The Nightmare Before Christmas

1993 animated classic

Rating: 18/20 (Abbey: 15/20; Emma: 12/20; Dylan: 6/20)

Plot: Jack Skellington, the emaciated brains behind the Halloween Town festivities, has grown a little bored with the gruesome decor and traditions of the annual bash. He stumbles upon Christmas Town and is enamored with the bright lights, the pretty packages, and the mystique of Santa Claus. He decides to take the ideas back to his Halloween Town peers and set up his own Christmas. It doesn't work out very well.

I hate the scene where Jack rescues Santa Claus from the Oogy-Boogy man. Other than that, this movie is pitch perfect and might have my vote for best full-length feature film debut. Visually, there's so much to see, especially during the musical numbers. The screen is filled with so many complexly moving figures, and it's hard to imagine the hours that had to be put into the stop animation. Musically, this is Danny Elfman's finest hour. Generally, I could take or leave the music in an animated musical (and, by the way, was glad that Coraline didn't have any) but the songs in this one are indispensable. The instrumental stuff, a lot of it played by a Waitsian accordion-driven street trio, is also really good and goes hand in hand with the visuals to create the mood in this almost fairy tale land. Solid characters, iconic imagery, a bizarre sense of dark humor, and great rewatchability make this a holiday classic.

1 comment:

burymore said...

This film actually bored the hell out of me. Just had no interest in the plot or endless songs.


A matter of taste I guess, but for me a little quirkiness goes a long ways, and this movie is ALL quirky.


I would give it a ten out of twenty using your scale.