Looks like this year will see a nightmare before Christmas, indeed. Tim Burton will be bringing his trademark dark humor to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, debuting his latest creation: B. Boy.
Burton is known for infusing his eerie, gothic creations with sentiment and heart, producing classic films like Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and, yes, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Burton will now be joining the ranks of Tom Otterness, Jeff Koons, and Takashi Murakami by designing a balloon for Macy’s Blue Sky Gallery series of balloons.
Of course, like any of Burton’s characters, B. Boy has come into being with a full backstory—one that seems initially tragic and heartbreaking, but at the end of the day is all about hope. B. Boy (or B., for short) was made “Frankenstein-style” from leftover balloons from children’s parties at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. However, B. wasn’t able to play with the other kids, excluded because of his gruesome appearance—jagged teeth and a stitched-up face.
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He resigned himself to his basement, where he became obsessed with The Red Balloon, a short film by French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse, dreaming that he would one day be able to fly. Now, he’ll finally have his chance, floating overhead thousands of people in New York City as a part of the Thanksgiving Day parade.
Being asked to be a part of the iconic event seemed to have caught Burton by surprise: “It’s such a surreal thing that you don’t even believe what you’re hearing. Somebody’s trying to play a joke on you or something. It had that kind of feeling,” Burton told the New York Times.
It makes sense that designing a balloon for the parade would feel like such an honor for Burton. He explains that balloons hold a certain intrigue for him: “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.”