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Ravens in the Belfry

Afshan Shafi

Vincent is a 1982 American stop motion short horror film written, designed and directed by Tim Burton, and produced by Rick Heinrichs. It is the second Disney horror film, the first being The Watcher in the Woods. At approximately six minutes in length, there is currently no individual release of the film except for a few bootleg releases. It can be found on the 2008 Special Edition and Collector's Edition DVDs of The Nightmare Before Christmas as a bonus feature and on the Cinema16 DVD American Short Films.

The film is narrated by actor Vincent Price, a lifelong inspiration for Burton. Vincent Price is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and beloved horror movie actors in the world. Any fan of classic horror movies knows the name as synonymous with elegance, humour, talent, worldliness, and charm. Throughout his over 60-year movie career, he has appeared in countless classic horror movies, as well as classic films outside the horror genre. Late in his career, Price would go on to appear in Burton's Edward Scissorhands.

Vincent is the story of a 7-year-old boy, Vincent Malloy, who longs to emulate Vincent Price (who narrates the film). He is enraptured by the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, and which lead to his delusion that he a tortured artist, kept apart from the woman he loves, mirroring certain parts of Poe's The Raven.

The following poem is a response to Vincent.

(Burton’s Vincent appeals not to his protagonist’s cliff-lunge nullity, but to the latter’s mother. One cannot almost smell her stacks of fresh laundry, regurgitating tuscan lavender and vanilla into house-held air.

The premise not only crucial, but insidious.)


Mother, whose Vincent

Was an animal

Who could not prance,

Or assign loyalty

To plain, honeyed


Mother, whose Vincent

Splashed shrieking-musk

Onto his seven year old


Mother, whose Vincent

Dipped the town’s women

In (hot, magnificent!) wax

Many times.

(In his head)

Mother, whose Vincent

Called her brain,

A warm cookie

And called himself

Her keeper, warden


Lavaliere, and, less frequently,

Referred to himself

As a inconsolable choir-boy

Winding a husk-hymn

In her heart’s



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