Courtesy of Macy's; Samir Hussein/Getty Images
The folks behind one of America's most popular Turkey Day traditions have nabbed a big fish all right.
Tim Burton plans to contribute his own very specially designed balloon to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
But fans hoping to be surprised by one of his spooky characters like Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas or The Corpse Bride are in for an even better treat.
The master of macabre tells the New York Times that he's created a balloon based on another one of his original gothic creations—a little inflatable fella named B. Boy that he thinks will be the perfect addition to the annual holiday celebration alongside such classic staples as Snoopy, Superman, Kermit the Frog, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny.
"It's such a surprise to be asked, and it was great," Burton told the paper. "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."
To devotees of the 53-year-old director, it's a no-brainer considering his unparalleled vision for capturing the darker, quirkier side of children's imaginations in his films and art (see his updates of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland for starters).
B., as he calls him, is tailor-made for Macy's big bash. According to Burton's origin story, B. began life as a balloon sewn together from leftovers used in children's parties at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. But due to his razor-like teeth and rather unflattering Frankenstein-like stitches, he was not allowed to play with the other kids, so he was relegated to a basement lair where he watched the classic flick, The Red Balloon, over and over again and fantasized about one day taking flight.
"There's always been something about balloons," said the helmer about his latest phantasmagorical invention. "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."
And parade organizers couldn't be more pleased with what he's come up with.
"We are really excited to welcome Tim Burton to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," Macy's spokesman Orlando Veras tells E! News. "The fact that he's created a special character for us that will join five other works of art that we'll be featuring…in the parade is fantastic. I think B. is going to be one of the highlights of this year's celebration."
The famed department store will include B. Boy (not to be confused with Balloon Boy, mind you) in its Blue Sky Gallery series of balloons, which also sports inflatable designs by such artists as Jeff Koons and Keith Haring among others. The idea to approach the filmmaker gained steam after the organizers caught a retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York last year.
"We asked Tim Burton to create a piece for us in early spring of this year," added Veras. "We flew our parade creative director to London to visit with him on the set of Dark Shadows and they met and discussed some ideas that Tim had for a balloon. And Tim sent us a few options and B. came up at the top. It was a really cute character and something that was in the aesthetic of Tim and very kid friendly…but also whimsical, which is why we think it works so well."
Burton is currently across the pond shooting a feature film version of the British supernatural drama Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp, due for release in May 2012.
Meanwhile those hoping to catch B. and the rest of his inflatable friends can tune into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Nov. 24 at 9. a.m. ET.