Tim Burton’s All Asian American Hansel & Gretel Film

So everyone in L.A. has been visiting our beloved Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to see the latest blockbuster art exhibit featuring the art of director Tim Burton. Appropriately, this exhibit will be on display until Halloween 2011. Over the July 4th weekend, I was able to stop by the exhibit and enjoy with childish delight Burton’s amazing private collection of his own art. They even had on display all of the original figurines used in The Nightmare Before Christmas, my all-time favorite.

I was totally geeking out and chuckling as I enjoyed all of his awesome drawings and sculptures when I came across a live-action film playing continuously. It was clearly a creepy rendition of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale with an all Asian cast. The film looked old, like from the 1970’s. Intrigued, I sat down and watched the film, thinking, “Did Tim Burton make a film in Asia?” Then I quickly noticed  that all the actors were speaking with pristine, un-dubbed American English and realized it was an all Asian American cast.

It turns out Burton had made the film for Disney in the early 80’s, which aired on Halloween night 1983 and then disappeared for over two decades before being shown again at art galleries in recent years. Apparently, Burton was really into Japanese culture at the time, and this film has an all Japanese American cast.  The film footage can’t be found on online, so it looks like the only way to see this totally Asian American casted Tim Burton film right now is at LACMA. Definitely worth it.

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