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The Nightmare Before Christmas is an absolutely unique holiday classic

Updated on December 14, 2011

The Nightmare Before Christmas is another example of just how awesome stop-motion animation can be. Admittedly, they cheated a little in a couple shots, using normal footage (such as the spoon in the worm's wart soup) but still, the attention to detail on this production is staggering.

There are just so many reasons to love this movie. But first, the synopsis.

Jack Skellington (voice of Chris Sarandon, singing voice of Danny Elfman) is the skeleton with it all. He's crowned the King of Halloween and he's great at what he does. But he begins to feel an emptiness inside. Scaring people doesn't fulfill him the way it used to. After a long walk, he steps through a door in a tree and ends up in Christmas. (It makes sense in the show, really.)

After seeing that there really is more than Halloween, Jack is excited to try out this new Christmas thing. He gets all of Halloween Town to help him out to prepare for Christmas, but none of them quite get the point and things go very awry. It's up to Jack's friend Sally (Catherine O'Hara) to try to convince him that he's going down a dangerous path.

Visually this one's absolutely stunning and captivating. The story and original artwork came from the mind of the inimitable Tim Burton and it was directed by Henry Selick who went on to direct Coraline. However, it can be a bit too macabre or bizarre for some. The idea of an entire town populated with monsters, vampires, zombies, skeletons and many many things that have yet to be categorized? It's a creative treat, but it walks the line between creepy and cool very carefully.

And the music will simply get stuck in your head, set up house, and raise a family of its own. After all these years, I still find myself humming and singing most of the soundtrack at one point or another. Danny Elfman's melodies are haunting and wonderful. It's like nobody ever told Elfman that you can't make a happy song in a minor key, but he makes it work.

I don't want to talk it up too much for those of you out there who may not have seen it, but after all these years, I imagine if you haven't seen it, it's probably an active choice and anything I say won't influence you. But if you're even on the fence, I'd say you have to give this one a chance.

You might just be surprised.

For me, this one gets a nearly perfect 9 / 10.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is rated PG for a little mild language and some mildly disturbing images and situations revolving around a town full of monsters and the undead.


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    • Garlonuss profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan D Peterson 

      6 years ago from Saratoga Springs, Utah

      Very true, Ironman1992. The challenge in stop motion is making something that has the feel of being bigger than it is and moves smoothly. CG can do the smooth movement much easier, but one great benefit for stop motion is that it's actually filming something real and physically there. You don't have to worry about lighting and shadows and textures. CG has to really work at faking that feel.

    • Ironman1992 profile image


      6 years ago

      Stopmotion, in many cases, is better than cgi, because it offers a unique atmosphere and style that can not be achieved with cgi.


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