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The Nightmare Before Christmas (DVD front)

Walt Disney Home Entertainment's 2-disc Collector's Edition DVD of the cult classic 1993 holiday film directed by Henry Selick.

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Cute and Macabre (?)

  • Oct 31, 2008
The holidays become a blur. We've all been accustomed to seeing Christmas music on display well before Halloween has come and gone. This idea was given full reign in `It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,' with the late Charles M. Schultz's wonderful take on Halloween when Linus gets mixed up between Santa Claus and the famous, fictitious legend who delivers toys on Halloween night. This is where Tim Burton's `The Nightmare Before Christmas' takes off, but from there all parallels stop, and flair takes the helm for this truly unique animated adventure.

The story is uncomplicated enough. Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman), an emaciated man who is charming in character and sinister in appearance, is the figure head of Halloweentown, and the key figure of the most anticipated holiday of the village. November 1st as one might expect, is a let-down, and a down-cast Jack finds himself wandering through a forest all night long.

At the end of his journey, he discovers the North Pole and all the inhabitants surrounding Christmas's festive figure, Santa Claus. Noting that there is something different abound, he goes back to Halloween Town and brings all he sees back to the people. Feeling inadequate to convey the warmth of the season, he plots with three mischievous children to kidnap Ole Saint Nick and have the secrets of gift giving unfold for his town.

Embellishing the story are some offbeat characters. Ragdoll Sally (Catherine O'Hara) is captive to the nasty Dr. Finkelstein (William Hickey) in a Rapunzel-like subplot.

`The Nightmare Before Christmas' could have been a one note wonder, but what I like about it is the charm factor. In the midst of a cute and macabre background (I'd never thought that would mix until seeing this film.), delightful songs and memorable characters fill the screen. It doesn't exactly come off like Lucille Ball singing "We Need a Little Christmas," but the sojourn from a dark world yearning to be lighter is worth taking indeed.

A J.P.'s Pick 5 *'s =Exceptional

Happy Halloween! ;>)

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More The Nightmare Before Christmas... reviews
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
one of my all time favorite burton films, a true goth lovestory lol
review by . December 19, 2008
2-disc Collector's Edition DVD, plus Digital Copy
-This review pertains to the 2-disc Collector's Edition DVD of The Nightmare Before Christmas -      What happens when you mix a strange combination of Walt Disney Studios animation and Tim Burton, Christmas and Halloween, horror and romance, tragedy and comedy? The result is a stop-motion animated musical that's become a cult classic for the whole family.  Tim Burton's gothic whimsy comes to life in spectacular fashion in The Nightmare Before Christmas, which …
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John L. Peterson ()
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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About this movie


For those who never thought Disney would release a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured, well, here it is! The full title isTim 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, the former Disney animator best known as the director ofPee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the first twoBatmanmovies. His benignly scary-funny sensibility dominates the story of Halloweentown resident Jack Skellington (voice by Danny Elfman, who also wrote the songs), who stumbles on a bizarre and fascinating alternative universe called ... Christmastown! Directed by Henry Selick (who later made the delightful James and the Giant Peach), this PG-rated picture has a reassuringly light touch. 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."--Jim Emerson
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Director: Henry Selick
Genre: Animation, Classics, Comedy, Fantasy, Musical, Romance
Release Date: October 15, 1993
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: 2008
Runtime: 76 minutes
Studio: Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
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"Cute and Macabre (?)"
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