THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
DIRECTED BY: Henry Selick
STARRING: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Ed Ivory
GENRE: Stop-Motion, Animated, Dark Fantasy, Musical
COUNTRY: United States
It is the same routine every year in Halloweentown, on Halloween the monsters come out and perform a real scare. This particular Halloween, the pumpkin king Jack Skellington, bored of the idea, saunters off into the woods with his dog Zero after Halloween night. Upon the break of dawn, he discovers a clearing of trees with different doors representing various holidays. The Christmas Tree door attracts his attention and upon entrance into the world of Christmas, Jack is fascinated with this new idea of Christmas that he must absolutely share with the citizens of Halloweentown.
From Film Takeout:
“Right from the start the viewer knows they are in for a special treat. The opening music is at once haunting and catchy, a continued theme for this musical. Visuals of Halloween abound with icons of the holiday everywhere that are just scary enough to give kids a minor fright, yet goofy enough to make them laugh about it after. Early on we are introduced to Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon [speaking], Danny Elfman [singing]), the Pumkin King, ruler of Halloween. He is the de facto leader of Halloween Town, the place where the nightmares of children reside. In what should be a joyous occasion with another successful Halloween haunting, we see Jack depressed. He wanders through the town cemetery, lamenting Halloween, wanting something more. He fetches his trusty companion Zero, a ghost dog with a glowing jack-o-lantern nose. Further wandering leads to some woods and the discovery of seven trees, each with a door that represents other holidays. Intrigued, Jack is drawn to the one shaped like a Christmas tree. He enters and is transported to Christmas Town. A spark is lit and Jack feels “alive” again.
As great as this film is, it is not without a few problems, albeit minor. A major plot hole revolves around getting back to Halloween Town from Christmas Town. Jack goes through a door to get to Christmas Town and falls out of the air into a snow pile. But we never see how he gets back. Is it a door as well? If so how does the snow mobile he rides into Halloween town fit through it? We know he can get back to Halloween Town from the real world through a cemetery. Is that how he gets back? There also lacks any background on Ooggie Boogie, the gambling Boogie Man (Ken Page’s voice). A minor, but important character, he appears almost out of nowhere.”
- Beautiful score.
- Fantastic Stop-Motion animation.
- Excellent voice acting.
- Major plot holes.
- Characters appearing out of nowhere.
SCORE: 8.0 / 10
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