Projections - Movie Reviews

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The ghoulishly delicious Halloween treat by Tim Burton opens with a lavish effective song and dance number like a 30's Broadway musical.  The quality of the stop motion animation would make Ray Harryhausen envious.

Filled with excitement in a bizarre world where holidays are places, Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, oversees the creation of all the frights and surprises for Halloween.  When he becomes bored with the same holiday, he ventures out and discovers "Christmas Land".  His quick take on the new holiday brings mixed visions of what the treats for Christmas should be.

On his return to Halloween he decides to replace Santa Claus, or as he puts it, Sandy Claws.  The mixture of the two holidays and the wide variety of unique characters makes for a stunning visual and musical adventure.  Jack has a ghost dog, Zero, who looks like the Grinch's dog with a red nose, that glows.  The mayor of Halloween has two faces.  Jack has legs like a long legged spider and his face is like the mask in "The Phantom Of The Opera".

It takes one week to film one minute of this type of film.  This one is not only filmed beautifully, it is masterfully choreographed and lovingly constructed.

Reviewed by: Jim
3-D Release: October 20, 2006  

Tim Burton's story and characters are magically transformed into the 3D realm, a mischievous, macabre delight for audiences who loved his 1993 analog 2D stop-motion animation feature. The groundbreaking work by the producer and director Henry Selick (who did animated sequences for The Life Aquatic) helps make a spooky film quite fun with a funky, state-of-the-art aesthetic. It has to be mentioned that the imagination of Danny Elfman as the singing Jack Skellington and trick-or-treater Barrel with his ebullient ghastly score, led by "What's This" adds to the frightful cheer as Santa is kidnapped for a change of pace by the disinterested Jack, the Pumpkin King. This classic is hip and more upclose for those who really enjoy a haunted house realm with an evil Oogie Boogie, a dog similar to Santa's Rudolph, and a lonely rag doll, Sally (voiced by Catherine O'Hara) who pines for Jack and doesn't want him to upset the holiday cheer. The sights and sounds in this intense digitization process adds up to a bright new makeover viewed in polarized Disney Digital 3D as the clash of Christmas and denizens of Halloweentown is an oddly infectious nightmare with its frog breath and fog juice.

 
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Jim
Howard
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The Nightmare Before Christmas
B+
 
 
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