The Nightmare before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare before Christmas (1993)
  • Time: 76 min
  • Genre: Animation | Family | Fantasy
  • Director: Henry Selick
  • Cast: Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara


Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween — but alas, they can’t get it quite right.

One comment

  • I abstained from Nightmare Before Christmas for years because (much like The Goonies) it has just been forced into popular culture, where I don’t think it belongs. Neither film was massively popular or a critical success on their original release, but somewhere along the line the spirit of the films were hijacked.

    I hate seeing forlorn-looking, middle-class emo teenagers wearing Jack Skellington T-shirts as much as I hate the same crowd yelling “Hey you, guys.” Were they even born when these films were made? Back to the film itself, it’s a rather simple tale of a Halloween-themed world being exposed to the magic of Christmas. Jack Skellington and the denizens of Halloweentown welcome the magic, but no one really seems to understand that the macabre of Halloween and the Spirit of Christmas are utterly incongruous. I suppose this is a commentary on the inconsistency of what the public desires and how we are all easily programmed to like what the media tells us to like.

    The thin story is interspersed with several, generic Danny Elfman melodies and songs. The characters are amusing, especially the Mayor of Halloweentown, who’s double-sided head periodically rotates between happiness and despair. And the atmosphere is also very nice, but I’m undecided if it’s a Halloween film or an Xmas film.

    Overall, it’s good, but not great. It’s more like The Trap Door than it’s like Wallace and Gromit, but still a pleasant distraction for the Xmas season.

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