Story and Characters by Tim Burton
Directed by Henry Selick
Voices by Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens
I am a rabid The Nightmare Before Christmas fan. I have been since the film came out in 1993. I have more watches, jewelry, statues, plushes, dolls, and other memorabilia than I could list here. So, you know I am excited for this new release from Walt Disney Home Entertainment, right?
Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon/Danny Elfman) is your typical Halloween ghoul, well in this case, a skeleton, elegantly dressed in a nifty pinstriped tuxedo. He does a great job at Halloween, but soon it seems that the everyday life of a ghoul is getting him down. He doesn’t feel challenged, special or appreciated.
His fellow “co-workers” try to tell him he is doing a great job and that he should feel proud, but Jack is downhearted. Until one day, he winds up in an enchanted forest. In this forest, the trees are gateways into other holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and others. Jack is temped by Christmas after visiting the holiday. Jack is confident that he can bring something special to the holiday and returns to Halloweentown to convince the residents to do “Christmas” this year instead of Halloween.
After meeting with the Mayor and others, Jack puts into motion a plan to take over Christmas. After kidnapping “Sandy Claws”, Jack can bring into fruition all of his plans for Christmas. But, what are the children and parents going to do when everything Christmas suddenly turn dark, macabre and scary?
But, there is another ghoul who wants his piece of everything merry and joyful. Oogie (Ken Page) has his own ideas about Sandy Claws and candy canes.
There is also another story to be told in this wonderful film. Dr. Finklestein (William Hickey) has created a girl to be his companion and servant: Sally (Catherine O’Hara). After meeting Jack and seeing the amazing and creative world in which he inhabits, she would love to be with him. But, her maker has other plans. So, Sally sets forth to poison him so she can be free. What seems sinister and dark on the surface actually is funny and surprisingly poignant at the same time.
How does Jack’s version of the holiday turn out? Will Sally ever get to be with Jack?
What can I say about this film that you don’t already know? Every frame of this film is exquisite and the music and songs are fantastic. The character design and art direction is nothing less than spectacular and Tim Burton fans will absolutely melt with delight that his unique vision was captured so brilliantly. The voice work by all is first rate, the story is poignant and entertaining and Burton and Selick have created a truly one of kind film with a very distinct atmosphere.
This film is a true delight that will charm you from your head to your toes. Is it a Christmas film or a Halloween film? I will let you make that decision.
Picking up this film is a no-brainer for fans of this film or of Tim Burton or Henry Selick. But, if you have never experienced this film, this is the edition to own.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collectors Edition (2 Disc with bonus Digital Copy disc) is presented in widescreen. This film looks amazing. There is a stunning amount of clarity to the image, the colors are vibrant and I did not notice any instances of grain or artifacts. This is a first rate transfer of this fantastic film.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collectors Edition (2 Disc with bonus Digital Copy disc) is presented in DTS 5.1. The songs sound wonderful and every word of dialogue is clear and easily understood. There are also French and Spanish language tracks with subtitles in English, French and Spanish as well.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collectors Edition (2 Disc with bonus Digital Copy disc) is presented in a very unique shadow-box packaging that has a 3-D image of Jack’s charming face. While this is very cool, it does make the box thicker than the average multi-disc case so this is going to take up more room on the shelf.
There are tons of treats on this release. A new commentary with Tim Burton, Henry Selick and Danny Elfman is offered and is a very worthwhile listen. Two “uncut”short films by Burton with introductions by Burton: Frankenweenie and Vincent.
Also offered is “What’s This? Jack’s Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour”, a 30 minute behind the scenes featurette entitled “The Making of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”.
There are three deleted storyboards with commentary, original trailers, four deleted scenes, a storyboard to film comparison, an artwork and animation gallery and animation tests by Selick with commentary by Selick. There is also a 3rd disc with a Digital copy of the film.
A fantastic assortment of bonus features to accompany this amazing film.
Overall (Not an Average) 9.5/10
The Series 10/10
The Video 9/10
The Audio 8.5/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 10/10
Overall (Not an Average) 9.5/10