I love it when you have a certain type of movie and then give it a sort of unique twist. Kind of like how “Bad Santa” I reviewed the other day was a christmas movie that was a dark comedy that didn’t always make you feel good. The movies that stick out like that are the ones that people are going to remember after watching it. And if we are sticking to the theme of christmas for a while I have to mention how many christmas movies are the same. So seeing a christmas movie that is a bit different is really refreshing. And today we are taking a look at such a movie. A movie from when I was young(er).
Jacks and Sallys… “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.
The story of this movie is that there are several “towns” that all represent one of the several holidays of the year. You have one for easter, one for christmas but the one we are entering tonight is the one leading to “Halloween town”. And this town is basically run by “The Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon). When Halloween is over for the year Jack goes to contemplate life he finds these doors which lead to the other towns. And since this is a christmas movie he stumbles into the Christmas door and enters “Christmas town” where he learns a lot about christmas. And after that he wants to get christmas to Halloween town… and as you may expect it doesn’t go too well. Now I think this premise is awesome and can lead to some of the most clever situations in any christmas movie ever… and I was right. This movie is funny, it’s clever, it’s heartwarming, it’s creepy and it got more personality than a lot of christmas movies these days. It is one of the most original and clever stories I have ever experienced from a movie, and that just makes me all kind of happy! The only minor flaw about this plot is that certain parts might (for some people) feel a tiny bit rushed. But since I thought the story was paced really well I have no problem with it.
The characters are really well fleshed out and interesting. Yes, some of them don’t even get names or that much dialogue, but that is okay because you still know who the hell they are. There is the wolfman, there are the vampires, there’s the creature from teh Black Lagoon. See, easy! But to be more serious the characters are varied enough that they never bother you. And the ones that get a lot of screen time are great. Such as Jack who is one of the most loveable characters ever. Sally (Cahterine O’Hara, returning for a christmas review) is his sort of love interest while also being the first one to realize the whole “Bringing Christmas to Halloween” thing is a bad idea. And the villain of the movie, Oogie Boogie (Ken Page) is pretty great. He is witty, he is cool and got the best song in the entire movie, by far. And the voice acting in the movie is really good too. I think the actors were perfectly chosen for the characters they are voicing in the movie. My two favorite voice performances are probably those of Chris Sarandon (Jack) and Ken Page (Oogie). They bring so much humanity and just overall fit. And I can safely say that the characters and voice acting in the movie are overall great.
The soundtrack for the movie just might be one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. Danny Elfman did an excellent job composing a score that really caught the overall feel of the movie. But the regular bakcground score isn’t what we want to talk about, oh no. We want to talk about the musical acts our characters take part of in the movie. They are all pretty great. I think my favorite might be the Oogie Boogie song. It is jsut so jazzy and cool and I simply love that stuff. I’ll leave a link to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw0aoVpFCDw
The animation in this movie is in my opinion fantastic. I am a huge fan of stop motion animation and the since the animation in the movie is both stop motion and really well done I think it looks great. Sure, some parts might look slightly jittery in places, but overall it looks great. I am especially surprised how they got some of those parts done because there are no signs of CGI in this movie. So yeah… animation is great.
The title may say “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” but he didn’t actually make it. Yes he was part of creation and story, but he didn’t actually direct it. The direction was actually done by Henry Selick who have done a bunch of otehr movies. Including the excellent stop motion kid-friendly horror movie “Coraline”. Just thought it could be fun to mention.
This movie as far as reception among both critics and people have been pretty great. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. This is also one of the few and weirdest examples of a movie that has no score or review on Metacritic. Hell, it doesn’t even exist one there. Roger Ebert however got a review where he gave the movie 3,5/4 stars calling the movie
“filled with imagination that carries us into a new world”
On imdb.com the movie has a score of 8,1/10 which usually means it would be on the “Top 250 list” which this movie isn’t. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the catefory of Best visual effects.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is one of the most creative and original movies I have ever seen. It got a fun story, good characters/voice acting, great music, great visuals and can work for the entire family. So now I am going to hand out my final score. My final score for “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a 9,78/10 which of course grants it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” finally has a review!
Some of you might ask me when you see this review “What’s this!?“