|Directed by:||Henry Selick|
|Written by:|| Tim Burton (story)|
Caroline Thompson (screenplay)
Michael McDowell (screenplay)
|Release date:||October 29, 1993|
|Running time:||1 hour, 16 minutes|
|Available on:|| VHS|
Universal Media Disc
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 1993 stop-motion fantasy film, directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton. The genesis of the film started with a poem by Tim Burton as a Disney animator in the early 1980s. With the success of Vincent in 1982, Disney started to consider The Nightmare Before Christmas as either a short subject or 30-minute television special. Over the years, Burton's thoughts regularly returned to the project, and in 1990, Burton and Disney made a development deal. Production started in July 1991 in San Francisco. Walt Disney Pictures decided to release the film under their Touchstone Pictures banner because they thought it would be "too dark and scary for kids". The Nightmare Before Christmas has been viewed with critical and financial success. Disney has reissued the film annually under their Disney Digital 3-D format since 2006.
In a magical place called Halloween Town, all of the town's citizens have gathered to celebrate their holiday and success after terrifying the world. However, Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king and most-acclaimed citizen of the town, a de-facto leader, has become tired of this holiday and no longer sees the point of scaring people. The night after the celebration he takes a long walk through the forest with his ghost dog Zero (who has a glowing pumpkin for a nose), where he finds doorways to other holidays. Intrigued by one showing a bright green tree with decorations, Jack opens the door and falls down a hole leading into Christmas Town. Amazed by the snow, color, and wonder he sees, Jack becomes fascinated with Christmas. Jack returns to Halloween Town and shows the citizens examples of Christmas items. He shows them Christmas trees, stockings, and the whole routine of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The townspeople are excited, but Jack worries they don't fully grasp the concepts he's trying to explain to them. In the crowd is Sally, a ragdoll brought to life by the town scientist Dr. Finklestein. She is secretly in love with Jack and too is awestruck by Christmas, but sees a vision of a burning Christmas tree and worries it is a bad sign. She informs Jack of her vision but he simply shrugs it off his shoulders and goes ahead in his plan.
Jack secludes himself in his lab, leaving the citizens of Halloween Town in troubled thoughts of what Jack is up to and if he's okay, and performs various experiments on Christmas-themed items in an attempt to find a way to explain it to his citizens. Jack's obsession escalates as his experiments fail, and he ultimately comes to the conclusion that not only could he imitate Christmas perfectly, but that he could improve upon it, and announces to the town they are taking over Christmas. Jack rallies the town to begin making Christmas presents, hires Dr. Finklestein to animate skeletal reindeer for a sleigh, and charges Sally with knitting him a red and white Santa coat. As Christmas approaches and both Halloween Town and Christmas Town prepare for Christmas, Jack puts three tricks-or-treaters (Lock, Shock and Barrel) in charge of kidnapping Santa Claus from Christmas Town, but warns them not to include their master Oogie Boogie in any of their affairs. On Christmas Eve, everything is almost set when the three return with Santa. Jack tells Santa to "take the night off" and has the three take Santa back to their lair to keep him contained for the night. Instead, the three send Santa to Oogie Boogie, who plots to gamble with his life at stake.
Sally attempts to stop Jack by creating a thick fog, but Jack uses Zero's glowing red nose to light the way and directs the dog to the head of the sleigh. Jack takes off around the world and begins to deliver his terrifying presents with disastrous results, though he mistakes their screams for joy. A warning is put out on the news of a Santa Claus impersonator, and the citizens of Halloween Town rejoice, believing their Christmas a success. Sally rushes to save Santa Claus, but is captured by Oogie Boogie as well. Artillery cannons fire on Jack, destroying his sleigh, and both the police and the people of Halloween Town assume him dead. Waking up in a graveyard, Jack realizes his plans have ruined his Christmas, but is newly inspired about Halloween. Jack tears off his Santa suit and declares himself the pumpkin king again, then hurries back to Halloween Town to release Santa.
Jack enters Oogie Boogie's lair just as he's about to kill Santa and Sally. He is able to pull open a stitch in Oogie Boogie's clothing (for his skin is made out of cloth) and all the bugs that are inside Boogie's body start to fall out, rendering him helpless. Jack apologizes to Santa, who then races off to fix Christmas. Jack confronts Sally about her attempt to save Santa and realizes her feelings for him, as Lock, Shock and Barrel lead the Mayor to find Jack. Santa Claus is shown flying around the world, giving out real presents and removing the evil toys Jack had given out. Jack returns to his townpeople as Santa flies overhead. Santa and Jack wish each other "Happy Halloween" and "Merry Christmas" as Santa brings snow to the town. The residents of Halloween Town begin playing in the snow, and Jack follows Sally out of town. She climbs and sits atop a snow covered hill, and Jack joins her singing. They sing to each other and realize that they were meant to be together. As their hands touch, they embrace and kiss each other as Zero looks on. Then Zero flies up into the night, transformed into a star.
- This is Halloween
- Jack's Lament
- What's This?
- Town Meeting Song
- Jack's Obsession
- Kidnap the Sandy Claws
- Making Christmas
- The Oogie Boogie Song
- Sally's Song
- Poor Jack
- The Finale
With successful home video sales, The Nightmare Before Christmas achieved the ranks of a cult film. Touchstone Pictures released the film on DVD for the first time on December 3, 1997. It contained no special features.
The film was released on DVD again on October 3, 2000, this time as a "special edition" DVD release. This release included an audio commentary by director Henry Selick and cinematographer Pete Kozachik, a 28-minute making-of documentary, a gallery of concept art and storyboards, test footage, and deleted scenes. Burton's films Vincent and Frankenweenie were also included as bonus features.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the film on DVD (again) and on Blu-ray (for the first time) on August 26, 2008, as a two-disc digitally remastered "collector's edition." More recently, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released The Nightmare Before Christmas on Disney Blu-ray 3D on August 30, 2011. This release was a 4-disc combo pack including a Blu-ray 3D disc, Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digital copy of the film.
|Chris Sarandon||Jack Skellington (speaking)|
|Danny Elfman||Jack Skellington (singing)|
|William Hickey||Dr. Finklestein|
|Glenn Shadix||The Mayor of Halloween Town|
|Ken Page||Oogie Boogie|
|Ed Ivory||Santa Claus|
- Disney Wiki: The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Tim Burton Wiki: The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Henry Selick Wiki: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
- The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Internet Movie Database
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