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At 10:30pm, on October 31, 1983, the newly launched cable network Disney Channel aired a 35 minute short film entitled Hansel and Gretel, directed by (the now critically acclaimed) Tim Burton; it was one of the earliest shorts he ever made, and was created in 1982 on a budget of just $116,000.

The short is a Japanese style take on the Brothers Grimm story of the same name, and consists entirely of live action. It was hosted by Vincent Price, who had previously worked with Burton on his 1982 short Vincent. The only other time it was shown before its single TV airing was in May 1983, exclusively to Disney employees.

Burton's Hansel and Gretel has never again aired on TV since that one Halloween night in 1983 (allegedly due to both the facts that Burton was embarrassed by the short, and that Disney executives found the short's themes dark and uncomfortable, and somewhat out of place on their cable network). All other instances of it having been available for public viewing were at various worldwide Tim Burton exhibitions, such as at a Tim Burton retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in late 2009 to early 2010 (for which a then recently rediscovered copy of the film was restored), at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, in mid-to-late 2010 (who had loaned the film from the Museum of Modern Art), in 2011 at the LA County Museum of Art (who are now also said to be in possession of a copy of the aforementioned restoration, and who have since released two screenshots of the film online), and at the August 2012 Tim Burton L'Exposition at the Cinémathèque Française, Paris (who are reported to have loaned a copy of the film from the LA County Museum of Art).

The only part of the film to have surfaced online is a shaky bootleg of Price's introduction; the complete film is highly sought after by collectors.

UPDATE 28 Oct '13: Nearly 25 minutes of bootleg footage from the film has recently been uploaded to YouTube, courtesy of tapio1985, the same user responsible for originally uploading Vincent Price's intro for the film. While we technically can't label this found, as there is still some footage missing, its recording and subsequent upload are hugely appreciated by many; thanks tapio1985!

UPDATE 13 Jun '14: For a while now, the only way to watch Tim Burton's Hansel and Gretel, was via a low quality, handheld bootleg taken during a Tim Burton exhibition and subsequently uploaded to YouTube (albeit in incomplete form). But now, a complete VHSRip from the legendary lost film's one and only TV airing in 1983 has been uploaded to Cinemageddon by Ricsie! The intro with Vincent Price is missing, but the movie itself is all there. This VHSRip, plus the addition of the bootlegged Vincent Price intro means that Hansel and Gretel has officially been found in its entirety!

HUGE thanks go out to Ricsie and his source for finally bringing this gem to light; I encourage any and all CG users reading this to send some credits his way, I certainly will be!

For those without CG accounts, I have mirrored the film via mega.co.nz.

Enjoy, guys! :)

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