“The Nightmare Before Christmas” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

15 December, 2016

Year of Release: 1993
Director: Henry Selick
Screenwriter: Caroline Thompson
Director of Photography: Pete Kozachik
Cast: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon

Synopsis: Jack Skellington, the appointed ‘Pumpkin King’ of Halloween Town, accidentally stumbles across a beautiful world of joy and celebration on the outskirts of his horrifying home. Mesmerised by the features of the neighbouring Christmas Town, Jack kidnaps Santa Claus and attempts to provide his own take on the festivities.

Nightmare Before Christmas Review:

Coiled around a series of lavish music numbers, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a wonderfully rare delight, unfolding like magic on screen with its simple yet relatable take on fascination and discovery. With songs that are as memorable as they are unique, some cunning and macabre, others moving and lyrical, the film is far greater than the sum of its parts with a sweeping gothic set, beautiful Elfman score, and prancing figures brought to life in the most delicate manner possible.

Although it still feels more like a Halloween movie than a festive treat, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is the result of a genius marketing strategy, allowing it to easily provide for both occasions. The film is a Pandora’s Box of discovery as well as an excuse for a series of misjudged and rather terrifying disasters and it presents of a unique set of characters who all have something peculiar to bring to the table; from the expressive town mayor whose face swivels intermittently between and a smile and a jagged grimace, to the wheelchair-bound Dr. Finkelstein who curls his top lip and prods at his brain while his prisoner makes use of her detachable limbs.

Ensuring that the novelty of claymation never grows old, Selick, Burton, and their various aides sculpt a movie out of layer upon layer of intricate detail and choreography. The static characters pop out of the scenery, rendered even more vibrantly with the addition of 3D as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” captures a level of animated rawness that the computer age has mostly eradicated. It’s a fantastic concept with an even more breath-taking execution, crafted with the love and affection of meticulous animators and filmmakers as both a treat for themselves and for audiences young and old.


Review Date
The Nightmare Before Christmas