Meet B. Boy. B. Boy is gigantic, he floats, and he wants to be your friend. Never mind that he looks like he might eat you in your sleep.
That’s right: fresh off the heels of a highly successful retrospective exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, our pal Tim Burton is planning to take on the east coast—specifically New York, and specifically on Thanksgiving. Burton, you see, has joined up with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s “Blue Sky Gallery” series, which invites serious artistes to dream up giant-sized balloons of a more artsy bent than, say, Garfield, to include in the parade. According to the Hollywood Reporter, previous Blue Sky artists have included Keith Haring and Takashi Murakami, so we’re talking Art-with-a-capital-A here.
The Hollywood Reporter also quoted Burton as saying, “I’ve always had a fascination with balloons,” so clearly B. Boy is coming from a place of love. Or at least a place of a deep-seated and bizarre obsession. Sounds like Burton, all right.
So what’s B. Boy’s backstory? Well, as Burton tells it, B. Boy was stitched together from the rejects of old birthday party balloons. But not just any old birthday party balloons—no, B. Boy’s balloon-y form came from the discarded balloons of the children’s parties that took place on the upper floors of an old hospital. (We covered how freaky old hospitals are last week, so perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise) His creator was just as irresponsible as Victor Frankenstein, though, because once he was assembled, he was determined too bizarre-looking to play with the other children at the hospital. So he went home, feeling utterly dejected, and has stayed in his basement ever since, obsessively watching The Red Balloon. His greatest wish is allegedly to one day fly above the city and bring joy to one small child. Awww. That’s kind of sad, actually. Maybe I’ve misjudged B. Boy based on appearance alone. Shame on me.
Actually, B. Boy looks not too dissimilar from Sally in The Nightmare Before Christmas (which I realize wasn’t actually directed by Burton, but they’re his characters, so work with me here): He’s blue, his face is all stitched together, and he’s got unsettlingly wide eyes, and yet he’s still got a dreamily happy disposition. They could be brother and sister! See?
Cheer up, B. Boy! You’ll get your wish soon enough! Just do us a favor and don’t knock over any telephone poles while you’re at it. Because that might end in disaster, and really, isn’t that the last thing you want? Yeah, we thought so too.