Yes, he was always into copious amounts of white facepaint, candy stripes, spirals and those weird stop-motion serpents he always draws, but back in the day this shiz was too weird for the Disney Channel, which only aired this once. It’s more colorful than modern Burton, and more subversive – its all-Asian cast features the same man in drag playing both the wicked stepmother and the candy-loving witch. Fans of Jan Svankmajer will see his influence more blatantly in this than many subsequent Burton pics – not just in the designs and animation, but the obsession (and disgust) with eating.
You look at this, and you think this guy is just who the big studios need to reinterpret fairy tales in a subversive manner. Then you wonder what the fuck happened, and probably wind up blaming Helena Bonham-Carter.