Do They Know It’s Christmas? — Day Eight
Christmas Connection: The story takes place over Christmas, giving Hot Topic a guaranteed holiday season sales leader for years to come.
I’ve always been of the opinion that Edward Scissorhands is sort of Tim Burton’s apology for Batman. Well, maybe “apology” is too strong a word, but it certainly seems like Burton is bemoaning what that film turned him into.
If you look at Edward as Burton’s surrogate — and really, how can you not — Edward’s story very neatly follows Burton’s career: quirky artist who gains popularity, which then evolves into an all-consuming monster, after which he decides he’s better off going back to being the solitary creator. The all-consuming monster, of course, being Batman. It’s Burton saying he’s Edward, more at home up in that mansion making his ice sculptures than venturing down into the town that will only misunderstand and use him in the end. You could even look at Edward’s origin — a cookie machine turned into a man by Vincent Price’s aging inventor — as a version of Burton’s time at Disney, a cookie-cutter shadow of its former self presided over by the spirit of its dead creator.
Of course, unlike Edward, Burton did eventually go back down into the town with Batman Returns, only to seemingly scramble back home with films like Ed Wood and Mars Attacks! But now it seems like he’s moved into town for good, and as such his films have gotten bigger and bigger and less and less personal. If there’ still an Edward inside him, he’s run out of ice, and it isn’t snowing anymore.
Do They Know It’s Christmas?: Oh yes, as the pivotal scene that leads to the town turning against Edward happens as Edward’s adopted family puts up some of the most garish Christmas decorations imaginable, complete with stapled-on snow on the roof. We’re also treated to Alan Arkin’s hilariously earnest rendition of “I Saw Three Ships,” literally shouted from the rooftops.