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003797Reviews & Counting
The Nightmare Before Christmas
BLU-RAY disk
09.15.2011 By: Stephanie Cooke
The Nightmare Before Christmas order download
Henry Selick

Chris Sarandon
Catherine OíHara
Danny Elfman


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When the king of Halloweentown, Jack Skellington, gets bored of his job preparing for Halloween every year, he discovers Christmas Town and is inspired to take control of Christmas season for a change.
The opening to THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS is one my favourite starts to any movie ever. The little rhyme that starts off the whole thing is brilliant and leads right into the first song of the film ďThis is HalloweenĒ:

"'Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place that perhaps you've seen in your dreams. For the story that you are about to be told, took place in the holiday worlds of old. Now, you've probably wondered where holidays come from. If you haven't, I'd say it's time you begun."

I canít think of a more interesting premise for a movie than what Tim Burton came up with for this. Where do holidays come from? This stop motion animated cult classic puts a fun spin on how we get our holidays. Creatures designed just to be frightening to us and to give us nightmares, but the other 364 days of the year, are just hard-working citizens of their very own Halloweentown.

Growing up, I was never allowed to watch this film at homeÖ donít ask me why, it was just the way it was. So you can imagine that when I got a job, my own TV and a swanky job at a video store, one of the first things that I picked up was a copy of this movie. Iíve seen NBC a good number of times since then, but this was the first time watching it on Blu-ray. What a fantastic transfer of the film! Even with everything being that much more defined, NBC still manages to look stunning and intricate and itís almost like you can see the blood, sweat and tears that went into the making of the film. I mean, NBC was such a unique experience; the creators of the film needed over 400 interchangeable heads to animate Jack Skellington! That kind of dedication to a film is so rare these days with everything just being done on a computer. Even the concept sketches for the characters were done uniquely with each person working on the project being asked to come up with designs by drawing with their non-drawing hand.

Even the fact that itís a musical film doesnít take away from how incredibly amazing this movie is. The music isnít there just for the sake of being there; each song has its place and perfectly intertwines with the film. Plus the animation also doesnít take away from the movie being relatable; who can say that they havenít felt overwhelmed by routine and wanted something more and different?
Whatís This? Jackís Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour: This takes viewers through what the Haunted Mansion looks like when Jack Skellington takes over from October-January. The Mansion is all decked out in NBC Christmas decorations and if you choose to watch this feature with trivia on, fun facts pop up about the ride that arenít otherwise included.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Original Poem: A really swell special feature where Tim Burton briefly talks about the inspiration for the film and how it all started off initially as a poem. The poem is narrated by Christopher Lee and is accompanied by Tim Burtonís original illustrations depicting characters and ideas he had for NBC.

Frankenweenie with new introduction by Tim Burton: The original short story by Tim Burton that is the inspiration for an upcoming full-length feature. Done in black and white, the movie is a bit silly and hokey, but itís a lot of fun and an interesting twist on the story of Frankenstein.

Vincent: If you havenít had a chance to see this awesome black and white short by Tim Burton, you should definitely do so ASAP. Fun, quirky and right up Burtonís alley, Vincent is an awesome addition to the special features for THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

The Making of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: I thoroughly enjoyed this special feature. It goes through how the film came to be and went over mind-boggling information like for each second of the film, at least 24 shots have to be taken just for that one second. It took them a week to film ONE minute of the movie. That is some serious dedication to the craft of filmmaking!

The Worlds of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: This goes over the sets and the characters for each of the worlds depicted in the movie. Itís a pretty neat special feature but also pretty straightforward.

Deleted Scenes: Only a few scenes are included in this feature. I mean, considering all of the work that goes into a stop-motion animated scene, I can imagine that they really wouldnít want to cut out very many of them. Still, the feature is cool and has a few scenes that really add to the movie and make for a fun watch.

Storyboard to Film Comparison: Part of the process of the stop motion animation (and most films in general) is the storyboarding. This takes a look at the final product vs. the frame by frame images that the creators made before setting up all of the animation.

Original Theatrical Trailers and Posters: Well, this one is pretty self-explanatory; trailers for the film along with promotional posters that were used for it.
Is there a movie out there more widely loved then THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS? Itís such a brilliant movie with a fantastically original story and is a one of a kind piece cinematic masterpiece. There are few movies that I could sing higher praises for and Iím not sure if any projects that Burton has been involved with or will be involved with will ever have the same cultural significance as THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
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