Tim Burton’s The World of Stainboy: Watch the Complete Animated Series

In his 1997 book of draw­ings and verse, The Melan­choly Death of Oys­ter Boy & Oth­er Sto­ries, Tim Bur­ton imag­ines a bizarre menagerie of mis­fits with names like Tox­ic Boy, Junk Girl, the Pin Cush­ion Queen and the Boy with Nails in his Eyes.

“Inspired by such child­hood heroes as Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl,” writes James Ryan in the New York Times, “Mr. Bur­ton’s slim vol­ume exquis­ite­ly con­veys the pain of an ado­les­cent out­sider. Like his movies, the work man­ages to be both child­like and sophis­ti­cat­ed, blend­ing the inno­cent with the macabre.”

One of those ado­les­cent out­siders is Stain Boy, a strange kind of super­hero:

He can’t fly around tall build­ings,
or out­run a speed­ing train,
the only tal­ent he seems to have
is to leave a nasty stain.

Some­times I know it both­ers him,
that he can’t run or swim or fly,
and because of this one abil­i­ty,
his dry clean­ing bill is sky-high.

In 2000, Bur­ton extend­ed Stain Boy’s adven­tures (and com­pressed his name into one word) with The World of Stain­boy, a series of short ani­ma­tions com­mis­sioned for the Inter­net by Shockwave.com. “For some sto­ries you have to wait for the right medi­um,” Bur­ton said at the time. “I think (the Inter­net’s) the per­fect forum to tell a sad lit­tle sto­ry like this one. Stain­boy is a char­ac­ter that does­n’t do much. He’s just per­fect for four-minute ani­ma­tions.”

Bur­ton cre­at­ed a series of sketch­es, water­col­ors and pas­tel-accent­ed gray-on-gray wash­es and brought them, along with a script and sto­ry­boards, to Flinch Stu­dio for trans­la­tion into Macro­me­dia Flash ani­ma­tion. Twen­ty-six episodes were planned, but only six were com­plet­ed. “Stain­boy was an exper­i­ment in devel­op­ing rev­enue streams for the Web,” writes Ali­son McMa­han in The Films of Tim Bur­ton: Ani­mat­ing Live Action in Con­tem­po­rary Hol­ly­wood, “but it did not suc­ceed, at least not finan­cial­ly.”

The Stain­boy char­ac­ter was res­ur­rect­ed briefly in late 2010, when Bur­ton invit­ed fans to com­pose a new Stain­boy adven­ture in brief install­ments via Twit­ter. Bur­ton pieced togeth­er a sto­ry using the best tweets. (You can read the final result here.) Mean­while, the orig­i­nal Web ani­ma­tions have con­tin­ued to attract a fol­low­ing. You can watch the com­plete six-part series below in HD. As you will see, some episodes intro­duce new char­ac­ters — Stare Girl, Tox­ic Boy, Bowl­ing Ball Head and the rest:

Episode 1: Stare Girl

Episode 2: Tox­ic Boy

Episode 3: Bowl­ing Ball Head

Episode 4: Robot Boy

Episode 5: Match­stick Girl

Episode 6: The Ori­gin of Stain­boy

You can find the Stain­boy videos on our list of Free Online Ani­ma­tions, a sub­set of our meta col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Vin­cent: Tim Burton’s Ear­ly Ani­mat­ed Film

Tim Bur­ton: A Look Inside His Visu­al Imag­i­na­tion

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