced in art exhibits at institutions such as the the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hansel and Gretel has remained relatively un-seen.
Now Burton’s odd early short is online. Watch below. Read More »
Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2013 by Angie Han
The fairy tale trend continues in full swing in 2013, with Tommy Wirkola‘s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters kicking things off later this month. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton star as the titular siblings, now all grown up and exterminating witches for profit. (Though, as Gretel mordantly notes, “we’d do this shit for free.”)
Earlier trailers have showcased the dark side of witch hunting and the twisted sense of humor that comes with it. The latest red-band connect some dots by laying out the plot and delving into the siblings’ sad past. Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, and Zoe Bell also star. Watch it after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2012 by Angie Han
The very title of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters suggests a very self-consciously silly good time, as does the involvement of director Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow). So one of the disappointing aspects of the first trailer was how seriously it seemed to take the concept. Though star Jeremy Renner got to toss off a few witticisms, for the most part it seemed invested in showing us how dark the world of witch-hunting could be.
In contrast, the latest trailer seems to have a much better sense of humor. Taking full advantage of its red-band status, it gleefully dishes up blood and gore and even a healthy smattering of sexuality. Remember when Hansel suggested cutting off witches’ heads in the last trailer? The new one shows us just what that action looks like. Gemma Arterton and Famke Janssen also star. Check out the NSFW video after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2011 by Angie Han
Now that we’ve seen the trailers for both of next year’s Snow White adaptations, it’s time to turn our attentions to another fairy tale that’s getting the Hollywood revamp treatment. Starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters picks up with the titular siblings years after their traumatic encounter with a cannibalistic witch. As adults, the duo have become bounty hunters determined to cleanse the countryside of witches.
So, what exactly do a pair of childhood fairy tale victims turned vengeful grownups look like? Hit the jump for the first glimpse of Renner and Arterton in costume and ready for business.
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Before BeetleJuice, Batman, Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure, and Sweeney Todd, Tim Burton directed a modern gothic violent retelling of Hansel and Gretel. Never heard of it before? I assure you, It exists. Although very little evidence can be found. And if you haven’t seen it, you likely never will.
Filmed for $116,000 on 16mm, this live-action short film featured a cast of amateur Japanese actors, kung fu fights and Japanese toys, as Burton was obsessed with Japanese culture at the time of production. The film’s design style and color schemes paid homage to the Godzilla movies and is said to be heavy on special effects, making use of front projection, forced perspective and even some stop-motion animation. Most reputable sources claim the film runs a full 45 minutes, but other fan reviews have a listedÂ runtime anywhere from a 15-30 minutes. The plot of the film is very traditional: Hansel and Gretel must escape a witch and her gingerbread house to find their father.
Tim Butron’s Hansel and Gretel aired on the Disney Channel on Halloween night in 1982, and was never seen or heard from again. This gem is near impossible to find. Search Google, Ebay, YouTube, Torrent Sites, you won’t find anything. Tim Burton is said to have been embarrassed of this early work, which might explain why the short has never been released on home video or DVD.
I haven’t even seen this film, nor have I met anyone who has personally seen it. It’s become somewhat of an urban legend around Hollywood. Accounts of this short vary from person to person, and from source to source, so the above description might feature inaccuracies.