Tim Burton is the king of gothic horror and fantasy films — Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Sweeny Todd make that abundantly clear. Still, he’s had plenty of films that many fans have forgotten including this special produced for Disney that only ever officially aired once.
Hansel and Gretel was only ever shown once on The Disney Channel back on October 31, 1983, making it almost impossible for fans of the now-famous director to find for many years. While it appeared in a few special art exhibits, it was considered lost media for some time with it not being fully recovered until 2014.
It’s suspected that Burton was embarrassed by the quality of the film and that Disney thought it was too creepy and terrifying for its typical audience and thus both allowed it to fade into obscurity. But discerning fans have been bringing it back up again as Halloween approaches.
Several users on the /r/horror subreddit were excited to even realize the special existed and were impressed and disturbed by what they saw.
Luckily for those that want to check it out, Tim Burton’s Hansel and Gretel is available to watch for free on YouTube. We can only hope that fans suddenly remembering this lost creepy classic will get Disney to finally release a version in higher quality on Disney+.