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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect edition of this film, except ...
So, for the holidays, I decided to buy some of my favorite seasonal films, and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was on my list. I like eye-candy, and thus I like Tim Burton. But I'm not reviewing the film so much as this version of it. This is a special, widescreen edition that includes: an original trailer, a "making of", "Vincent,"...
Published on Dec 24 2000 by R. Byrd

2.0 out of 5 stars DVD defective. Took a lot of polishing to view.
Film itself is a 5 star. Disc (new) arrived packeged well BUT did not play properly. Refused to play in two different places. Was able to polish out the first start dvd again then hit a second. Again lots of polishing to get it to play. I do not appreciate getting new DVDs in this condition.
Published 20 months ago by B. Beck

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect edition of this film, except ..., Dec 24 2000
R. Byrd "byrdie" (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
So, for the holidays, I decided to buy some of my favorite seasonal films, and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was on my list. I like eye-candy, and thus I like Tim Burton. But I'm not reviewing the film so much as this version of it. This is a special, widescreen edition that includes: an original trailer, a "making of", "Vincent," narrated by Vincent Price, and "Frankenweenie".
What it *doesn't* include, however, is the ending I saw in the theater. This version ends with the song near a pumpkin patch (as I clumsily try not to spoil the film for anyone who hasn't already seen it), and not the closing narration. Okay, so I'm picky. I thought I was getting the entire film, and I didn't. The closing narration wasn't long or even, to my mind, boring. Granted, it probably wasn't necessary either, but then, how was including "Frankenweenie" necessary?
It's a wonderful movie and a really cool edition considering what all you get in it. However, if you intended to get the *complete* film that you may have seen in the theaters, you may want to hunt around for a different version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding, July 1 2004
This movie is beyond enchanting, delving into the realms of spellbinding. I never thought that an animated film could be so stunning with its cinematography mixed with the music. That's the amazing beauty of Tim Burton's world: it's filled with contrasts. In particular is Sally (voiced by the Canadian goddess Catherine O'Hara) the ragdoll who externally is not the most beautiful thing with her stitchings and patched clothes, but internally she is pure and filled with love for Jack. Even her singing (again Catherine) sounds like an innocent child, straight tone (no vibrato) and a flowing, velvet soprano.
The world of Halloweentown is dark, but filled with beauty and rich melodies straining through (by the genius Danny Elfman). The construction of the film is so perfect making Halloweentown filled with browns and blacks whereas Christmastown is bright and cheerful, joyful as we expect Christmas to be and the real world is somewhere in between. All of it pulls together beautifully to create a timeless story and the most magnificently filmed ending with Sally and Jack in the snow.
Just proves the genius of the film makers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puppet film with ghoulish atmosphere and valuable lessons..., April 25 2004
Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king, is the Halloween planner for Halloweentown and after another successfully Halloween that was scarier that ever he drifts off in melancholy. Jack seems to have found himself in a brainy predicament as he tries to find reason in what he does and why he exists. In contemplation Jack stumbles through a deep forest until he discovers an opening in the woods where there are a number of secret doors that lead to all the different holidays. Jack decides to peek behind the door with the Christmas tree, but a strong wind pulls him in and he falls into a Christmas Town. Flabbergasted Jack learns about this new and strange holiday as he is amazed about the peculiar traditions of Christmas Town and its leader, Santa Claus. As Jack returns to Halloweentown he informs the citizens about Christmas Town and its scary leader, which leads him to want to give the people a Halloween styled Christmas, but there seems to be some dangers to this undertaking.
Nightmare Before Christmas is a wonderful story written by Tim Burton where misinterpretations and errors lead to admirable traits such as courage, forgiveness, and love. However, the story is told in a macabre environment where characteristics are most often forgotten. Despite the ghoulish atmosphere there is always a need for love and affection, and this punches through the true need for these traits. Henry Selick does a very good job as he directs this puppet feature as it offers many thoughts and ideas for an audience to ponder, which leaves them with a very good cinematic experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic, May 6 2001
I remember seeing this back in '93. It was the late showing and I was the only one in the theater, a very cool way to see this film for the first time. The Nightmare Before Christmas showcases two of Tim Burton's trademark influences: German expressionist films and stop-motion animation. The dark, foreboding sets, high-contrast lighting, and stark angles of The Nightmare Before Christmas harken back to German films of the silent era, such as Nosferatu and The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari. Burton has employed stop-motion animation in several of his earlier films, such as Beetlejuice (by the way, if you look closely in one particular scene, you can see Jack Skellington's head atop Michael Keaton's carousel hat). The Nightmare Before Christmas follows the animated movie tradition of using music and songs to progress the story. Naturally, being a Tim Burton movie, the songs are provided by his frequent collaborator, Danny Elfman. The music and the visuals are inseparable. The wonderful songs breath life into characters who are at home with their dark, sinister nature. Anyone can enjoy Danny Elfman's music, which is easily the best you'll ever hear in an animated musical. The voice talent for The Nightmare Before Christmas is a splendid bunch, drawing from the stable of Tim Burton regulars and improvisational comedy geniuses. Children will be able to grasp the story with little difficulty, and most will be able to grasp that these characters are not at all scary.
The original DVD release, while it contained an excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an exemplary video transfer, albeit non-anamorphic, had a dismal lack of extras. It's these extras that make the new DVD worth buying. First up, you get a commentary track with director Henry Selick and director of photography Pete Kozachik. A twenty-five minute documentary highlights the making of the film. Several deleted storyboarded or fully animated sequences are presented. A thorough concept art gallery presents the design work of Tim Burton and the storyboard artists. Two theatrical trailers are included - one is a "teaser" that presents the project as the brainchild of Tim Burton (who was riding high after the success of Batman and Edward Scissorhands), while the other is a more standard theatrical trailer. Also included are his first directorial efforts, the short films Vincent and Frankenweenie. He directed both shorts prior to directing Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Frankenweenie received a video release around the time of Batman Returns, but has been unavailable for many years. This is the first time either film has been available on DVD, and it will probably be the last. If that isn't reason enough to buy this disc, well, nothing will convince you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Endearing in a creepy way, May 29 2004
David Bonesteel (Fresno, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, dissatisfied with his lot in life, decides to take over Christmas in order to bring shrieks of joy rather than terror to the people of the world. He enlists the twisted denizens of his domain in his cause and it is rather touching to see their inadequate but sincere attempts to understand what brings delight to ordinary people. As part of the plan, Santa is kidnapped, and the evil Oogie Boogie takes advantage of the situation to attempt a take-over of Halloweentown for himself.
This is a very amusing story told through the vanishing art of stop-motion animation. The visuals are eye-popping, and I fervently hope that director Henry Selick and others will keep the form alive in the face of the onslaught of computer animation. Danny Elfman's music is enchantingly sweet and catchy, but always a bit creepy and off-kilter as well--perfect for the material. This world bears the unmistakable mark of producer/co-writer Tim Burton's unique imagination. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic in every sense., May 19 2004
The Nightmare Before Christmas is nearly 11 years old.  Eleven years!  When I realized that fact, my jaw dropped so hard and so fast that I put a nice dent in my hardwood floors.  I assume this Special Edition DVD was released as a 10th Anniversary edition, but I can't recall ever hearing anything of the sort.
The Nightmare Before Christmas follows the story of Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween.  Jack has grown tired of the Halloween routine, year after year, and wishes for something new.  His wish is granted as he finds his way to Christmas Town.  Jack is instantly captivated by Christmas and embarks on a journey to do it himself, complete with "Sandy Claws" costume.
Our heroine, Sally, is a animated ragdoll that was created by the cynical and jealous Professor Farnsworth.  Sally is desperately in love with Jack but is convinced that they will never be together.  One night she sees a vision that Jack's Christmas will be a disaster and tries to stop him, to no avail.
The star of this movie are none of the characters; the star is the incredible stop-motion animation that hasn't aged a day of it's 11 years.  You can watch the film as probably intended, as a whimsical fantasy and love story and enjoy it thoroughly.  You can also watch it as an amazing work of art and study the handicraft and work that went in to each of the scenes (24 separate posed frames for each single second of film). 
The extras included on this edition of the DVD are rather pleasing.  There is one "Making Of" documentary that is nearly 30 minutes long, dozens of character and set designs, amusing test shots of early character models and the normal trailers that you get with any disc.  The real bonus is the inclusion Tim Burton's early films "Vincent" and "Frankenweenie".  "Vincent" is a very short poetic tale about a boy who believes he is Vincent Price (being narrated by the man himself is icing on the cake).  This is done in the stop-motion animation style of Nightmare.  The second film, "Frankenweenie" is over 30 minutes of live action.  It stars Daniel Stern and Barrett Oliver (Bastian from The Neverending Story) as his son who brings his dead dog back to life after seeing an experiment in his Biology class.  These two short films are as entertaining and funny as Nightmare itself.
In short, this DVD edition of The Nightmare Before Christmas is well worth your money.  Even if you've never seen the film.  Even if you already own the VHS.  Even if you've seen it 100 times.  (...)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best animated musical ever?, March 17 2004
R Jess "Raymond Jess" (Limerick, Ireland.) - See all my reviews
Stop-motion animation may be the most pain-stakingly labourious art-form around, but its effects can be quite enchanting. In 'Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas', the 3-dimensional puppets give a vibrant live-action look that would somehow be missing from run-of-the-mill 2-D cartoon drwawings.
The original inspiration for the film came from a poem that Burton had wrote while working for Disney in the early 80's. He was originally going to use it as a narration to a short animation feature he was going to make in the style of his early films such as 'Vincent and 'Frankenweenie'. After he left Disney, the company kept the copyright. Then came the enormous success of Burton's first 3 movies and suddenly Disney became interested again. Although the theme of the story is a little darker than the usual Disney fare, with Tim Burton's name in the title they were willing to take the risk.
Halloweentown is a fantastical space in which all the grotesque characters inhabit a culture where it's okay to be different, messed up and miserable. A Burtonesque utopia if you will. Although Burton's name lies above the title, the two biggest creative minds behind the project were director Harry Selick and composer Danny Elfman. One of Selick's biggest influences in formulating the look of the film was Charles Laughton's 'The Night Of The Hunter' which made such expressive use of lighting. Elfman's songs are a revelation and this without a doubt is the best animated musical I've ever seen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Burton and Elfman's finest, a masterpiece, March 15 2004
Though he did not direct, this is Tim Burton's movie. And Danny Elfman's as well. It is based on the stories and characters of Burton, and it truly comes alive through Elfman's music.
It is a dark and twisted tale of a world where every day is Halloween, a world where every holiday has its own domain. Well, what would happen if the dark and scary Halloween world took over and ran the cheerful and bright Christmas world? Tim Burton was born to tell this story. We follow Jack Skellington, his ghost dog Zero, the rag doll Sally, and a number of other largely humorous and colorful supporting characters on a wild ride of seasonal dysfunction.
The special edition DVD also comes with some great bonus features, including deleted scenes (3 storyboard, 4 animated), trailers and posters, plus and possibly the best, two early Burton shorts, "Frankenweenie" and "Vincent" (the latter being in my opinion the best short Burton has ever made). It's great for kids (though I wouldn't recommend maybe for toddlers) and adults alike. The humor is tame enough, yet twisted in its own right. This is a must have to any Burton fan's collection and also a necessary piece to add to a claymation/puppetry/animation library. Great viewing for both holidays!
And trust me, you'll want to buy the special edition for the extras. If only ALL special edition DVDs were this good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What is is about this movie?, Feb. 26 2004
A young skeleton, named Jack, finds himself wanting something more than the same thing over and over again. When he goes on an adventure to find that extra spark he stumbles into something that he has never even imagined...Christmas! Watch Jack as he tries to recreate the holiday that we all love with his Halloween buddies while getting into some trouble and love along the way.
What is it about this movie that brings in goths and children alike? Tim Burton is well known for his darker sense of understanding when it somes to his work that makes him brilliant. Other works, such as "Edward Scissorhands", "Batman", and "Big Fish" bring audiences rolling in to see what he has come up with this time.
This movie has all the sense of a harmless movie, but brings it all into a darker perspective that just grips the soul. Whether it be bright colors, a happy family, or an everyday outting, Tim Burton draws the more odd and darkened shade out of it. With wonderful songs and a cast you can't forget, this is one movie that sucks you in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A New Favorite, Feb. 3 2004
A while back, when I was younger and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was still a fairly new movie (can you believe it's been 10+ years already?) I saw it for the first time on TV. I'd seen the commercials for it when it was in theaters and was excited to see it. The monsters alone made me like it; plus I was a fan of stop-motion, and the idea of an entire movie utilizing it was interesting. I'd also watched one or two documentaries on TV.
However, keep in mind, I was probably only 8 or 9, and I had a hatred for songs in movies. Well, that's what it was; a musical. This was probably only one reason I didn't like it back then. The other might be that I didn't realize just how layered the characters were, so stretches of character development seemed pointless... but I'll get to that later.
Today, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is one of my favorite movies and I need to get to owning it as soon as I have the resources. It's smart, fun, funny, and lovable. I had told my fiance how I had been disappointed when I'd see the movie, but I admitted it had been many, many years and I'd only seen it once. I was willing to give it another try, and when I did, I loved it. I can't get the songs out of my head.
"The Nightmare Before Christmas" takes place in the land of holidays, where each holiday has its own land. In Halloweentown, the citizens of odd assortment have just finished wrapping up another successful year. The song "This is Halloween" is there anthem, and when the denizens say "In our town of Halloween" it really sounds homely, as to them, its their own bustling little community, complete with a mayor, people of all occupations... and the local celebrity, Jack Skellington.
Jack pretty much runs the show for each Halloween. He's the highlight of the event and is adored by all. However, Jack isn't satisfied with his life in Halloween. While he's proud of his accomplishments, he longs for something more than what he's been doing over and over for who knows how many years. Well, Jack stumbles upon a strange forest filled with trees that lead to the other holiday towns. The one he happens to stumble into is Christmastown.
This leads on a journey of discovery and change for Jack, and eventually the other inhabitants of Halloweentown. This is where I didn't understand things as a child, either from not paying attention or who knows what. Jack's initial attempt was to show the others what Christmas meant, as in warmness and giving, as opposed to the usual elements of Halloweentown. As Jack tries and tries to discover how to explain the feeling to the others, he soon loses the meaning himself and decides that Christmas must become part of Halloween. This was no secret to anyone because of the commercials (and title,) but this is what mixed me up as a kid, because it seemed like his intent from the start to make Christmas his own. Instead, there is a wonderfully deep set of sequences revealing that Jack is a warm individual trying to spread what he's discovered onto others.
Along the way, many characters come up, such as the mayor of Halloweentown, the mad scientist, his creation Sally with a longing for Jack, the Boogieman, who's a twisted creation in a world of twisted creations, and even the Easter Bunny!
This movie is a technological achievement due to how much work was put into it, as are the songs. Danny Elfman has created an incredible musical, different from most other Disney songs in that it actually advances the plot and character rather than stopping the show. It's really amazing, and all of the songs are enjoyable and work well.
If there was one complaint I have about the movie, it's the position of Oogie Boogie. While the concept and creation of him is very creative, he isn't built enough. He's glimpsed at in the beginning of the movie, but isn't even mentioned until halfway through, where he's immediately slated as the antagonist (and with still no build.) But this is nitpicking considering how he fits with the story (plus, he has his own catchy song and a cool voice.)
As for whether or not this movie is good for younger kids, it depends on the parents. My fiance's nephew watched this many times when he was two and it never bothered him once, yet his friend's mother pulled his friend out because she said he was sensitive sometimes. To me, kids get sensitive to these things because they aren't exposed to them at a young age, but it's up to the parents. It's rated PG for a reason. But if you're old enough to read this and decide whether or not to see the movie without parental disgretion, choose to see it. If you don't like it once, try again. I did and I don't regret it one bit.
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The Nightmare Before Christmas (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
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