#8 – Countdown to Christmas: NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

It’s no Hollywood secret that Tim Burton has lost it and hasn’t made a single good film in the last decade (probably because he keeps casting his psycho wife).  However, his first claymation attempt just happens to be one of my favorite movies, holidays aside.

Nightmare Before Christmas pairs together my two very favorite holidays: Halloween and Christmas; and throws in a little musical pizzazz, which I love!  The story centers around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, whose fame in Halloween Town is only diminished by his lack of interest in doing his job.  He is sick of Halloween, of scaring, of the routine; and wants to find something more meaningful to do with his life.

In his morose state, Jack wanders and finds himself at a cluster of trees, which the audience knows must represent the different holidays.  Here, Jack opens the door to Christmas Town where his life is drastically changed.

In Christmas Town, Jack feels a warmth that he is unfamiliar with and desperately tries to duplicate it.  When he returns to Halloween Town, he shares his discoveries and announces that the residents of Halloween Town will take over Christmas.  He sends kidnappers to snare “Sandy Claws” and begins his Nightmare Before Christmas, as it were.

Jack and his cohorts are impossibly scary, and he does such a poor job with the gifts that he is blasted out of the sky and it is announced that Christmas will be canceled.  Jack is distressed and heartbroken.  He returns to Halloween Town to release Santa, the only one who can save Christmas.

In the end, Jack realizes that he doesn’t need to take over Christmas or even be a part of Christmas to find what he is looking for.  Running Halloween is what he was born to do, but he has found joy and warmth in his love with Sally.

I’m a sucker for claymation, I don’t know why.  Blame the California Raisins I guess.  Couple that with the brilliant score by Danny Elfman and you have, in my eyes, a winner and a great holiday favorite.

I hereby dub this film 4/5.

3 thoughts on “#8 – Countdown to Christmas: NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS”

  1. I saw Nightmare on its first release. Lost count of how many times I’ve watched it since. A modern classic.

    I don’t mean to be picky but they used stop motion animation – not claymation. The characters were models with changeable heads for different expressions – around 400 different heads for Jack!


  2. OMG, I just sat down and watched Nightmare before Christmas again… so funny to find your post now! I wish I could live in HalloweenTown, it’s too cool!


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