The Nightmare Before Christmas

This is a review of the stop motion animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas released in 1993.

 

Directed by Henry Selick

Produced by Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi

 

The film is about Jack, the Pumpkin King, and his reluctance to accept that Halloween is the only season he is destined to enjoy.

The film opens up with the song “This is Halloween” – introducing the townsfolk that host Halloween every year. (Not 8 minutes into the film, there are already two songs.) It turns out that everyone in the town is over-excited about running Halloween every year, except for Jack. He wants to take over Christmas by kidnapping Santa and giving everyone “presents”.

I am genuinely surprised that this film was released in 1993, because I thought it was a more modern film. It hasn’t dated much, which is fantastic.

I don’t like musicals, and I tried to watch this film before but I couldn’t finish it. After sitting through the entire film I can say I wouldn’t want to do it again.

I loved the characters, the animation, the textures, the design of the world. It’s spooky, it’s beautiful, it’s Christmassy too, but the plot is lacking something. I like musicals that don’t sporadically burst into song every 5 minutes. Unfortunately this film suffers from a serious case of song overdose. Sometimes the plot isn’t driven forward because the character is just singing. Some of these musical pieces feel unnecessary.

I liked the story because it’s unusual. The only downside is that this film takes a long time to get there. I love the characters, but some we don’t get to see enough of. I love the mini-plots within the film. My favourite character is Sally, but as always there is the cliche love interest element to the plot which frustrates me.

It is an enjoyable film if musicals are your thing. It is an enjoyable film if animation is your thing and you can see past the singing. It is definitely a great film to watch if you are in a Halloween spirit.

 

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