The Nightmare Before Christmas
Each holiday holds something special for everyone. Children spend an entire day on Easter to find the mysterious eggs left by a bunny who hides them. Every Halloween night, children dress up and trick or treat to receive candy. Thanksgiving gives children a chance to spend time with their family and feast on a turkey while being thankful for what they have. But for most people, Christmas is their all time favorite. Is it the decorations? Is it the carols? Is it about the presents? None of that matters. Christmas is cherished because is represents the goodness of mankind and how we give to show our love.
Most people can agree that as children, they were excited for the holiday, but didn’t understand the heart of it. But even if they didn’t figure thing out early, they loved the colors, the decorations, and the snow. It was still special. That is how the creatures of Halloween Town see the magical holiday in the animated classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Produced by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick, it’s amazing to see how many people like to watch this as a year round thing. Who would have though that something that’s so Christmas-ey could be something to watch during the summer?
In the world of The Nightmare Before Christmas, each holiday has it’s own world where the front door is through a tree in the Hinterland forest. Halloween is in full swing as every creature is scaring up a good time. As the town’s celebration continues, they awe at the arrival of the town hero, Jack Skellington (played by Chris Sarandon). He’s glad that the day went great, he feels that he’s tired of the same routine. After taking a walk into the woods with his ghost dog Zero, he comes across a set of trees that have doors shaped like different holiday symbols. Upon inspection, he marvels at the Christmas tree shaped door.
Upon seeing Christmas town, he loves what he sees. He loves the colors, decorations and snow. He also learns about Santa Claus which he calls “Sandy Claws”. He returns to Halloween town to try and teach everyone what he saw. They only see it as another chance to scare people. After some thinking, Jack decides that in order to really have the Christmas spirit, he will become Santa this year. Despite warnings from rag doll Sally (played by Catherine O’Hara), Jack get’s everyone in town to decorate and make toys for children so that he will take the trip around the world instead of Santa.
Tim Burton is one of the most colorful and distinctive directors around. By bringing a German-expressionism meets Dr. Seuss style, The Nightmare Before Christmas is something that not only parodies the Ranken Bass style specials, but manages to stand alone as a great Christmas tale. Since there has been no other film like this before in terms of creativity, I can understand why it has a year round cult audience. This remains Tim Burton’s strongest film.
I’ll give this five Halloween Christmas trees out of five. Definitely not too scary, but with enough darkness, The Nightmare Before Christmas is and will continue to be Disney’s best holiday offering.
Keep up the passion.
My next review tonight will include at least another paragraph with more criticism. I'm still new to the whole film critic scene and the more suggestions the better. Thanks.