A Review of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas

The movie entitled “The Nightmare before Christmas”  has been a classic for years.   If, however, you are one of those people who has managed to escape watching it, you may be wondering what it’s really about.   So here’s a brief review of “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is a clever, unorthodox, animated musical/fantasy/horror/comedy all in one!   It is based on characters created by Burton, an Academy Award nominated American film director, writer and designer most well known for his first film, Pee-Wee’Big Adventure, and the blockbuster success of Batman  (both the first and the second).   Directed by Henry Selick (who later made the delightful James and the Giant Peach), this PG-rated picture has a reassuringly light touch, regardless of its slightly scary title. As Roger Ebert noted in his review, “some of the Halloween creatures might be a tad scary for smaller children, but this is the kind of movie older kids will eat up; it has the kind of offbeat, subversive energy that tells them wonderful things are likely to happen.”

The world of “The Nightmare before Christmas” is an extraordinary one.   It is filled with magic and wonder, where every holiday has its own special land.   Just imagine the possibilities in an “Easter land” where everyone lived in Easter eggs, or “Thanksgiving land” where you had a turkey dinner for every meal.   Just imagine the characters you would find in these lands!   Well, the Nightmare Before Christmas tells the story of one Jack Skellington (voice by Danny Elfman), the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, and all the things that go “bump in the night.”   And for those who never thought they would see a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured (as harmlessly as possible, of course), here it is!

It all starts out when Jack becomes bored with the same old tricks and treats.   He longs for something more out of life, and soon he finds himself stumbling upon Christmas Town.   The unique magic and spirit of Christmas Town inspires Jack to bring this exciting holiday back to Halloween Town.  He decides to take Santa’job for himself. But then Santa is kidnapped and things don’t go exactly as he planned.   But as his dreams to fill Santa’s shoes begin to fall apart, Sally, the rag doll who loves him, is left to bring things back together.

And if you think the best types of movies are the ones that depict an imaginary world that you’ve never before envisioned, you will LOVE Tim Burton’s  The Nightmare  Before Christmas.   Not only is the plot fascinating and the music superb, but this movie is a benchmark in stop-motion animation.   Twenty-four individually posed frames were required to produce one second’s worth of action!   If you’re an art lover, or movie aficionado, this movie is a must see.   It’s a masterpiece of art direction, set design, and great storytelling.   Clever anecdotes like Jack confusing “Sleigh” with the word “slay” or “stockings” becoming “stalking” are hilarious as Christmas and Halloween clash against each other.   And throughout this borderline cynical movie, the movie remains light and sweet.

This critically acclaimed movie milestone captured the heart and imagination of audiences everywhere with its Academy Award(R)-nominated stop-motion effects, engaging Grammy(R)-nominated music.    The genius of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is a  delightful treat the whole family will enjoy!   So if you haven’t had a chance to see this classic film, go out and rent it today, whether it be nearing Halloween or Christmas, this movie is great at any time of year! You will not regret that you did it. You might even enjoy it.

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