The Awkward, Unconventionality of Halloween Meets the Whimsical, Curiosity of Christmas and Create Something Truly Special- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Review
I wish that I can be writing this review after my first time viewing this film. Sadly, and also thankfully, though I have been watching this film since I was a little girl, so I have nothing but sweet and nostalgic thoughts to share about this childhood favorite film.
I can't remember the first time I saw The Nightmare Before Christmas (dir. by Henry Selick 1993), but I will never forget the giddy feeling I get when I watch this film every year for Halloween and Christmas. This is one of those childhood films that you can't wait to share with your children, or in my case my baby sister, and you revel in happiness when they love the movie just as much as you do.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is a perfect balance of two of the most opposite and popular holidays of the year- Halloween and Christmas. It's a perfect balance between the dark shadows of Halloweentown and the hazy, dream-like world of Christmastown.
In this film, there is an entire town dedicated to its own holiday, and in Halloweentown, the chief citizen is Jack Skellington, also known as "the Pumpkin King." Jack Skellington encompasses everything in Tim Burton's most famous characters- he is enthusiastic, charismatic, charming, and utterly and devastatingly quirky and misunderstanding of the world around him. Jack is seen as a tall, slinky, scary monster to be revered by all of the other citizens, but genuinely, he longs for something more- for inner purpose. And when he goes wandering off, he stumbles into Christmastown and is completely enchanted and excited by the fluffy snow, the bright fluorescent lights, and the rosy cheeks of Santa's helpers, where he was used to sharp edges, ghoulish and melancholy settings, and haunting monsters.
When he goes home, he enlists all of Halloweentown on a foolish, yet endearing endeavor, to hijack Christmastown and take on the role of "the Sant-y Claws." The problem is that Jack has a misconception of what the people of Christmastown love and enjoy. His natural is quirky-ness and eccentricity is his downfall in his attempt to adapt the likeness of Christmas. It is also his best qualities, the qualities that Sally loves, and the qualities that inspire the people of Halloweentown to follow him down any path.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is an absolute musical adventure, with catchy numbers that enhance the telling of the story. Each character introduced is an interesting representation of the real personalities of humans, constructed and reimagined in the mind of Tim Burton and the many amazing people that worked on this film. And in the end, it's a film that captures the charm, relatability, and freakishly whimsical nature of Halloween and its monsters that are so easily judged by their unconventional exterior. Truly a classic for centuries to come.
Jacindable Rating: ★★★★★
starring, Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Edward Ivory, and more
written and directed by, Henry Selick, Tim Burton, and Caroline Thompson