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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
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Review Date: October 17, 2006
Director: Henry Selick
Writer: Caroline Thompson
Producers: Tim Burton and Denise DiNovi
Actors:
Danny Elfman as Jack Skellington (sing)
Chris Sarandon as Jack Skellington
William Hickey as Dr. Finklestein
Paul Reubens as Lock
Plot:
Jack Skellington, is the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. Every year, he demonstrates his delicious capacity to deliver scares and frights to the entire town's grotesque population, but this year, he has run bored with his annual routine. He sets out to find something different, and does in the town of Christmas. The lights, the joy, the happiness of this town burn the dimmed light within Jack's head, and lead him to attempt a Christmas parade of his own in Halloween Town. The consequences of this blending of the holidays leads to various misinterpretations, excitement, harmonies and hilarity.
Critique:
Note: This review was written on October 24th, 1998 and is not a review of the new 2006 3-D version of the film, but rather the original version.

Wonderfully dark and moody children's Halloween tale that gently stirs all of the required elements of humour, musical charisma, children's imagination and amazing special effects in a successful simmering pot of entertainment. This film is filled with many wonderful images and sounds from the wildly imaginative mind of Tim Burton, the man behind the original BATMAN and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. The story is as original as any one that I've ever seen for Halloween, and moves along at an excited pace through its short running time of only 76 minutes.

The special effects are stunningly coordinated and surpass any Disney animated films that I have ever seen. After a few minutes of staring at these characters in awing disbelief, I completely fell under their spell and in love with the personas. The musical numbers are easy to understand and hummingly addictive (The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Album for Children), while the dark and moody atmosphere created in Halloween Town (Dali and Gaudi would be proud!), is equated only by the cheery and charming ambience of Christmas Town.

There are elements of other Halloween tales intertwined in this masterpiece, along with a little GRINCH WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS, but overall, this story is truly original, and gave me a truer appreciation of both seasons involved. Of course, Halloween has always been my favourite holiday of the year by a long shot, but don't let that bias sway your vote. This film should capture anyone's dormant imagination, with its wild visuals, upbeat musical renditions, sharp and exact imagery, and creative story. See this one with your kids, if you have any...if you don't, rent some for the weekend, it's worth it!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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