Dusting Off Burton


Tim Burton is not only headed back to Warner Bros. to direct the sequel to his mega-hit “Batman.” He’ll also return to Disney, where he got his professional start as an animator, to produce an animated feature, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

The storyline: A skeleton tries to take over Christmas, because it gets more attention than his holiday--Halloween.

The longtime Burton project had its inception at Disney in the early ‘80s, when Burton made his directorial debut with the five-minute Disney puppet-animated film “Vincent,” about a 7-year-old boy who dreams of being Vincent Price.

According to sources, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was originally deemed “too weird”and put on the back burner by the studio. In the years since, Burton’s offbeat oeuvre has proven commercially viable, with titles such as “Beetlejuice” and the current “Edward Scissorhands.”


A Disney spokeswoman also confirmed that the studio is exploring the possibility of finally releasing Burton’s “Frankenweenie.” Made in 1984, the 30-minute live-action short is about a young boy who brings his dog back to monstrous life after it’s been struck by a car.

“Because of its running time and its subject,” the spokeswoman says, “we can’t attach it to just any title.”