The Nightmare Before Christmas; a ghoulish tale.

Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Year: 1993
Dir.: Henry Selick
Producer(s): Tim Burton, Denise Di Nova
Writer(s): Caroline Thompson
Company: Buena Vistas, Walt Disney Company

Starring: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Ken Page, Paul Ruebens, Glenn Shadix, Danny Elfman.


nightmarebeforechristmas_2This is Halloween… this is Halloween, Halloween… what’s this?

This is a movie that can be considered a Halloween/horror, dark fantasy, musical themed film. This is a movie that can be shown around Christmas time. This is a movie that is so damn popular, it’s everywhere in Hot Topic and over saturated.

1993’s film, The Nightmare Before Christmas, is a great film.

There’s a tight script. It’s not too long and has a comfortable pace throughout.

nightmarebeforechristmas_6One of my favorite aspects is that it is a stop motion/”animation” style to it that ironically I compared to James and the Giant Peach without realizing it is by the same director/production behind it. That’s what makes this movie special is that it is stop motion and it does a great job at being stop motion. Stop motion isn’t a new technique but it is well done by Selick and the rest of the production crew.

You have the creepiness tone because of the Tim Burton (and other producer Denise Di Nova) influence throughout and the music by Danny Elfman (Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Batman, Beetlejuice, Tales From the Crypt, The Simpsons, etc) fame.

nightmarebeforechristmas_4For a Halloween or “holiday” movie, it’s very colorful which is why I enjoy this movie. Even with the darker tones throughout, it doesn’t feel like impending doom. There’s life, there’s joy within the movie. And the crazy transition of Halloween Town to Christmas Town is beautiful at how beautiful and innocent it is there. 

nightmarebeforechristmas_8The cinematography is great as well. Jack in the field of pumpkins. Christmas town. Santa Claus meeting Oogie Boogie. The introduction of Halloween Town, it all flows so nicely. This is one of the few films that I’ll discuss here where I don’t see many qualms or faults about the movie or have any struggles with it. It might be because this movie is a part of my childhood and it brings good nostalgia.

It might also be that I just discovered (literally today) that William Hickey played Dr. Finklestein aka he was the “puppetmaster” in 1989’s Puppetmaster. Wow.

nightmarebeforechristmas_3It’s a movie that everyone knows about. Everyone’s seen it. Everyone wears shirts with Jack and Sally on them. Disney has made the brand even more accessible. I wonder if that was Selick’s vision, hell or even Burton’s vision. How come James and the Giant Peach doesn’t get the credit it deserves yet Coraline did? So many questions and thoughts about Selick (and Burton) career with Disney.

If you’ve never seen The Nightmare Before Christmas, I’m jealous of that. I’m jealous that you would get to experience the wonder and amazement and coolness of this movie right off the bat.


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