1. The balloon has a fast-food friendly name...
Burton named the balloon "B. Boy," though friends can simply refer to him (it?) as "B."
2. ...as well as an intricate backstory dreamed up by Burton himself.
As the 'Alice in Wonderland' relayed to New York Times writer Dave Itzkoff, "B. Boy" has quite a history.
According to an origin story dreamed up by Mr. Burton, B. was created, Frankenstein's monster-style, from the leftover balloons used in children's parties at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Forbidden from playing with other children because of his jagged teeth and crazy-quilt stitching, B. retreated to a basement lair, where he obsesses over Albert Lamorisse's film 'The Red Balloon' and dreams that he, too, will be able to fly someday.3. Parade organizers wooed Burton for quite some time...
Burton has been a sort-of Moby Dick for parade organizers, as they've been trying to get him to create a balloon in the parade since 2004. The efforts ramped up after Burton's successful exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in the spring of 2010. Eventually, they even showed Burton illustrations from Tony Sarg, a balloon designer in the '20s and '30s who used an aesthetic similar to the director.
4. ...and then only had one request.
"The only guideline we gave him is: Try to stay away from something skinny and pointy," Macy's parade creative director Bill Schermerhorn told the Times.
5. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are not involved.
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