Quick question: what’s more badass than having your own Macy’s Day Parade balloon? If your answer was, “Absolutely everything else” then you win an official Playlist No-Prize! Tim Burton is finally getting to live the dream, bringing his creation, B. Boy, to the parade. Or B. for short. Because B. Boy obviously needs to be shortened.
The stitched-together creation, which bears more than a striking resemblance to the floats featured in the climax of 1989’s “Batman,” even has his own origin. From the New York Times Arts Beat blog: “B. was created, Frankenstein’s monster-style, from the leftover balloons used in children’s parties at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Forbidden from playing with other children because of his jagged teeth and crazy-quilt stitching, B. retreated to a basement lair, where he obsesses over Albert Lamorisse’s film “The Red Balloon” and dreams that he, too, will be able to fly someday.” PRECIOUS.
Burton correctly muses, “I’ve always felt like my stuff was never that weird or subversive… For me, it’s pretty natural. Maybe for others, it might not be so much.” He also reveals himself as being four years old when he says, “There’s always been something about balloons. You see them deflated and you see them floating. There’s something quite beautiful and tragic and sad and buoyant and happy, all at the same time.” The complimentary way of summarising that would be to say that he sees things as an animator, which he used to be. Unfortunately, he now makes bland blockbusters for mom and dad that have none of the flair or humor of the best animation currently coming from studios’ biggest cartoon houses.
Burton’s currently wrapped up with work on “Dark Shadows,” and then he’ll be returning to his roots and stretching his first short, “Frankenweenie,” into a feature-length effort, because that’s what failed artists do. Check out Burton’s sketches for the character below.