Sunday, October 29, 2006

Honourable Mentions: The Nightmare Before Christmas


Whilst I realise that this Tim Burton story, directed by Henry Selick and released in 1993 isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I must admit that I love this movie. I waited a year to see it on the big screen, from its original US release, the film being delayed 12 months before it was released in the UK cinemas and bought the VHS when that was released a year later. It was one of the first Videos I upgraded to DVD. Now-a-days it is a firm holiday favourite in my house, actually the one Christmas movie I can stomach.

The basic story is that Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, is bored by his work – every year the same old frights. In his dejection he finds a set of doorways to other holidays and falls into the Christmas Town doorway.

Mystified and enamoured by what he sees he decides that he will run Christmas, having Santa kidnapped and getting the denizens of Halloween Town to create the Christmas gifts. Of course, as Jack has no idea of the nature of Christmas, it all goes horribly wrong.

Through the film we see the unrequited love felt for him by Sally, the only one who can see that he is making a horrible mistake.

I looked behind the cyclops' eyeThe film is stop-motion animated and a musical, and it is the musical aspects that often put people off this movie. But why, you might ask, the honourable mention? Four of the denizens of Halloween Town are vampires. They have minor roles to play, reporting (when Jack goes missing) that they searched behind the Cyclops’ eye. Also, we see them building toys for Christmas, including a vicious looking duck with bleeding bullet holes.

Note the two types of fangsIt was nice to see that the model makers decided to have both standard side fangs and Nosferatuan front fangs. Their accents, of course, are mock-Transylvanian.

Their role is way too small to suggest that this is, in any way, a vampire movie. However their presence affords this magical film an honourable mention.

What sort of noise is that for a baby to make?The DVD also has the Tim Burton shorts Frankenweenie (1984) and the marvellous Vincent (1983) about a little boy who wants to be Vincent Price.

The film has got a new lease of life, having been re-released in 3D. The 3D film has a homepage here.

The imdb page is here.

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