So tis the season to talk about all things spooky and why not continue that trend with one of the most iconic Halloween/Christmas movies to be released, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Yes, Tim Burton’s claymation animated story of the denizens of Halloween Town that has become a staple of anyone who finds themselves in the goth clique during the whole high school thing or for anyone who is a large fan of Tim Burton… Or anyone who just really loves good movies such as myself. The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of those special kinds of movies that I can safely say is the greatest movie Tim Burton ever made. It is one of the few movies I know that can span across two different iconic holidays, leaving the rewatch value high for both holidays in Christmas and Halloween respectfully. It is a great movie and seeing as how I usually come down hard on Burton on this site, today is a day that I will finally give the crazed hair director the credit that he is due.
The story of The Nightmare Before Christmas is one that follows Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon) and the denizens of Halloween Town. Jack is known as the Pumpkin King and knows that he is the best at what he does, which is to spread the Halloween scares to everyone on Earth. But he has grown tired of his life, thinking there is something more beyond Halloween.
It is then that Jack stumbles into a portal in the woods that leads him to Christmas Town. There he learns of the magic of Christmas and wishes to become Santa Claus for a night and give Christmas a go over his holiday. He then gets the denizens of Halloween Town to assist him in creating their own Christmas. Jack becomes so caught up in Christmas that does not see the world around him, all the while being watched from afar by the love interest Sally (Catherine O’Hara) who believes that Jack’s Christmas is destined for disaster.
Nightmare Before Christmas may have been that last great ‘hurrah’ for claymation before the switch to CGI became a lasting effect in the industry with a few exceptions here and there and it is amazing to see all the work pay off when it appears on-screen. One of the best aspects of this movie is the fact that you can see the work come to life in front of your, the painstaking efforts to make an excellent claymation style movie to the point that you forget that this is done by means other then CGI. Burton has attempted to capture lightning in a bottle later on in his career with movies like Corpse Bride. But no matter what, it will never be the same as it was in this movie.
The Excellent Music
With references to other wonderful singers such as Cab Calloway and excellent musical numbers, The Nightmare Before Christmas will have you singing and sometimes even dancing with its catchy and enjoyable music. Songs such as Oogie Boogie’s Song and What’s This? are remembered as very upbeat and powerful songs that are remembered well from any hardcore or casual fans of the series combined with bitter-sweet and haunting melodies in Sally’s Song makes this movie one of the memorable masterpieces that we see today.
This movie not only gave us an excellent film to watch every time Halloween and Christmas rolls around. It also gave us a Halloween version of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. For he longest time the only thing we could associate with Halloween is Jack O Lanterns. But now with the addition of The Nightmare Before Christmas, we have “The Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington. He is a fun character and has left a permanent mark on the holiday and Halloween fans everywhere.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is an absolute Holiday classic. Which holiday? Eh take your pick. It is excellently animated, well acted, and just well done across the board. It gave us a Halloween version of ‘Santa Claus’ in Jack Skellington and it just one of those movies that you can watch over and over again without getting bored once. Definitely a Halloween/Christmas must.
Final Score 5/5
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