I feel honoured to cover The Nightmare Before Christmas as a review for the 20th anniversary of the film. In my eyes, it truly is the best Halloween film around, for both adults and kids alike.
Now I know what you are thinking: adults? Where’s the horror? The blood and guts? The murderous psychopaths, the trick or treating? The masked villains, witches, vampires, mummies, werewolves?
So, it is an animated film, and its primary audience is children. But I know for a fact that many adults secretly (Ed: or not so secretly as you'll find out...) love the film and don’t just stick it on for their child’s enjoyment, and there are many reasons as to why, one of them being the plot.
The film is based in fictional Halloween Town, where Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon and sung by Danny Elfman) is the Pumpkin King, and in charge of running Halloween. However, he becomes bored of doing the same old thing each year, and, after stumbling into Christmas Town, he decides that he will take over Christmas in order to fill the emptiness that has taken over him. He gets all of the townspeople, vampires, bats, ghouls, goblins, and all the other monsters you see in your nightmares, to help him do it. . Meanwhile the best trick-or-treaters in town have kidnapped Santa Claus and sent to the evil lair of Oogie Boogie. Can Jack pull off the Christmas he wanted or will this all become a nightmare...?
But it’s not just the storyline that is superb. As with all Tim Burton animated films, the animation side of the film is first rate. Considering it was made in 1993, the animation industry has come on in leaps and bounds since, with no motion capture, 3-D or Open Source Software, and it was still three years later before the first CGI feature-length animation was created (Toy Story). And yet, despite all of this, the animation is still amazing. The film makers are not trying to make the characters seem like they are real, and so the animation gives these fictional characters a fictional look which is hard to explain. Animation like this would have been hard to achieve back in 1993.
I consider it a crime that the film has not won any Oscars, Academy Awards or Golden Globes. It deserves such a higher standing than it has and more credit than it has received. It my eyes The Nightmare Before Christmas is the best Halloween film of all, and to celebrate 20 years since its creation, I have a feeling I will watch it many more times before the year is out.
LONG LIVE THE PUMPKIN KING!
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