on December 17, 2012
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.
on December 24, 2000
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.
on 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.
Only Tim Burton could produce a holiday musical about Halloween's grotesqueries taking over Christmas.
And in fact he did. Burton wrote and produced a charming stop-motion musical called "The Nightmare Before Christmas," which is as close as we'll ever get to a Burton Christmas film. And there's rarely a dull moment in this town called Halloween -- from start to finish, it's a quirky, macabre, vintage-flavoured ride through the darker side of everybody's favorite holidays.
In Halloween Town, the undead Jack Skellington is king, and each Halloween the residents try to make their celebration even more horrible than the year before.
But this year, something is missing for Jack, and he starts wondering if scaring people is all his life has. He ends up wandering into a sort of holiday junction, and finds a portal to Christmas Town -- it's full of snow, lights, presents and innocent fun. Jack is instantly enamoured of Christmas, and decides that for this year, the residents of Halloween Town are going to celebrate Christmas.
He manages to convince the other Halloween residents -- except the sweet rag-doll Sally -- to go along with his plan. So Halloween Town is redecorated and filled with presents (in a suitably ghastly style) and "Sandy Claws" is abducted so Jack can take his place. But are the people of Halloween Town just not suited to innocent merriment, and can the Pumpkin King fill the capacious red suit when Christmas Eve rolls around?
The idea of Halloween ghouls and spooks deciding to take over Christmas sounds terribly twee in concept, like a gimmicky children's book. Fortunately Tim Burton's darkly humorous sense of humor and delightfully gothic designs -- as well as Henry Selick's brilliant direction -- end up turning the movie into something that is more than just another kid's movie. Think a Burtonesque "Princess Bride."
Much of its charm comes from the richness of Burton's visuals -- his Halloween Town is saturated in spiky iron fences, ghost dogs, insects, mad scientists, and a spooky cloudy night that never ends. And though the inhabitants of Halloween Town are devoted to being grotesque and spooky, there's a lighthearted benevolence in their actions at all times. It almost makes Christmas Town look... dull.
But it's also an incredibly funny, sweet little movie, with plenty of heart. There's an adorable little love story between Jack and Sally ("My dearest friend, if you don't mind..."), despite Jack's total cluelessness. And Burton weaves in lots of solid musical numbers ("There's children throwing snowballs/instead of throwing heads/they're busy building toys/and absolutely no one's dead!").
But the crown jewel is Burton's macabre sense of humor. Hardly a scene goes by without a creepy gag (one child's present is a shrunken head) or clever dialogue ("Jack, please, I'm only an elected official here. I can't make decisions by myself!"). But the best humor comes from the Halloween-town's residents eagerly trying to be festive, and only making Christmas even creepier than Halloween ever could be.
For a skeleton puppet, Jack Skellington is a pretty adorable hero -- he's earnest, generous, but suffers from a bit of ennui from the same old performance every year. His meditative songs about Halloween and his attempts at Christmas add an introspective note to him as well. And he's backed by a bunch of lovable characters, with Sally and the ghost dog Zero at the forefront.
"Nightmare Before Christmas" is a macabre, wildly adorable little movie that reminds us why we love Halloween (besides the candy). Sometimes the dark and fun go hand in hand.
on July 6, 2014
This is a REGION "B" Blu Ray... which means it will NOT play on any players in NORTH AMERICA. The NAGIRY company is based in Germany so I'm sure most of their DVD/Blu Ray selection will have similar issues.
on 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.
on 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.
on July 31, 2011
Purchased this movie for my five year old Grand Daughter who had previously seen it on TV. This movie by Tim Burton is very well done and entertaining. I thought at first that she would be afraid of it but she absolutely loves it. The music that accompanies the movie is excellent. I may have to buy another copy of the movie before she wears this one out. The movies plot was well thought out, who would have thought that combining Halloween with Christmas would be so entertaining. Excellent movie.
The Nightmare Before Christmas centers around the character of Jack Skellington. Skellington is well-known in his world of Halloweentown. However, he wants to do something different for the tradition of Halloweentown and has an idea to try to take on the role of Santa Claus. Skellington manages to use his leadership skills to convince other Halloweentown residents such as rag doll Sally and the Mayor of Halloweentown to help him with his plans for Christmastown. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a comical family movie filled with a little bit of dark humor. For this aspiring writer/scriptwriter I also saw character development around what can happen if a person may try to do something, even under the best intentions if they were actually wired for something else (i.e. Jack Skellington is made for Halloweentown and actually has a big heart of gold but wants to change up his life by spearheading Christmas traditions). For me, watching The Nightmare Before Christmas is interesting timing because I’m in the process of deciding between two long-term career goals that may affect how my life turns out in the 2030’s when I’m in my 50’s (one is filled with more excitement, higher pay comparable to what I had while in the U.S. navy for repaying my student loans, and opportunities to work anywhere even within the company I currently work at but the only catch is that it would require more schooling, entry into the field is more exclusive/competitive, and/or may or may not fit with what my soul’s natural gifts are while the other idea seems to fit with my soul’s makeup and is more wide open with less barrier to entry,but does not seem as exciting, higher pay in the long-term is not guaranteed for repaying my student loans, and less job stability/job security). Anyhow, the film The Nightmare Before Christmas is also one of those type of movies that actually leaves you smiling and feeling uplifted after watching it even with the setting being Halloweentown and the animation that comes with the film.
on December 25, 2014
One of my teenage years' favorite movies... and it just grew that much more on me as the years went on.
This is one close to perfection film, and much has been said about it, written, filmed or else, so there's little new I can tell you about the classic it has become.
Although I can say I bought the VHS waaaay back in 1993 when it first came out and it wasn't a hit back then. It grew into the cult classic it now stands for, yet classic doesn't mean "money maker", so its final box office was $75 million, which wasn't considered much of a BIG success even back in the days, but it didn't matter.
The colors, animation, designs, direction, voice acting, all brought in their special charms to help make this film a very special masterpiece... and people always said "it's a Tim Burton film"... but the director IS Henry Selick, whom went on to direct ParaNorman and Coraline.
Let's hope less people attribute the direction to Burton and give credit where credit's due.