Saturday, October 11, 2008

An Inventive and Beautiful Nightmare

Enter an extrodinary world filled with magic and wonder- where every holiday has its own special land... and imaginative, one-of-a-kind characters! The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the heartfelt tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town and all things that go bump in the night. Bored with the same old tricks and treats, he yearns for something more and soon stumbles upon the glorious magic of Christmas Town! Jack decides to bring this joyful holiday back to Halloween Town. But as his dream to fill Santa's shoes unravels, it's up to Sally, the rag doll who loves him, to stitch things back together.

This critically acclaimed movie milestone captured the hearts and imagination of audiences everywhere with its Academy Award nominated stop-motion effects, engaging Grammy-nominated music, and the genius of Tim Burton (Batman, Bettlejuice). The Nightmare Before Christmas- a delightful treat the whole family will enjoy!

Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Release: October 29, 1993
Genre: Stop-Motion Animation
MPAA Rating: PG
Writer: Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, Michael McDowell, & Caroline Thompson
Director: Henry Selick
Music By: Danny Elfman
Produced By: Tim Burton, Denise Di Novi, & Danny Elfman
Distributed By: Touchstone Pictures
Run Time: 76 minutes
Official Site

An animator working for the Disney company saw a window display where Halloween decorations were being replaced with Christmas ones and because those two holidays met in that shop window, that animator was inspired to write a slightly different kind of holiday poem. His name was Tim Burton and that poem was called The Nightmare Before Christmas. It took a little while to get the idea to become more than an idea, and then it took even longer for that idea to become fully developed but after nearly a decade, the living illustration and probably the only movie in existence that can be played both during Halloween and Christmas time was released.

Never my favorite “Disney” movie as a kid, I rediscovered it again when I was a little older and was able to love and appreciate it so much more. Eventually though my VHS copy stopped working properly so it had been years since I’d seen it last when the newest version was released. Tim Burton’s whimsical darkness has fascinated me over the years and its all there in the film. Technically, it’s not as “pretty” as Burton’s other stop-motion animated film The Corpse Bride but its much more fun!

One of my favorite composers (and Burton’s too), Danny Elfman was responsible for helping make the movie what it is because not only did he create the soundtrack and help produce the film, he even sings! He’s Jack Skellington’s singing voice as well as two other minor characters too.

What I find amazing though is how intricate and how hard it was to make this film! True it does show it’s age a little but at the same time, for something that is 15 years old, it has held up remarkably well to the test of time. It has also become a major part of our pop culture too just like the Christmas specials that everyone remembers so fondly today. The only difference is… this one works for Halloween too.

Links:, Nightmare Before Christmas (Wikipedia), Concept for unmade Disneyland attraction (Disney and More), Fan Site (lots of music, etc), The Tim Burton Collective,

Interview: Henry Selick (Animated Views), Mike Cachuela (Animated Views)

Trailer, Teaser, & Elfman Interview at Re-release Premiere:


  1. this is such a great film, its one of my favorites. Great review!
    'Tim Burton’s whimsical darkness has fascinated me' too!
    I cant believe this one is 15 years old already.

  2. I agree with Naida! Love this film.

    So, why'd ya put word verification on your blog? This is the second time I have tried to enter the code. If I try for the third time, please know that it's going to make me start crying. Seriously.

  3. Naida: Thanks! I really do like this one. You seriously haven't seen this movie until you watch the new DVD release. The picture and sound is incredibly crisp!

    J. Kay: Oh I'm so sorry! I wasn't aware that I still had word verification on this blog. I took it off don't worry. Let me go make sure the rest of the blogs don't have it on them.

  4. Hi young lady, miss ya.



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