After all these years, I finally knocked a long-standing entry off my “to watch” list by sitting down and watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. Please don’t ask me why it took me so long to watch this classic, I honestly think it’s just a case of “I simply never got around to it” believe me there was nothing personal keeping me from watching this film. And now that I’ve finally seen what all the fuss is about, I’m so glad I did, because The Nightmare Before Christmas is amazing and holds up extremely well for being made in 1993.
To quickly summarize, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stop-motion animation film set in a world where each holiday resides in their own distinct “land.” Most of the story is set in Halloween Town, where Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, is lord and master of all things Halloween. However, after overseeing Halloween festivities for more years than he can count, Jack is tired of doing the same old thing and becomes enamored of the Christmas holiday when he accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town. As you might expect, chaos ensues.
I’ve been a fan of stop-motion animation since almost before I can remember, and this film does it so well it makes the concept look easy (would you believe it took them THREE YEARS to take this film?) The movements are so fluid and lifelike, there’s no trouble believing that characters like Jack and Sally are very much real. I found myself fascinated by Sally in particular, the idea of a living rag doll that can stitch herself back together impressed me. Of all the characters in Halloween Town, she’s the only one that I don’t find “scary” in any sense of the word. Even though Sally is stitched together, the fact that she’s only stuffed with leaves inside makes it completely not scary when her limbs come off.
One sequence that especially impressed me is “Oogie Boogie’s Song” which apparently takes place in a blacklight environment that brings out a slew of colorful details in Oogie Boogie’s lair. And speaking of Oogie Boogie, I absolutely love the moment when the would-be villain comes face to face with a pissed off Jack Skellington at the climax of the film. All of that bravado is OUT the door and it is too funny to see how quickly it happens.
All told, I love The Nightmare Before Christmas, and I hope with all my heart that the proposed sequel/reboot/remake/whatever Disney is trying to do never, EVER happens. This film is pure magic and it would be a shame to ruin its perfection by creating a sequel or, God forbid, a live-action remake. The soundtrack by Danny Elfman is a lot of fun also, and I loved all of it.
Let me know what you think about The Nightmare Before Christmas in the comments below and have a great day!
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