In 1993, stop motion and animation history was made: The Nightmare Before Christmas was released. Combining the super talented efforts of Tim Burton, Danny Elfman and Henry Selick, a whole world of imagination was unearthed. The story is of Halloween town resident Jack Skellington who has become sick of the screams and scaring people. However, during a long walk, he unearths a whole new world of Christmas town and wants to bring the joy and wonder he found there to the creepy town of Halloween. With some memorable songs, Nightmare has become iconic, sparking a whole new cult and a swarm of kids devoted to the film. If you haven't noticed, the film team have spent the whole day honouring this movie. Here, we all come together to celebrate this wonderful film.
It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas was released. I remember seeing it when it was first released and being in absolute awe of it. I, nor any of my friends, had ever seen anything like it before and it's been a favourite of mine ever since. It was the first Tim Burton film I was allowed to watch (granted I was about 7 at the time). It was what started my interest in Tim Burton films. I'm also pretty sure it was due to The Nightmare Before Christmas that I started really developing an interest in films - I could perhaps credit the film for starting the geekiness in me.
The film was one of the first Halloween stop-motion features to be created. The reception following the initial release was so great that it allowed Tim to experiment and create further stop motion pictures, such as The Corpse Bride. Danny Elfman's soundtrack to the film has become one of the most popular OSTs of all time. Due to the film's success, the film is rereleased annually in theatres, during the Halloween season, and on occasion, during the Christmas season as well.
The Nightmare Before Christmas has created such a "to-do" in modern day culture, that, due to fan demand, Disneyland in California completely refurbishes its Haunted Mansion ride into a Nightmare Before Christmas themed ride for the Christmas season. There are characters you can meet (Sally, Jack and Oogie Boogie) at the parks and numerous souvenirs. Sally and Jack are also popular cosplays amongst Tim Burton fans.
I'm pretty sure the film will remain as popular as it once was (and still is). It was something new and unique at the time, as it introduced us to a new way of film making. It also introduced our generation to a man named Tim Burton and his eccentric, creative mind.
The Nightmare Before Christmas was actually the first 3D film I ever saw. Well, in the new style we have today, as opposed to the old anaglyphic stuff. And as my friend and I took our seats, we were both very heartened to see the screen was full of young children who had been brought by parents or grandparents. The reason we were so happy with so many kids, almost all of whom probably weren't born when the film was first released, being in the audience is simple:The Nightmare Before Christmas is a film your kids need.
It's a film about feeling somewhat alienated within your own world only to then be brought to life by the exciting discovery of something new. Seriously,What’s This? is almost perfect at capturing the giddy thrill of new discovery. And the visuals are just gorgeous, from the superb animation, to the incredibly creative worlds that the characters inhabit. It's a genuinely beautiful thing to look at.
And just look at the characters and what they go through. Joy, sadness, terror, despair, exhilaration, love… there is a huge spectrum of emotion in this film and it would be a loss not to have it in your life when it can come to mean so much. And, perhaps more importantly, it lets kids know that it's okay to be different or a little weird. Rarely does this message reach young audiences, and if it can be done in a way so joyous, then all the better for it.
So The Nightmare Before Christmas celebrates its twentieth anniversary. God that makes me feel old! But I don't feel old when I put my favourite film on.
Like the films main character, Jack Skellington on seeing Christmas Town for the first time, my face lights up, my eyes widen and nothing can stop the huge grin from spreading across my face. After twenty years the films has not lost none of its magic for me. Nightmare is a film that I can watch in any mood because it will always make me fell like an excited child. Its a rare film that truly pulls the audience into another world. From the scary delights of Halloween Town to the festive magic of Christmas Town its such an amazing film.
The music its easily my favourite soundtrack. Danny Elfman out did himself with this one. With songs that are well written and piongiant while still being playful and fun. Its not officially October until I've sung 'This is Halloween' to the top of my lungs
Nightmare also has the best selection of characters. Jacks, Sally, Zero, Santa and of course the films villain Oogie Boogie. They all go on such a journey through the film. Jack's attempt to take over Christmas although misguided reignites he love for Halloween. Even Santa claus himself can't be made at him. Sally finds freedon and love while Oogie getsa his cumuppance. But even Oogie isn't really a bad guy, he's just mischievous.
For me it holds images that will always stay with me for a lifetime. Jack Skellington singing on top of a curly hill with his faithful ghost dog Zero still melts my heart. Then mirrored in the films perfect close is ragdoll Sally sitting on the same, now snow covered hill. Jack approaches his dearest friend and confesses his love for her. The pair kiss while Zero flies into the sky morphing into the North Christmas star.
But lets face it, we always knew there was something special about that dog.
I really don’t like Tim Burton. Save his first few films, I think he’s possibly one of the most boring people in the film industry. He’s so repetitive, every film he makes, whether it be light hearted or dark and Gothic, feels exactly the same. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got some fantastic films under his belt: Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and my favourite Ed Wood. Not to mention Batman and it’s slightly underwhelming sequel. But everything after that is just a shambles. So you can imagine my shock to find that Burton was the producer of one of the greatest Christmas/Halloween (You decide) films of all time.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a timeless film; the film is 20 years old and I bet another 20 years from now it’ll still be loved greatly by everyone. In the Jone, household, if this film is on TV, nothing else matters! And the only thing I dislike about it is that due to the Halloween/Christmas themes, it’s only on like twice a year. If I owned it, I’d probably end up watching it once a month.
The animation of the film is beautiful; Henry Selick does a wonderful job. Also, the voice acting is top notch. But do you know what’s remarkable about that? The animated films that have the best voice acting always have big stars. Mike Myers was in Shrek, Tom Hanks was in Toy Story and even the delightful Sarah Silverman in Wreck It-Ralph. I know this is a different kind of animation, but I still make the point that there isn’t anyone too popular in the film, bar Catherine O’Hara, who you’ll remember as the mother from the Home Alone films (You know....the one that loses her kid TWICE).
The Nightmare Before Christmas is an absolutely magical and one that I hope to show my children one day.
I can't really remember a time when this film wasn't a part of a regular routine. Even though it was supposed to be a holiday film, I remember it being a great feature of my life, spilling off to screen and into other moments. There was my fathers school's stage adaptation of it, with a brilliant Oogie Boogie I might add, there was singing throughout the streets of Manchester with friends after a 3D viewing, and Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise marked a new year working at Disney. It is safe to say that Halloween blood runs through my veins.
You just have to look around my humble abode to see it, merchandise of every kind somewhere in each different room of the room and the soundtrack constantly on my phone. I can't really speak more than what the other writers have above me but what I can tell you is that the movie sparks so much imagination and good. Jack is such an inspirational character even if he is the Pumpkin King. He teaches you that one day in your life, you are going to be bored and things aren't going to feel right. And he goes after something he is passionate about, this being Christmas. And although, he doesn't succeed, what he does is learn from it and it sparks his love for Halloween again. It's like a big mid life crisis but the main thing is that Jack strives so much and gives so much into every task he takes on. And when he has this good feeling, what does he want to do? He wants to share it with everyone he cares about. What better message is there than that?
I can't believe its twenty years old and not because I realise how old I'm getting, but because of how incredible it is. In 2013, I see knew fans and new generations spellbound by this movie. The animation is still hot and the music, I mean, what makes you feel more at Christmas than someone discovering it for the first time? It brings the back these amazing memories. Visually and musically, it is just a breathtaking movie. Nightmare Before Christmas will live on.
And for that, we say thank you, Mr Burton, thank you.
Check out our Nightmarish pieces on thefilm, the director and the composer!