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  • Artistically speaking, this is a beautiful film with incredible stop motion camera-work AND a really stylish atmosphere. The characters are really captivating and just plain "cool". Halloween Town is also a visual delight. In almost every way I consider this a wonderful film. However, for people like me who are not particularly enamored with musicals, the music is definitely the low-point. It's not that the songs are bad, but that there are so many of them. The dialog is mostly sung and I found it detracted, slightly, from my viewing experience. However, considering that almost all the high school students I teach LOVE this movie, I certainly seem to have the minority opinion. So, for those who are not into musicals, still watch it--you'll enjoy it. But, like me you may also wish they'd done a few less numbers! PS--On the DVD, you also get FRANKENWEENIE (a half hour short) and VINCENT (also a short and the seeming inspiration for NBC). They make this a MUST-HAVE DVD.
  • I admit it, I really like Tim Burton. I know his films are very oddball, but he has a wide imagination and his films are visually amazing. And I like a vast majority of his films, Edward Scissorhands being my personal favourite, and I love Batman and Batman Returns too. Henry Sellick is also promising, from the likes of James and the Giant Peach and Coraline. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a brilliant film. Is it an animated classic. Yes I think it is! It is wonderfully weird yet lots of fun as well. Visually and technically, the film looks absolutely amazing, with wonderful Gothic backgrounds and detailed colouring. Skellington silhouetted against the moonlight is quite possibly the film's most haunting image. The story is great, about Jack Skellington discovering ChristmasTown but doesn't understand the concept so he kidnaps Santa Claus. And the characters are endearing and weird, ranging from jazz playing zombies, Four-tenor like vampires to a wolf man. Then we have the title characters, Jack Skellington is a wonderful protagonist, really interesting to say the least. And Sally for an inventor's creation is very beautiful. The songs from Danny Elfman(the fact that he didn't get an award for his score for Edward Scissorhands is the biggest music snubs ever) are great fun, haunting, funny, clever and intelligent. The voice acting is top notch, Chris Sarandon does a great job as the speaking voice of Skellington, and Danny Elfman himself provides the singing voice superbly. Catherine O'Hara is sweet and innocent, and Ken Page(the voice of King Gator in All Dogs Go To Heaven) is a hoot as Oogie Boogie. All in all, weird, but visually stunning, funny and intelligent animated movie. A definite classic! 10/10 Bethany Cox
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

    *** 1/2 (out of 4)

    Classic stop-motion animation from producer Tim Burton and director Henry Selick about Jack Skellington, the leader of a town devoted to Halloween, who grows tired of everything being the same so he decides to wonder out to a small town where he discovers then celebrating Christmas. Wanting to crash the party, Jack takes over the role of Santa Claus with his added bit of darkness. The stop-motion sub-genre has always been something that fascinated me just from a technical level. It's just amazing to me how much work has to be done in order to get any movie made but the stop-motion process just blows my mind because of everything that has to be done. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE Christmas is without question one of the greatest looking films the genre has ever seen and no matter how many times I see it there's always something I see for the first time. The amount of details in every shot is just amazing to see and especially when you really look and notice how much is going on during every scene. I think the most impressive stuff is in Halloweentown because of all the detail and the terrific imagination going on. All of the characters, especially Jack and the mad doctor, are perfect but even the smaller ones just contain so much imagination that you can't help but get involved with what's going on. The music numbers are also extremely entertaining and quite clever in their lyrics. I think what really works so well is that most people feel Christmas or Halloween are the best holidays out there and this film really captures the spirit of both so well.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A bizarre, in-your-face musical which boasts splendid stop-motion animation and an energy that never lets up, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE Christmas is a love-it or hate-it experience. I enjoyed it, but I don't think I could have endured much more beyond the final moments. The best thing about the film is its look, a darkly Gothic outing with plenty of bizarre characters (including the skeletal pumpkin king, a major with two faces, Oogie Boogie the monster, an old evil scientist and more) to love and hate along the way.

    The story is very light and appears to be stretched to breaking point, as Jack decides to become Santa Claus and wreaks havoc in his wake. The work of the voice actors is excellent – kudos to SPIDERMAN composer, Danny Elfman, here – and most of the songs are engaging and clever, although some veer on becoming twee. Still, a unique experience, definitely influenced by the presence of unorthodox producer Tim Burton.
  • Jack Skellington is the pumpkin king of Halloween Town. After another successful Halloween, he has grown tired of the monotonous constant sameness. He stumbles into a tree with a magical door which sends him to Christmas Town. He is so taken with Christmas that he tries explain it to his people. Only nobody really understands and he only has limited knowledge himself. Rag doll Sally loves Jack but fears his obsession will turn disastrous when he tries to take over Christmas. It is a wild world of imagination. It is a visual delight of macabre wonderfulness. It is childlike for the kids. It's outlandish for the adults. Jack is a charming character. This is fun and original.
  • This is certainly a pleasant surprise. Tim Burton, purveyor of the wacko, has created, along with his amazing team, a real classic work. Seldom does a film bank on so much originality, from the incredible creation of Halloween Town, with its denizens, marvelous in their diversity and variety, to a really interesting plot. The character of Jack Skellington is a scene-stealer. Considering he pretty much a stick with a round, skeletal head, he has amazing expression and energy. He is an artist and a rebel, dissatisfied with the continuing shortsightedness of his frightening peers. When his world opens up through an accidental fall into another town, paralleling his own, he tries to bring Christmas back with him. The problem is that he really doesn't understand the concept well enough. He mixes his own social foundation with an alien one and the results are hilarious. Wonderful to look at with some of the finest animation you will ever see, each moment carefully scripted and produced.
  • Kirpianuscus26 December 2016
    the best Christmas film. it is the verdict who remains valuable after I see it. not only for the great animation but for the delicate grace to serve the basic idea. it is a film about magic and about courage and about desire. and, sure, about precious lessons about yourself and the others. a film who remains unique because the cultural references and the genius of Tim Burton are good pillars for a story for every expectation. and The Nightmare Before Christmas has the virtue to be the perfect fairy tale for new generations, fascinating, touching, seductive, naive and wise. a film about meanings of holidays, tradition and limits. proposing a great character, it change everything. and this does it the best animation . or, only, the best animation about the real significance of happiness.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is an American animated musical from 1993, so this pretty short film (75 minutes) has its 25th anniversary soon and it is the first full feature film directed by Henry Selick that younger audiences today know rather for Coraline than for this one here. It was nominated for an Oscar in the visual effects category, which is a rather rare achievement for a non live-action film (lost to Jurassic Park). And composer Danny Elfman was nominated for a Golden Globe for his score. I know him very well for his composing, but I was genuinely baffled by his amazing singing voice for the main character here. Great job. The script is (to some extent) by Tim Burton and if you have seen other stuff from him, you won't be surprised one bit. So this is a film that combines horror, animation, comedy and musical and that must be a pretty unique achievement. While I don't necessarily agree with the truly high rating here on IMDb, I would still say that it was a good watch overall. The fun perspective may be in the center of it all I guess, even if it is without a doubt a more creepy film than Coraline for the most part for example. So horror animation indeed.

    As for the story, horror is always difficult to combine with the spirit of Christmas. Even the classics like Grinch stuff etc. are hardly truly scary. And most filmmakers trying to combine these two have at best delivered something that could be considered a good guilty pleasure watch, but not a truly great film. Here they came pretty close. The fact how short the film is shows at times when we see for example how the villains are depicted left me a bit unimpressed. Sally's creator Finklestein was still somewhat decent and funny most of the time, even if severely underused, but the torturer near the end was pretty much completely forgettable to me. Nonetheless, one of the film's biggest strengths is the attention to detail. There are so so many characters presented in here that we find out almost nothing about, but they are interesting on a level where they could have deserved their own movie. As for the romance part, it was okay. It felt a bit rushed at times too and I would not call it a defining animation romance, but still it worked out fine and the last shot was kinda cute.

    The two central characters worked out nicely too all in all. The fact that Jack may not have been too interesting in looks, was more than made up by his singing parts. I would also like to add that his affection for Christmas is interesting to me as we may see his world as scary and creepy, but it's normal for everybody who lives there. That includes the funny two-faced mayor. The abnormal aspect is getting warmth, harmony and gifts in there. The thing we see as normal. And when the worlds collide, nothing is normal anymore (the police call scene e.g.). These worlds shall not be intertwined for the sake of everybody living in them. Pay attention to how adult human's faces are never seen in here. Santa doesn't count as he's Santa and not a human. Overall, I give this film a thumbs-up. It managed for the animation genre to be an unlikely success story with an approach/subject that has little to do with what you'd expect for Christmas. In one way or another like Die Hard. What else could I add? I think that is basically all. I think the style and animation will scare some away, but if you aren't one of them, then I believe you are in for a treat. It was a good film and I recommend checking it out. A bit of a shame it took me almost a quarter of a century to finally check it out. I also think that it is worth seeing more on a big screen than a small screen, so if you haven't seen it so far, wait for 2018 and make sure you catch a viewing when it may return to theaters as a 25th anniversary tribute. In any case, see it.
  • Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King – the creative genius behind the holiday of Halloween, designing each year to be scarier and more horrible than the one before. However deep inside he longs for more than the horror and scares of Halloween Town, a longing he cannot understand until he stumbles into Christmas Town and sees happiness and cheer the likes of which has evaded him all these years. Having finally worked out what Christmas is all about, Jack decides to kidnap Santa and make himself the new king of Christmas Town so that he can have the happiness of Christmas all the time. But the others in the towns realize the significant consequences that this disruption of the norm will have as Jack's evil nature proves harder to overcome than he thought.

    With Pixar currently dominating the world of 'animations that please both children and adults' it is easy to forget that over a decade ago Tim Burton delivered this delightful family film to the cinema using a much more traditional animation and a huge amount of imagination. The basic plot is a great little fantasy fairytale with a very dark heart to it that make it much more enjoyable for having that edge. Too often kids films (especially at the time and animated) are soaked in a sweet sentiment that simply forgets that kids are not stupid and indeed often prefer a bit of darkness in the story. The only downside of this darkness is that younger children might not 'get it' and just end up being scared by the Halloween images and imaginative images. Despite this the material will play equally well to adults and children because it neither panders to nor excludes one group over the other at any time. Regardless of the material, the film still manages to come off as charming and enjoyable thanks to a well-written script that never plays for the basic laugh or easy sentiment. Some viewers may come to this with Pixar in their minds and bemoan it for not being hilariously funny from start to finish, but they are missing the point and

    The songs reflect this approach and are very clever throughout; whether it is the sorrowful longing of Jack at the start or the Cab Calloway-inspired song from Oogie Boogie Man, generally they are inventive and fun. The same praise can be laid at the door of the stop-motion animation, which is inventive and fun to look at from start to finish. All the characters have a great deal of effort put in and they add to the dark feel of the film. The voice cast may not feature a load of well-known voices in the same way as Pixar films generally do, but they still do a great job. Sarandon and Elfman combine to do a good job with Jack; Page is fun as Oogie Boogie; O'Hara is good as Sally despite not having as fun a character to work with but for my money it is Hickey (as Dr Finklestein) and Shadix (Mayor) that make the biggest impression, mainly due to having the most enjoyable characters.

    Overall this is a very short but very enjoyable film that will please both children and adults at the same time (with the same material) and never ignores or panders to one side of the audience over the other. Both groups will appreciate the dark fairytale, the clever songs, the darkly imaginative animation and the comic sense of humour, making this a family film that deserves to be remembered even as kids movie get smarter and fancier.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was initially put off by the idea that this was a musical but I gradually grew into it. Not being a fan of animated films much either, it's taken me a long while to see this picture, a quarter century sounds a lot worse than twenty five years since the movie came out as I write this. I thought it very creatively done, as Tim Burton is quite adept at putting out these off-beat stories, "Edward Scissorhands" being a personal favorite. The tie-in between Halloween and Christmas is a nicely creative touch, with an eclectic appearance by the Easter Bunny providing a moment of humor. There's even a romance involved, even if Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King and Bone Daddy of Halloweentown is oblivious at the outset. The contrasting dark milieu of most of the setting is transformed whenever the Christmas motif takes over, visually stunning by comparison but it's the thing that makes spirits bright. I can't say that I'd make this film an annual holiday viewing, but you probably should see it at least one time to see what you're missing. You'll probably be as surprised as I was.
  • Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon), king of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town, but does not quite understand the concept.

    I understand this is a modern Christmas classic, and as we approach the 20th anniversary, there will probably be a great deal of fanfare. I guess I just do not get it, though. While I enjoy the movie, love the songs (Danny Elfman is amazing) and think the animation is spectacular, it is unclear to me how it has the strong cult following it does or how it has made the Top 250 movies list.

    Maybe I am just rebelling because I instinctively dislike things that are popular. But I just am not clear on the mass appeal. If we consider this a Tim Burton film (and that is debatable), it is probably among his best work... but still not on the level of, say, the Batman films or "Beetlejuice". And those do not get the level of praise. Why?
  • First, I want to say that "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a very neat idea for a movie. If it comes from Tim Burton (although he just produces, not directs), then it's pretty much guaranteed that there's something cool in store. The idea of a land where there's only Halloween having Christmas one year while forcing Halloween on a land where there's only Christmas...a really cool concept. And it's worth seeing what the movie shows happening.

    Now for the unfortunate aspect. The excessive number of songs weakens the movie. I don't mind a song or two - or more in a Beatles movie - but it's just sort of hokey to have a song every five minutes in a movie that supposed to be macabre.

    So, if you see "TNBC", you can appreciate the concept, but you just might get put off by the musical aspect. Featuring the voices of Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara and Paul Reubens.

    So what did Santa bring YOU for Christmas?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Leave it to the wildly imaginative Tim Burton to come up with the brilliant idea of combining the radically contrasting holidays of Christmas and Halloween into a single hugely creative and entertaining movie that's done with a considerable amount of genuine heart and loads of cheerfully morbid dark humor. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, is bored with celebrating October 31st all the time. So Jack decides to take a crack at Christmas instead with predictably disastrous results. Director Henry Selick, working with a bright script by Caroline Thompson and Michael McDowell, does an expert job of vividly realizing an utterly believable and enchanting fantasy world populated with colorful oddball characters and a truly enchanting sense of pure wonder. This world and its kooky inhabitants possess a playfully macabre charm uniquely its own; the whole thing has a certain endearing quirky appeal that's impossible to either resist or dislike. The cast voice the characters with immensely infectious enthusiasm: Danny Elfman provides the glorious singing voice of Jack (Elfman also did the terrifically robust score and wrote the highly catchy and witty lyrics for the songs), Chris Sarandon acquits himself well as Jack's distinguished speaking voice, plus there's sturdy contributions from Catherine O'Hara as sweet, smitten, sensible ragdoll Sally, William Hickey as marvelously grotesque crippled scientist Dr. Finklestein, Glenn Shadix as the jolly and hearty two-faced mayor, and Ken Page as supremely mean and evil ghost villain Oogie Boogie. Inspired moments abound: Jack gamely trying (and failing) to explain the concept of Christmas to the creepy citizens of Halloween Town, a gang of wicked brats accidentally abducting the Easter Bunny, and Jack's hilariously twisted mess that he makes of the merry yuletide season. The stop-motion animation is exquisitely fluid, dynamic, and convincing. Pete Kozachik's crisp cinematography makes the picture positively beautiful to look at. Better still, we even get a relevant message about sticking to what you know and do best. Why, there's also a pleasant love story between Jack and Sally to give the film extra poignancy. A total treat.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Tim Burton is a genius at creating good fantasy film, e.g. Beetle Juice, Batman, Sleepy Hollow and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but this film is best known as one of his masterpiece. He wrote the story, created the characters and idea and assisted directing (although it is uncredited). Basically this a story about based in a dark (obviously) fantasy world of Halloween. The leader of Halloween the tall and spindly Jack Skellington has got bored of Halloween over the many years and wants to experience something new. One day he walks to far in the forest and discovers many trees with special doors for each special occasion, e.g. thanks giving, easter. The one he was most attracted to was the door to Christmas town. After being there he decides he wants to create Christmas himself himself, seen through the eyes of Halloween. If you think about it, this is nearly like the A Christmas Carol and The Grinch mixed together. Filled with excellent music and singing by Danny Elfman himself this is the essential Christmas musical. Starring Chris Sarandon as Jack Skellington, Danny Elfman singing as Jack, Catherine O'Hara as Sally, William Hickey as Evil Scientist and Ed Ivory as Santa. In 2006 it was re-released in 3D. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, and it was nominated the Golden Globe for Best Original Score for Elfman. It was number 38 on The 100 Greatest Musicals, and it was number 13 on The 100 Greatest Cartoons. Outstanding!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I just never found this story to be appealing, and I gave it several chances as I usually find Tim Burton movies visual feasts and interesting, even if I don't agree with his bias.

    Maybe I never was comfortable with an animated film being so dark. Even some of the songs had dark and mean-spirited lyrics. It did get better after the first 45 minutes with "Jack" trying to be Santa Claus but delivering the wrong kind of toys. Santa Claus won out in the end, which was good to see, and there was a nice little romantic ending between Jack and "Sally."

    It's an inventive film, to be sure, with a lot of clever animation, especially for its day (it's now over a dozen years old) but I just got too many bad vibes watching this. Sorry. There are lighter, nicer animated films - at least for kids - to watch than this.
  • Tweekums22 July 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    This film is utterly delightful and can be watched over and over without ever getting stale. As one would expect from a film from Tim Burton it is darker than most animation. The sets and character designs for the inhabitants of Halloween Town are suitably macabre without being too scary for children to watch. Almost all of the characters are well intentioned despite being rather strange, the only exceptions are Oogie Boogie and his three side-kicks Lock, Shock and Barrel.

    The story begins the night after Halloween when Jack Skellington, the organiser of the festivities is feeling down, despite its success as he is fed up of doing the same thing year after year. He leaves town to do for a walk with his ghost of a dog and stumbles across a strange wood where the trees contain doorways to the other holiday towns. He is drawn through the one that leads to Christmas Town and is enchanted by the strange world he has discovered.

    Once back home he tells everybody what he has seen then sets about understanding what Christmas is all about. After much experimentation he decides that this year the people of Halloween Town will organise Christmas, soon the townspeople are eagerly making presents and Jack has dispatched Lock, Shock and Barrel to go to Christmas Town to kidnap "Sandy Claws". The only voice of doubt is Sally, a rag doll who has strong unrequited feelings for Jack. Not surprisingly things don't exactly go according to plan.

    This is a film I would recommend to everybody, especially fans of animation or musicals, although the songs are aren't as up beat as most musicals I suspect you'll still be humming the tunes to yourself after it is over. While this is a Tim Burton Film one mustn't forget that is was directed by Henry Selick who did a wonderful job with the stop-motion animation, Danny Elfman must also be remembered as he wrote all the music to this excellent film.
  • Very amusing and well made stop-motion animation film, competently realized by Henry Selick and financed by Tim Burton . It revolves around Jack Skellington, the sympathetic Mayor , he is the unlikely pumpkin King of the dangerously weird city of Halloweentown. He is boring of the same old routine of making people scream every Octuber 13 and to the dismay of the fellow monsters who inhabite the town. Boring with his annual Halloween he sets out to encounter something better and accidentally discovers the happy Christmas town whose goings-on so enchant him and for envy, he then has a phenomenal idea : to stand in for Santa this Christmas. It results in his decision to abduct Santa with unexpected consequences. As the demons trick or treaters : Lock, Stock and Barrel take Santa, but this one eventually goes to Boogey Man. Then Jack Skeffington along with his spooky friends determine to take over the work of the head honcho there, one Santa Claws. Jack riding on reindeers skeletons goes to Christmas town giving surprising, eerie and creepy gifts to children.

    This is a fun, entertaining and ingenious stuff with some creepy touches, magic as well as funny elements, but ponderously paced in keeping with rather rousing musical score. An original fairy tale with an amazing screenplay by Caroline Thompson from roles and story created by Tim Burton. It took more than two years to shot with a perfect technique by means of stop-motion. Not cuddly, best appreciated by those with a feel for the sinister. Fast paced is maintained throughout by the equally breathless, lively soundtrack masterfully composed by the great musician Danny Elffman who sings some sings, too . Including known voices Catherine O'hara, Chris Sarandon, Paul Reubens, William Hickey, and Danny Elffman himself. It is a really amusing film that kiddies and adults with a sense of the bizarre enjoy very much.

    The picture was financed by Tim Burton who was an animator trainee at Walt Disney productions. Burton came up with his adventurous idea but could not get it made, subsequent directorial hits brought more clout. Burton also produced or directed other fims in similar style as Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride. Burton hired Henry Selick who made a very competent direction who equally directed Monkeybone, Caromine and James and the giant peach.
  • Stop-motion animation technique brings life to tale of Halloweentown, whose residents get bitten by the Christmas bug and move into Santa's territory. Co-producer Tim Burton, who also conceived the story, obviously loved the Rankin/Bass holiday specials from television, smoothly updating those productions with modern razzle-dazzle, creating amusingly ghoulish creatures who glide across the screen fluidly. The only area of the film that needed strengthening was the story, which falls flat in places and is particularly mean to poor Santa Claus (although kids didn't much notice or care). Henry Selick's direction is lively and Danny Elfman (the singing voice of the Pumpkin King) composed a wonderful song-score. Fun for game adults and older children. **1/2 from ****
  • This stop-motion-animated movie from 1993 that came from the crazed mind of Tim Burton is indeed a classic unto its own right. And it is one that should be watched just around the Christmas holidays.

    The story is pretty good, and it has an abundance of absurdity to it that just makes it so lovable and fun to watch. The story, shortly summarized, is about Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, whom has grown weary of the same routine year after year. He stumbled upon a doorway to Christmas Town, and comes to see things in a whole new light.

    Now, there is an abundance of singing and dancing, while it is still stop-motion-animation, here, so it might not be in just everyone's taste. But most of the songs quickly grow on you and some are downright catchy ear-hangers. Especially the theme song, now who can't claim to be able to sing along to that one?

    The characters in "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is an abundance of memorable characters, each with very unique and memorable features and traits. Which definitely helps putting character and flavor to the movie.

    The voice acting in the movie is good, and they have a good ensemble of talented performers to do the various roles and characters, such as Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Glenn Shadix , Paul Reubens, Ken Page and Catherine O'Hara.

    The style of characters and sets/scenes is just fabulous. It is very much in the archetypical spirit that we know from Tim Burtons movies, with lots of dark, gritty colors, crooked things, outstanding and memorable things. It is hard to detail, but once you see it you know what I am talking about.

    Keep in mind that the theme and the majority of all scenes are dark and may contain elements that might be deemed scary or disturbing to very young viewers. But it is all in the spirit of Halloween, so it shouldn't really be a big deal.

    "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a movie that finds its way to my media player once every year around December. And this year I introduced my 9 year old son to it. And he liked it too.

    My rating of this 1993 Burton classic is a seven out of ten stars.
  • I was a kid when I first saw Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, but I wasn't scared by it in the slightest - this world is one entirely of the imagination, and in a sense saying that the film is scary for younger children is something of a compliment. 'Nightmare' is both a horror film and a musical, and fantasy and a suspense film, and like most Burton effort, comedy is thrown in at just the right moments.

    With Henry Selick as director and Michael McDowell & Caroline Thompson as the screenwriters, Burton has fashioned the worlds of Halloween-town and Christmas-town as real originals, working on the cliches that are in each holiday and surrounding the worlds with a host of terrific and terrifying characters. While Halloween-town has a mayor (appropriately with two faces, one smiling one distressed), the real leader is Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon voices with a great Danny Elfman as the singing Jack) who orchestrates Halloween every year for its citizens. But he's grown weary over the years, and after stumbling upon Christmas-town, loaded with good will towards men and a large man in a red suit, he gets his town riled up to overtake the joyous holiday. Despite one protest by Sally (an amazing Catherine O'Hara), the doll-girl who loves him, the town goes on creating Jack's vision. The results are hilarious and, indeed, spellbinding.

    Much credit is given to Burton and Selick for their work on the film, but a lot should also be attributed to Denise Di Novi (co-producer and co-designer), Rick Heinrichs (visual consultant), Pete Kozachik (D.P.), and of course Danny Elfman for his perfectly fitting score and song creations. Along with the talented voice actors, Nightmare Before Christmas ends up a triumph of artistic ingenuity. Some could construe it as too weird or too stylish, but for the cult audience it has garnered over the past ten years it remains of of Burton's finest accomplishments. A+
  • Saw The Nightmare Before Christmas a couple of days ago with a friend who was a little down in the dumps. Neither of us had seen this before so it was a pleasant surprise for both of us as we put on our 3-D glasses to watch Tim Burton's classic stop-motion animated film. Technically, Burton didn't direct this since he was busy making Batman Returns at the time but even with Henry Selick listed as director you can see Tim's hand-prints in every frame. With a voice cast that includes Paul Reubens (as Lock), Catherine O'Hara (as heroine Sally and Shock), William Hickey (as Dr. Finkelstein), Chris Sarandon (as leading character Jack Skellington), Ken Page (as the scene stealing Ooogie Boogie), and Danny Elfman, who's also composer of the movie's songs (as the singing voice of Skellington, Barrel, and the Clown with the Tear away Face), this is one of the most humorously spooky movies I've ever seen. What Jack does to Christmas, you have to see to believe! While the 3-D was impressive in the beginning, I forgot about it after a while and just let the story and music entertain me. My favorite part concerned the Halloweentown band trying to do their version of "Here Comes Santa Claus" which ends up sounding pretty somber! So for anyone interested in Burton's version of a Holloween/Christmas hybrid, The Nightmare Before Christmas may be for you!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I hate myself...This movie has been out since TEN years and I never bothered to watch it earlier. "Totally not my style" I thought. Well, I've seldom been more wrong...This movie is everybody's style !!! I think I'll start watching it every year now on the 24th of december...( What can I say, I'm a traditional person :-D )

    No seriously, I loved this movie. It gave me a warm feeling, plenty of laughs and a good old portion of sentiment. Heck, I even almost caught myself on singing along. I can assure you this means something !

    Actually, it's one of the few times the singing in a movie isn't annoying. Tim Burton's style is well presented in this story. Only he can tell a fairy-tale in such a macabre and morbid way. The atmosphere comes very close to that other masterpiece of his, Edward Scissorhands. The coorporation with Danny Elfman only makes the whole finished project more terrific.

    SPOILERS !!!!!!!!! The story is about Jack Skellington. The pumpkin-king of Halloween town. In this cute little world, a large amount of horrible creatures prepare the celebration of Halloween. After the annual holiday, Jack is a bit disappointed and takes a long walk. He ends up in Christmas town. This village is similar to Halloween town only they're responsible for the preparation of Christmas. Jack is so enthusiast about this that he wants to introduce this idea in Halloween town. Jack is set to replace "Santa Claws" and he will ride out to give presents to the children on Christmas evening! END SPOILERS !!!!!!! The characters in this wonderful story are very memorable. The wicked Dr. Finklestein on top. He looks like an evil version of Duckman and he opens his metal skull to scratch his brains. Very funny ! The female he created, Sally, is adorable and she's the greatest tribute to "The Bride of Frankenstein" I've ever seen. Many other great references to classic horror films and I always appreciate things like that. The Boogieman, the Mayor, the witch...all these characters deserve their share of credit but I think I'll just stop here and finish by saying that this movie is highly recommended.

    Favorite "rewind"-scene: Jack tries to explain the concept of Christmas to rest of his town through a song. They don't see the whole point of it and wonder why this whole thing doesn't involve death or horror. Hilarious !!
  • sunwarrior1323 October 2012
    Warning: Spoilers
    For those who never thought Disney would release a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured, well, here it is. The title is Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which should give you an idea of the tone of this stop-action animated musical/fantasy/horror/comedy. It is based on characters created by Burton himself.It tells the story of Jack Skellington, a being from "Halloween Town" who opens a portal to "Christmas Town" and decides to celebrate the holiday. Danny Elfman wrote the film score and provided the singing voice of Jack, as well as other minor characters. The remaining principal voice cast includes Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Ken Page and Glenn Shadix.

    Jack's obsession with Christmas leads him to usurp the role of Santa Claus. Every resident is assigned a task, while Sally, a rag doll woman who is created by the town's mad scientist, begins to feel a romantic attraction towards Jack. However, she alone fears that his plans will become disastrous. Jack assigns Lock, Shock and Barrel, a trio of mischievous children, to abduct Santa and bring him back to Halloween Town. Against Jack's wishes and largely for their amusement, the trio deliver Santa to Oogie Boogie, a gambling-addict bogeyman who plots to play a game with Santa's life at stake.

    Christmas Eve arrives and Sally attempts to stop Jack with fog, but he embarks into the sky on a coffin-like sleigh pulled by skeletal reindeer, guided by the glowing nose of his ghost dog Zero. He begins to deliver presents to children around the world, but the gifts only terrify the recipients. Jack is believed to be an impostor attempting to imitate Santa, and the military goes on alert to blast him out of the sky. The sleigh is shot down and he is presumed dead by Halloween Town's citizens, but in fact he has survived the crash, landing in a cemetery. Although he is depressed by the failure of his plan, he quickly regains his old spirit, having come up with new ideas for next Halloween. He then rushes back home to rescue Santa and put things right.

    Meanwhile, Sally attempts to free Santa, but is captured by Oogie. Jack slips into the lair and frees them, then confronts Oogie and unravels his outer covering to spill out all the bugs that live inside him. With Oogie gone, Santa reprimands Jack before setting off to deliver the right presents to the world's children. He makes snow fall over Halloween Town to show that there are no hard feelings between himself and Jack; the townspeople are confused by the snow at first, but soon begin to play happily in it. Jack reveals that he is attracted to Sally just as she is to him, and they kiss under the full moon in the cemetery.

    A stunningly original and visually delightful work of stop-motion animation.This cautionary fable may be a little too twisted for little kids but anyone 8 or older will spot the friendly glint behind jack's empty eye sockets.But nevertheless,it is a work of grand visual wit, clever songs, funny gags and genuine pathos, it is perhaps the greatest stop-motion animated film ever, a painstaking style of model animation that computers have all but completely done away with.The dazzling techniques employed here create a striking look that's never been seen in such sustained form, making this a unique curio that will appeal to kids and film enthusiasts alike.Finally,Tim Burton magic with just a touch of scariness that it makes it a must-see.
  • Pumpkin King Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon) is a big guy in his home land of Halloween Town. One day, during his travels, he comes upon a series of trees with doors that transport the individual to various holiday worlds. Jack enters Christmas Town and loves what he sees; he's enchanted. Therefore, when he returns to Halloween Town, he implores his fellow citizens to come up with their own version of Christmas. As one is likely to imagine, he doesn't quite "get it", at least when it comes to his idea of good gifts. To add to the situation, Santa Claus (who Jack and others think is named Sandy Claws) is abducted, and when Jack fills his place, chaos erupts.

    Producer Tim Burtons' imagination is in full bloom here, and is vividly realized by director Henry Selick. The animation is slick and gorgeous. There are a wealth of stylish visuals, both in Halloween Town and Christmas Town. The characters and their designs are delightful, from Jack to Sally (voice of Catherine O'Hara) to the evil scientist (voice of William Hickey) to the fiendish Oogie Boogie (voice of Ken Page). Caroline Thompson ("Edward Scissorhands", "Corpse Bride"), wrote the screenplay, with Michael McDowell ("Beetlejuice", "Tales from the Darkside: The Movie)" credited with the adaptation. Another frequent Burton collaborator, Danny Elfman, supplies the many catchy songs (this viewers' favourites are "What's This" and "Oogie Boogie's Song") and also performs the lovely singing voice of Jack. The eclectic cast also includes Glenn Shadix (who voices the mayor) and Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens (who voices Lock).

    Some younger children may not take to a lot of the more freakish designs and characters, but otherwise this is fine family viewing, with a fairly trim story and running time (77 minutes all told).

    One point of interest for people may be deciding whether to watch this during the Halloween season, the Christmas season, or both, for that matter.

    Eight out of 10.
  • Since Tim Burton is the very definition of the word "weird", it's no surprise to me that THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE Christmas (which I resisted seeing up until now), is richly imaginative and entertaining in the way it puts a special twist on the holiday spirit of Halloween and Christmas.

    Instead of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, we have The Pumpkin King (Jack) bringing horror to the Yuletide holidays and kiddies everywhere by riding Santa's sleigh and depositing horrific toys to frighten kids in a manner usually reserved for Halloween. Of course, in the end, the real Santa is allowed to reappear (after being held hostage) and allowed to bring his special brand of cheer to a world momentarily deprived of Santa and his toys.

    It's all richly dark and scary (for kids), imaginative, and visually stunning with so much to watch at any given moment that it becomes almost a strain on the eyes to follow all the cleverness accurately without a pause for breath. In other words, it's what I would call a very "busy" film, but certainly an enjoyable one if you're in the mood for quality animation of this kind (stop-motion models).

    All I can say is the Disney studios never released anything remotely like this sort of dark fantasy when I was a kid, when everything was geared more to the lighter side with darkness only rearing up in the form of witches or dragons--and the songs were simple, catchy tunes that people could sing afterwards. That, for me, is the big drawback here. Danny Elfman's songs are devoid of any special sort of charm and certainly can't be called memorable. They work within the context of this story, but not apart from it.

    Nevertheless, this is undoubtedly a richly imaginative piece of animated art and well worth viewing whether young or old.
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