The Nightmare Before Christmas Reviews
The score is really majestic, also the way the characters sing through their lines in a musical is very enticing to see. The musical pieces are distributed evenly throughout, contributing to the dark, scary ambiance. Yet, the music also seem to be what prevents the film into an too scary horror flick. There were scenes where the music added a cheerful tone to potentially frightening, disturbing images and make it somehow enjoyable. For example, the villain appearance might prove to be a bit too scary, but as soon as you realized he was just one of those chanting and bantering characters you'd overlook that fact. All these testifies how well executed is the movie, walking the trampolines between film elements of horror and family-fun. Release in 1993, before even the release of Pixar's first feature film, the animation should prove to be one of the freshest animated pictures ever to have shown on the big screen at that time.
I do believe, however, that the film lost a bit of its momentum as the climax kicks off, as if Burton couldn't conceive of the best way to end. Why should the villain begin mutiny? What got Jack enamored with Sally? Didn't it feel forced? What was with Santa Claus' inexplicable act of gratitude and kindness towards the village he abominates, raining snow over the land just after he censured the kidnappers for their diabolical act?
But regardless of some unexplained storylines and an average climax, you guys should be watching this film just in case you get bored of watching the same genre all over and over. Here's something new, even after 23 years since release.
If you look carefully you can see the craft and effort made in this film, which is something I can appreciate, sing and watch as halloween and Christmas meet in a movie you can see on both holidays and feels okay.
I am not someone who celebrates Halloween, but I was curious in watching this film because it is a stop-motion animated film, and I do appreciate and like some horror-themed movies.
The story in this movie was created by Tim Burton, who definitely has shown to have a unique style in production design in other films such as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Edward Scissorhands". Although he did not direct this movie (Henry Selick did), the animation style and scenery strongly resembles that of Tim Burton's films. The animation might be the strongest aspect of the film, as it is very imaginative and fittingly creepy for the Halloween town, as well as quite cheerful for the Christmas village.
The story was very decent, and the songs were creative (the movie is also a musical). I liked how Jack Skellington is fascinated by Christmas and puts in a lot of effort in trying to learn more about the holiday, which is most notably explored in a song he sings. The actor singing for Jack is actually music composer Danny Elfman (he composed the themes for "Spider-Man" and Tim Burton's "Batman"), and he sings very well and enthusiastically. Maybe my least favorite song was the one sung by the three devilish-kids, because for that song, the story went back to more strong Halloween themes, and those kids were uncomfortably creepy-looking! That's not to say I don't like being frightened. At least the opening song at the start of the film, while also being very Halloween-themed, had the ability to introduce the viewers to this very creative stop-motion world.
The scenes that I looked forward most to, and met with moderately satisfied expectations, were the scenes with the character Oogie Boogie. He is basically a form of the boogieman, like he says in his introductory song. He is capable of doing some very creepy actions and killing different forms of life, but I feel like his character could have been more developed, such as finding out a certain motivation (or lack thereof) because I think he has a lot of potential.
While the film is very impressive on an artistic standpoint, it does have some pacing issues. Near the end, at about half an hour left, I felt that the pacing was really dragging. It was interesting to see Jack Skellington try to find out more about Christmas, but when it blends the two holidays in the film, it feels uncomfortably long.
Ultimately, this film would be for fans of Halloween, because the world is very imaginative and creative, and not for those who don't like being creeped out. If you also like Tim Burton's strangely appealing macabre-style scenery designs, you would probably also like this movie. For me, this movie is a very interesting watch, and good in its own right because of the story and animation.
Poor Jack Skellington, he's celebrating the wrong holiday; Halloween town discovers Christmas but they just don't get the concept. Entertaining, visually dazzling stop-motion animated feature (with a love story that somehow never kicks off) has an unbelievable amount of imagination and creativity to make you forgive its story lags. Appealing character designs and some very catchy tunes too boot. Danny Elfman supplys the voice for Jack Skellington and wrote the music.
Meet Jack Skellington. Though he is not the mayor of Halloweentown, he has a huge influence over the inhabitants as he practically runs Halloween. Something is missing in his life though, and nobody can understand this except for Sally, a woman held together by stitches who is basically a slave to her creator. When Jack comes across Christmastown by mistake it gives him a sense of great wonder and hope. Sadly, when he tries to explain his feeling of warmth and happiness this world has created for him, the inhabitants of Halloweentown are only interested in whether the holiday Christmas has any scary aspects.
The premise is very unique and sends a good message to children. However, while the story may be intriguing the dialogue seems to be simplified in order to target the attention span of children whereas good family films would challenge children to grasp dialogue with intentions that do not involve moving the plot forward or dialogue with vocabulary that is challenging to them. The way conversations or dialogue is handled in this film is slightly better than dialogue in The Polar Express (which isn't saying much).
The art direction of the film is not for everyone, but while it is dark it is not creepy enough to scare children easily. Well, maybe very little children, but certain characters like Jack or the goofy mayor with two faces keep children distracted from the gothic style of the movie.
The best aspect of The Nightmare Before Christmas by far is the music. Each musical number is given great attention by Danny Elfman and the other writers and proves to be a very effective story-telling device within the film. If there's anything the audience will remember walking out of the film it would undoubtedly be either Jack's sad song about lacking meaning in his life, or the very upbeat and popular "What's This?"
This isn't your typical family film, but it has redeeming qualities and proves to be a very good musical.