The next entry on my long list of films I’ve meant to finally get around to seeing is a famous one. However, despite being two decades old, I’ve never gotten around to seeing until now: Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
The stop-motion animated film features a heavy amount of musical song numbers. However, it does have a plot. Jack, the king of Halloween Town, gets bored with Halloween and all things spooky. While wandering through the woods, he stumbles through a magical door and accidentally discovers Christmas Town (aka the North Pole).
Being taken by the Yuletide holiday, Jack convinces his fellow Halloween horrors to “take over” Christmas. Of course, given they’re all used to creepy things, it doesn’t go as well as expected.
“Nightmare” was an amusing enough film. It features gothic/horror elements reminiscent of Burton’s other productions, including “Beetlejuice.” The best parts were the ghoul kids kidnapping the wrong holiday icon (namely the Easter Bunny) and the actual attempt to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve. The world’s reaction to the gifts is more “horror” than “holly jolly.” (Cue: a Christmas-related story with anti-aircraft guns.) I also liked Sally, a Frankenstein’s monster-like woman, and her attempts to escape her repressive creator.
This film’s probably also the rare stop-motion animated effort (Rankin-Bass and Gumby aside) that did well at the box office and with the general public. It’s since become a staple aired at Christmas (and, given its nature, Halloween as well). The film’s “Halloween Town,” of course, bears no relation to the Disney Channel series of live-action TV-movies by that name (though those were entertaining in their own right).