Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Ken Page, Glenn Shadix
Directed By: Henry Selick
Written By: Caroline Thompson
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 16 min
It’s directed by Henry Selick, Caroline Thompson wrote the screenplay, and Danny Elfman absolutely owns the singing voice of Jack Skellington, as well as the fantastic score and songs, but at the end of the day, it’s Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Two classic holiday movies for the price of one!
The king of Halloween town, Jack, disillusioned after yet another successful year of providing top quality frights on October 31st. Discovers a doorway to Christmas town, and his passion for the festive season runs amok when he decides to give Santa Claus (a.k.a. Sandy Claws) the night off!
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a beautifully animated stop motion classic. Suitable for kids and adults, it’s the perfect film you can watch before either holiday to get the freakish or festive spirits churning. The ghoulish residents of Halloween town look creepy, but they have a certain charm about them. Much like the holiday itself, more candy sweet, than monsters under your bed.
I loved how the characters from Halloween town added their own unique flair to the Christmas holiday. Bats for hats, scary pumpkin jack in the boxes, and the bullet ridden wooden duck is absolute genius! The two-faced mayor, the trick or treaters Lock, Shock and Barrel and the menacingly fun Oogie Boogie (Ken Page). This movie is loaded with one creative gem after another, and it’s the kind of film you should have in your home video collection (plus a backup copy), ready to watch when either holiday arrives.
Even though some of the characters seem pretty ghoulish and scary, I still think this is suitable for younger kids. Older viewers should also enjoy all the creative detail in the sets and character designs, and everyone will love watching these two popular holidays collide. At only 76 minutes long, it’s also a quick fun ride that never gets boring. There is a 3D version of the movie available, but to be honest, I saw this in the theaters back in 2006 when they re-released the film, and I didn’t think it added anything worthwhile.
If a theater were playing this I would suggest you catch that showing. At home, a HD screening on your TV is the way to go. This is a great family film, and should be viewed in a way that the whole family can enjoy together.
My favorite songs are: ‘Poor Jack’, ‘Making Christmas’ and ‘Oogie Boogie’s Song.’