Review #14 Nightmare Before Christmas- Halloween Special

Directed by- Tim Burton

Starring- Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon and Catherine O’Hara

Question- who classifies this as a Halloween movie? I like to think of it as a Halloween movie that leads the way for Christmas.

Our hero (and I’ll explain why I call him this) is Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of the town of Halloween. Jack gets bored of celebrating the dark, spooky, scary holiday of Halloween and on a walk into the woods, he disovers the entrance to Christmas town, and loves the joyful, happy and creative holiday that is Christmas. So, he obviously decides to steal it!

There are few stop-motion movies I dislike, and the older they are, the more I find I like, and even appreciate them. The movie is actually based on a poem Tim Burton wrote in the early 80s, and Disney was very keen to make a sequel (thank the lord they didn’t). It’s a musical, which might put some people off, but because the movie itself is quite dark, the songs aren’t annoying like they are in some musicals.

I refer to Jack as ‘our hero’ because, well, that’s what he is. He is good-natured and ambitious, and on occasions, very few occasions, is scary. Also, he has a love interest, in the form of Sally. She was created by a mad doctor who keeps her hostage, but she often escapes. However, for 95% of the time, he chooses not to be. He is kind and rescues Sandy Claws and Sally from the Oogie Boogie monster, and most importantly, knows right from wrong. Don’t get me wrong though; there are scary parts in the movie. Oogie Boogie is a little terrifying, and he’s made of horrible bug things.

I’m posting this as a Halloween post, but really, it’s a general festive one. The Nightmare Before Christmas makes me feel good about Halloween and Christmas and the whole holiday season. The score (and Jack’s singing voice) is by Danny Elfman, and the soundtrack is original and popular- check out the numerous covers of the songs from the movie by Marilyn Manson, Fallout Boy and many more.

Buy the 2008 special edition DVD- there are two Burton shorts in the extras- Vincent and Frankenweenie. Vincent is narrated by Vincent Price and is about a young boy who wants to be Price, and tries to live a dreary depressing life and recites Edgar Allen Poe poetry. Frankenweenie is a half hour short film with the same storyline (condensed) as the animated movie of the same name released a few weeks ago. The dog is adorable.

Fun. Surprisingly heart-warming and feel-good. Jack Skellington. The second Five Starrer of the week.